Communication Takes the Stress Out of Moving While Apart


Communication is vital to any successful relationship, and it’s essential if you’re moving to a new home and one of the partners won’t be there when the move happens.

Plan to start early and start earlier than you planned. The person who will direct the move alone will be under a lot of pressure, and not just when the movers are there. Even if you’re together when packing, it will take more time than you planned.

The end result of the move needs to satisfy you both, but only one of you will be there when it actually happens. It will be stressful. Be supportive of each other.

Moving can be a matter of arranging utility transfers and changing the mailing address, copying computer files, collecting important papers in one place or deciding what items go in what rooms.

But No. 1 Under any list of moving tips for couples, whether together or apart during the move: DECIDE JOINTLY WHAT TO KEEP AND WHAT TO TOSS.

This sounds far easier than it actually is.

You don’t want to sell or trash something that you don’t realize is important to your spouse. Be proactive or it could balloon into the part of the move that causes you the most stress.

What she may see as a useless old golf ball, he treasures as the one from his only hole-in-one. A tattered, yellowed, useless cookbook to him may be an heirloom passed down from her great grandmother. When in doubt, wait, use the phone and ask.

It’s best to start boxing items while both of you are at home. Label boxes “Her Stuff” and “His Stuff” and fill them with items of sentimental value that could disappear during the move. You won’t find everything that each of you insists on keeping, but you’ll have a productive head start.

You’ll be using a moving company. Decide on one together. Price is always a consideration, but some will do the packing and some won’t. Prioritize what you want from a mover, and then do some research to see previous clients’ opinions.

Moving is a great time to streamline. Shed possessions that, while they may be perfectly good, don’t have sentimental value and, if you’re truthful with yourself, you know you’ll never use. Hold a garage sale or donate to a charity.

This will be harder than it seems. Negotiation will be necessary. We all have a little hoarder in us, and nearly every husband and wife would love to toss some of the other’s possessions that have annoyed them for some time and seem to have no use.

It may seem like a good idea to help such items “accidentally” vanish during the move, but it will only lead to trouble down the line. Communicate. Negotiate. “OK, I’ll get rid of my old jeans with holes if you’ll throw away those old maternity clothes.”

Otherwise, you could be telling stories like this one that a Jean R. posted in an online forum about moving. “About the same time that my husband seemed to forgive me for throwing away his barbed-wire fences collection while we were moving,” Jean said, “I noticed that my stuffed animals were missing.”

If you’ll still be moving your lives. It also helps to ask the absent spouse what he or she wants unpacked first in the new home.

Remember, be supportive of each other. Moving is stressful, even if you’re happy to be making the moving. You’re partners and you need each other, even when one of you is not there.


(Keywords: moving tips, moving tips for couples, moving company)

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