Breakups are hard enough, but what if you also live together? You’re an emotional wreck, you’re angry, you’re wondering what life is about to look like…and now you have to plan a move?!
A move after a breakup is often hasty and messy, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember, slow and steady wins the race, so find a couch to crash on for a night or two while you plan your official move.
Preparing for the Move
When you’re ready to make the move official, hiring a professional moving company can be of great help. Of course, you would look for a company that will help you move within your budget and timeframe. Look for a reputable moving company, with a history of experience and happy customers behind them.
Since budget is a great concern while you are moving to a completely new place, you need to look for a company that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. The number one mistake people make when moving after a breakup is throwing their budget out the window, as long as they can move faster. This doesn’t need to happen! Finding a budget-friendly moving company shouldn’t be hard, and the monetary savings will save you from stressing later.
After you’ve found a company that appears reputable and affordable, use this handy checklist to find out whether or not they’re the company for you. A checklist will save you the headache of trying to remember what to ask in the midst of your breakup.
- Does the company subcontract their jobs to another company? (If the answer is yes, steer clear! This means that the company you hire wouldn’t actually be the company that moves you, which leaves you open to all sorts of issues.)
- Are the vans permanently marked with the company’s name and information? (If the answer is no, find someone else. Unmarked vans can be a sign of shady business.)
- Are their prices set, or do they change with moving variables? (Either is fine, but one will make it harder to know the final cost ahead of time. One thing to avoid is a company who gives you a quote based on cubic feet.)
- How much of the moving process does the company handle? (Some companies pack, load, move, and unpack your items, while other companies simply help you load and unload.)
Packing Tips for Moving After a Breakup
If you choose to do the packing yourself, you can save some money and be in control of how and where things are packed. Ask a friend to help you, and coordinate a time with your ex so you can be there without it taking an emotional toll.
When you’re ready to start packing, follow these helpful packing tips to keep everything organized and easy to pack.
1. Divide and Conquer: Before you start packing and moving anything, divide all your items into categories and subcategories. Divide by room and then get more specific. Your living room could be divided into décor, books, electronics, and furniture. Pack the room by subcategories, and label everything clearly.
2. Pack Early: Most post-breakup moves are done quickly, but you can still pack early. Every time you’re at your old home (or if you’re simply staying until you move), pack. We know that you’ll need specific things before you move so save the essentials for last, but the juicer you haven’t touched for years and the books on your shelves can be packed up early.
3. Room by Room Packing: To eliminate confusion, you should pack on a room-by-room basis. This keeps the items of each room separate and helps you unpack without any hassle.
4. Get Rid of Clutter: Avoid taking items that you have not used for a long time or simply do not need anymore. Donate clothes, get rid of the useless college textbooks you have not touched for years, ditch any decor you’re sick of. Do not spend your time packing items that you know you will not be using, it is a simple waste of your time.
5. Get Help: The process of packing and moving can become easier if you have help available. Ask your family and/or friends to help you with your packing and unpacking. With their help, the whole process will become effortless and fun.
6. Keep Your Movers in the Loop: It is important to keep your movers informed about your things. Boxes can be carried easily, but when it comes to heavy and big items, you should inform your movers about them. It is better to communicate with the moving company so that they are prepared with the needed equipment. It will also help them to transport your belongings without causing any damage. Telling them about all of your items ahead of time means that you should avoid any fees from additional pieces as well. Make the price stay within your budget!
7. Devise a Plan: Before you start unpacking, it is better that you form a plan. Include your family members into the plan, so that you can unpack effortlessly and quickly.
If you opt for full service movers, they will pack, load, ship, and unpack all of your belongings. This option will definitely give you a hassle-free moving experience, but it obviously costs more and gives you less control. Many people prefer this option despite the cost, because it gives them less to worry about and doesn’t require hours of their own time.
Professional movers know how to pack your items to give your belongings complete safety. They will use smaller boxes for heavy things such as books, paperwork, small hand tools, etc. Large boxes will be used for lightweight items such as towels, clothing, toys, lampshades, and similar items. Medium sized boxes will be utilized for everything else, such as shoes, small kitchen appliances and kitchen items, electronics, etc.
Most movers will also help you declutter your home by taking out the trash and packing your items in the best way possible. It’s wise for you to go through your items beforehand to get rid of anything you don’t need or want to take with you, as this will reduce the cost of your move.
Place everything that needs to be moved into a single room if you can to avoid accidentally moving any of your ex’s stuff. If that’s not an option, find another way to separate your stuff from theirs to keep things simple for the movers.
What Happens After the Move
If your professional movers include the option to help you unpack your stuff, everything should be settled the same day as the move. This option allows you to put your roots down ASAP and begin making a home out of your new living arrangement.
Many moving companies also offer the cheaper option of simply unloading your items, leaving you to do the unpacking yourself. If you go this route, make sure to write the name of the room (like “Living Room” and “Bedroom”) the boxes should go in so everything is mostly organized when you go to unpack.
After the move, remember to update your address as soon as you can. You’ll need to change your address on your recurring bills, such as your car or student loans, as well as at the bank or on any auto-ship orders you have running.
You can also set up a forwarding address at the post office to catch anything you missed. You don’t need to update your driver’s license if your address is temporary, but if you plan to be there for six months or more (say, if you signed a year long lease) you should update your driver’s license right away to make everything else easier.
Getting your utilities, cable and internet service set up costs money as well as time. You may be required to make a deposit or a prepayment on a utility, depending on your credit score. Keep this in mind while planning your moving budget, and be sure to cancel any services you were financially responsible for at your old home.
When you set up your utilities in advance, you may be assigned a confirmation number for either your service request or deposit/prepayment. Keep a copy of these numbers handy during your move by adding them into your phone or computer so they don’t get lost.
Internet, phone and cable companies often offer package deals on their services. You can seize those deals to save a lot of money – just be sure to ask when the deal expires so you aren’t hit with a huge price increase after a certain amount of time.
Throw Yourself a House Warming Party
Sure, perhaps Emily Post would throw a fit if she heard this suggestion, but there’s logic behind it! You suffered a breakup, you moved, and now you’re missing half the stuff you used to use! Maybe the salad spinner was hers, or the bedside tables were his. Chances are, you’ll need a bit of a boost to get your independent living arrangement up and running.
Send your good friends an invite with your new address (an easy way to get your new location out there!) and invite them to a post-breakup/house warming party. If you’re afraid of being thought of as tacky, you can make it easy on your friends by asking for hand-me-downs.
We all have a few extra mugs, that wine opener we bought when the other went missing, or an end table we meant to refinish that now sits in the garage. Asking your friends for hand-me-downs makes your party affordable, easy, and planet-friendly.
Moving after a breakup doesn’t have to be so hard. Take your time to find the right movers to help you, rely on your friends for a place to crash and packing help, and use guides like this to do the thinking for you. Before you know it, you’ll be settled and looking nowhere but ahead.