A change is as good as a holiday, right? Well not actually and according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, change adds enormous stress to our lives. Penned by the two psychiatrists in 1967, various stressful scenarios are given points and guess what, moving home scores an unhealthy 20 points, compared to 30 points for the foreclosure on a mortgage or loan. Given that moving home often entails more than simply packing a few boxes, loading a van and hanging the odd curtain and that various other factors generally come into play such as moving schools, churches and could include things like a new job, the amount of stress experienced starts to rise dramatically.
Different people handle stress differently and while some embrace the moving experience, others are going to find the experience completely draining. Taking as much stress out of the actual move as possible is going to help those who find themselves drowning in a sea of seemingly endless cardboard boxes and extensive lists of what still needs to be done.
Cost is always going to be a major factor and for this reason Shaun Rademeyer, CEO BetterBond recommends that those who are planning on using professional movers to facilitate the move should try and plan things so that they don't move at the end of the month or during the traditionally busy, more expensive times such as December or January.
“At other times of the month, or during winter, when the moving companies are not so busy, you will usually be offered a better rate. You should also get quotes from three different moving companies and their representatives should preferably visit your home so they can make their estimates as accurate as possible,” he notes.
He also recommends checking the Professional Movers Association's website www.pmamovers.co.za for a list of reputable companies and also for a list of the South African International Movers Association (SAIMA) members if you are planning a cross-border or international move.
Moving home is the ideal time to get rid of unwanted clutter and Rademeyer advises getting rid of absolutely everything you don't need to take to the new home.
“Start going through your home, garage or shed and garden at least two months before the move and sell, donate or send for recycling everything you can. Aim to reduce the number of items to be transported by at least half, because weight and bulk is a big factor in determining the price of a long-haul move and there’s really no point in paying to have someone transport something that you don’t use or that won’t fit into your new home.”
The third step, he says, is to buy some boxes (preferably recycled) and wrap and pack as many small items as you can yourself. This will reduce the time the movers have to spend packing, and hopefully reduce their charges as well. You should also number and colour-code all boxes and items of furniture with special tape or labels that match coloured-coded rooms on a plan of your new home. This will cut down on the time the movers take to unload your belongings.
“And finally, you need to make sure that your possessions will be properly insured while in transit, as road and weather conditions, hijacking, robberies, strikes and riots can interfere with the performance of even the best moving companies.
“You will usually require a special policy for this, and will need to organise and pay the premium for it well in advance of your move. If your moving company offers you a goods-in-transit policy, make sure it is compliant with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act.”
Keeping a cool head and not panicking about unforeseen situations can also go a long way to ensuring that the move will as stress-free as possible. Think about it this way: a month after the move, most, if not all the stress will have been forgotten as you begin to settle in your brand new home.