Balancing a Big Move While Working a 9-5 Job Isn't Easy, But it Is Possible

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Chances are you will move many times during your career. Whether you’re relocating for work or upgrading to your forever home, coordinating a move while you’re working full time is overwhelming. And while orchestrating a move may push the limits of your time management and organizational skills, it’s not impossible to do while working a 9-5. Check out these tips for staying on top of your game and getting a big move done even when you can’t take time off from work.

Plan

I’ll start by stating the obvious -- the more you plan ahead, the easier your move will be. The more notice you have, the more time you have to stage your move. So, if you’re thinking of looking for a new job, considering upgrading your home, or think you’ve got a great chance at getting transferred with a promotion at work, you should start laying the groundwork for a move.

If you have items that you know you want to keep but won’t get used for a period of time, pack them. Getting a jumpstart on packing will help you physically and mentally prepare to relocate. If it’s too overwhelming to try to pack on weeknights, set a goal to get boxes done over the weekend when the demands of work are at bay.

Organize

If you have the luxury of time, prioritize organizing your belongings. Go through boxes that haven’t been opened since your last move and take advantage of the time to declutter -- are you really going to keep that box of high school mixtapes? When it comes time to move, it will be easier with fewer household goods. Another bonus of having lead way is the ability to group items in your home to make it easier to pack, move into the right area in your new home, unpack and get organized in the new space.

Ask

If you’re relocating for work, find out if your company offers a relocation package or relocation assistance, or negotiate relocation assistance as part of your job offer. Many companies will cover the cost of hiring movers to pack your home, which can help ease the load of juggling packing and working full time. However, the downside to hiring others to pack your home goods is that you may end up moving items you would have gotten rid of if you’d packed yourself. 

But what about home?

Relocating for work is even more nerve-wracking because you’re typically working with a limited time frame. Not only do you need to find a home in your new location, but you need to pack and sell your current home. Again, if a relocation package is available with your job relocation, take advantage of home finding reimbursement.

An extremely helpful feature of my husband’s last relocation package was the offer of help with a home sale and home buying. Had we opted to buy a home where we were moving, his company would have assisted with closing costs. If we were in limbo with selling our home -- and buying a new one -- the company would have covered the mortgage on our old home for a couple of months, or the cost to rent a house if there was a delay in time between selling and closing on a new house. 

“But, I need to sell my house fast.” If a relocation package isn’t part of the deal, juggling two mortgages can add stress to your moving process. Start by doing your research before contacting real estate agents. Pinpoint the top agents in your area and go after them. Working with a top agent can be the difference between selling your home in 30 days and having it sit on the market for months. Sign with a top agent and follow their advice on pricing, and any changes that need to be made to list -- you don’t have time to argue with them.

Whenever I listen to friends share about feeling overwhelmed by different aspects of their lives, I respond with this question: “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is overwhelmingly simple: one bite at a time. Try not to look at your move as a gigantic hurdle to overcome. Instead, see it as a collection of moving pieces, tackling each part as they float in front of you. You can do this move and you can balance working full time while you coordinate, it just takes a little planning.