No matter how intensely you prepare for moving day, you may still face problems if you overlook three sanity-defeating challenges. Can you and your partner really think clearly when swamped by distractions, exhaustion, and disorientation?

If the ramped-up activity of moving day represents less pressure than a typical day for you, you’ll probably find your upcoming move-in day a breeze. Most people do not regularly handle logistics and problem solving on so many levels at once, and can become distracted, exhausted, and disoriented by moving day.

This deflated state sets the moving-day stage for putting your foot in your mouth, saying something you’ll regret disclosing, and blowing a fuse over a minor problem. The issue here is that the whole new neighborhood is watching — either from the sidewalk or from behind curtains — so none of this image-marring behavior goes unnoticed.

Adopt these 3 Crucial Sanity-Saving Tips for living happily beyond moving day and you’ll make settling into your new home a great success:

#1: Anticipate Distraction and Prepare to Think Ahead

Distraction is not a physical state, but a mental one. In a car, you can have both hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, cell etc off, and still be distracted while driving. The moving experience represents a huge mental distraction, so that what you say to new neighbors can get you off on the wrong foot in spite of your best intentions. With your head packed full of moving details and your brain in a state of exhaustion from moving out of your last home and preparing to set up your new home, you are not as in charge of your brain and your mouth as usual.

Acknowledge you’ll be distracted and be prepared. Just as celebrities prepare responses for paparazzi, think about what you want to say before the day arrives. If a wildfire of neighborhood curiosity engulfs you, how will you respond to:”What did you pay for the house?” or “Why did you have to move?” When asked personal questions about family and your occupation, a light-handed, but respectful response in “love to tell you more later”-style may be a friendlier response than disjointed descriptions or “not now please” rebuffs. Make politeness your goal for the day even if neighbor behavior tests your resolve.

#2 Fight Exhaustion and Prepare for Energy Plus

The sustained physical and mental stress of moving out of the old home and into the new one, even if you have lots of help, will disrupt your routines. Fast-food and junk food may seem like an easy fix, but your exhausted moving team (including you) needs more substance to be continually refreshed and recharged during the moving process. Expect this and stock up on nutritional supplements, healthy quick foods, bottled water, non-sugar drinks, and fruit, and encourage catnaps whenever feasible. Avoid sugar, caffeine, and alcohol until after the last box is safely inside and the moving truck leaves. Resolve to crash after everything is done not during a crisis.

#3 Counteract Disorientation and Prepare for the Worst

  • In even the most cohesive enclaves, there are undercurrents of past grievances, real and imagined, so step carefully. You will not know what sentiments were left behind by the previous owners.
  • Many of the new introductions may not stick, so prepare to re-greet. There’s no way you’ll remember who everyone is and who all the kids belong to.
  • Don’t expect to have time to search solutions on your phone&emdash;if you can find it! If you’re new to the area, make a list of the phone number and address for the nearest hardware store (with key cutting), grocery store, medical clinic, pharmacy, bank/ATM, and gas station in case an emergency run is required.
  • Neighbors usually only want to help, but they can be drains on attention, energy, and good humor. Decide who is doing what during the move, so one partner isn’t trapped entertaining neighbors while the other slaves in fuming silence.
  • If you have very private or expensive things that you don’t want the entire neighborhood to see, box or bag these treasures them.
  • Decide which typical moving-in problems would be a big deal for you and prepare for the worst, so you’ll achieve the best outcome possible.
  • Parking issues regarding the moving truck and helpers’ cars represent another prepare-ahead detail.
  • Engage your real estate professional to ensure you’ll receive the right keys and copies when you expect to. Also ask what happens if there is a closing delay and the keys are not available. Who will pay any costs of this delay including issues with the moving truck?

You may be on top of all the hundreds of details involved in moving your family, but a successful move hinges on preparing to head off these three sanity-defeating problems — distractions, exhaustion, and disorientation — before they “move in” on moving day.

Written by PJ Wade