When you think of life’s most stressful events, what comes to mind? Planning a wedding? Having a baby? What about moving?
Moving is considered stressful for everyone. There’s just so much to do it seems like your to-do list is never-ending.
It also seems that the farther you move, the more stressful it is. You can’t just turn around and pick up what you forgot, once you’re gone, you’re gone. That’s why you need a state to state moving companies to make sure you get the move done right the first time.
Let the professionals take as much of your stress away as they can, and learn other tips and tricks to make your move stress-less.
Is moving a stressful event?
It’s science really. Moving is stressful. In fact, it is one of the most stressful events according to a British study of 2,000 people, in which 6 out of 10 commented that moving was the most stressful, right up there with divorce.
Just imagine if you move because of a divorce- super stressful. Other things that might add to the intensity are moving cross country, moving multiple times within a short period, and moving somewhere with no friends or family around.
So, it’s clear that moving is stressful, but what makes it so?
First, moving is stressful because there’s just so much to do. Removing everything from your home just to put it all back in a new place is less than easy. Then there’s all the packing, wrapping, taping, organizing, loading. And then, of course, unpacking it all over.
The process itself is just long and tedious, not to mention the emotions that go along with moving. The other reason moving can be so stressful is because it changes everything. We get it, those four walls became a home. There are memories attached to every room, laughter, times you’ve shared with friends and family. Leaving somewhere that was once permanent is hard.
Overall, moving is just so nerve-wracking because there is so much left to the unknown. One thing you can be sure of is that with these simple tricks moving doesn’t have to be so stressful.
How can I have a stress-free move?
First things first; if you want to eliminate stress while you move, it all starts with a positive mindset. Then, focus on being practical when you prepare. Is it all going to get done in a day? No. Don’t expect yourself to finish moving all at once.
Similarly, remember that it takes time to make a house a home. Once you have arrived to your new place, doesn’t mean moving is over. Unpacking is still a part of moving, but remember to give yourself time at this point as well. Specifically, don’t expect it to feel like ‘home’ in one day, but over time, it will.
Other things you can do to create a stress-free move all relate to how you look at it. So try considering these things:
1. New place, a new beginning
Everyone can benefit from a new beginning from time to time. A new place comes with new opportunities, new faces, even a fresh start. Instead of considering these changes as losing the past, think of them as an opportunity to better yourself. Consider what new blessings a new job can bring or how learning about a new culture can improve your inner self.
2. Reflect a little
If you’re overly nervous or distressed about leaving your old place and starting anew, before you leave, ask yourself what you loved most about that place? Ask yourself what made it so important to you and why? Giving yourself time to reflect on these things might answer a few questions and give you the opportunity to do these same things in a new place.
3. Rely on friends and family
There’s no doubt you will need your friends and family’s help for the obvious things: packing, lifting boxes, moving furniture, and unpacking. However, you should also rely on them for emotional support. Whenever you’re feeling unsure or distressed about being in a new place, talk with someone you can trust. It is also helpful to schedule the next time you will visit friends and family before you move so that you have something to look forward to.
4. Create a timeline
Surely you have a deadline- the day you have to move out by, but a timeline will help you organize your move and feel less stressed. Your timeline should be practical and as detailed as possible. Include which days you want to pack up which rooms when to turn off your utilities, even when to schedule a cleaning service to clean up after you’ve moved. Writing it all down can alleviate the stress of: “what if I forget to do (blank)”?
5. Go back to your old routines
Part of the comfort of your old home was the things you did, your daily routines. Simply because you’re in a new place does not mean you can’t do those same things. In fact, going back to these old routines will likely help you feel organized again and give you a sense of familiarity.
6. Build familiarity
Similarly, you can build familiarity in your new place by putting up the same photos, arranging the furniture in a similar way. Then, get to know your neighbors, a new face can quickly become a familiar one, and before you know it, you have a friend. Lastly, build familiarity in your town by getting to know what is where. Drive around, walk around, find your favorite coffee shop- then it doesn’t have to feel like ‘new’ anymore.
7. Do what you love
Whether it’s the job you love or the hobbies you love, do them. If you love the outdoors, take a hike. If you love to shop, find the mall. Whatever it is, pursue it in your new area, and the stress and anxiety will practically melt away.
How can I make moving day easier?
Now that you’ve prepared yourself mentally up until this point, the big day is finally here.
There’s a difference between pre-moving stress and moving day stress, so it’s important you know how to tackle it all.
To make moving day easier try doing these things for a smooth and easy transition:
- Forward your mail early-on: There’s nothing less stressful than not getting your bills, paychecks, etc. mailed to your new location. You can easily change your mailing and forwarding address well before you actually move by setting a date that you want it to change online.
- Don’t forget how to assemble your furniture: Perhaps the only thing more frustrating than forgetting your mail is having missing pieces and a table you just can’t put back together. Be sure to store all the pieces in a bag for all of the furniture you have to take apart. For the really tricky stuff, take pictures or video of you taking it apart, to help you put it back together. This is especially helpful for electronics.
- Turn on the utilities: You don’t want to sit there at the end of moving day and realize there’s no Wi-Fi. Turn on your utilities early. Most services will allow you to transfer whatever it is you need and set a date to have them automatically turned on.
- Do good and donate: Moving really opens your eyes to all the stuff you haven’t used in a while (like that pink leopard coat from your great aunt). Make your move loads easier, by lightening your load. If you haven’t used it, don’t move it- just donate it instead.
- Pack by necessity: There are things you need, and things you REALLY need, like the TV remote. Pack your boxes by how much you’ll need the items in there and clearly label them. One way to do this is by packing an ‘open me first’ box for all of the things you need to survive the first night. For quick use items such as the remote, place them in a tote or bag for convenience.
- Create a plan: Nothing ever goes well without a well-devised plan. Avoid simply throwing things in the truck by placing the heaviest things in the back and on the bottom, and lighter things on top and upfront. Then, pack the things you’ll need right away towards the front as well. Oh, and unpack the kids’ stuff first- it will buy you some quiet time while you’re sorting through the chaos.
- Forget about cooking: Don’t put more on your plate, literally. Don’t worry about cooking on moving day, or a few nights after. This will just create more of a mess and stress that you don’t need.
- Take your time: Remember how long it took you to settle into your old home? Minimize your stress by giving yourself plenty of time to get settled in. Don’t feel like you need to have all the boxes unpacked in a day, or every room organized. Enjoy the process and the journey instead of forcing yourself to get it done.
- Hire help: If there’s one thing that is sure to eliminate your stress, it’s by asking for help- well hiring it. Professional movers exist for a reason. They can pack, organize, load, and unpack all your things, without you lifting a finger if that’s what you prefer. Western you ask for a little help or all of it, movers can make a big difference in the journey and really take the weigh-off your shoulders.
How do I adjust to a new place?
You have your things, you have your new ‘home’ and yet something still just doesn’t feel right. Much of this is because feeling like ‘home’ comes from the people you are surrounded by. If you don’t have any friends or family in your new location, you might still feel stressed and anxious.
Fortunately, there are ways to encourage even the biggest introvert to make new friends in a new place.
Friends of friends
Make new connections by remembering old friends, and their friends, and their friends because even someone who is only slightly acquainted to you might be easier to connect with. Even if it’s only a friend of a friend you’ve never met, they’re still worth meeting.
Try new things
You’re in a new place. Put yourself out there, be a new you, and try new things. Being out there is the only way you’re going to meet new people, so give it a try. You’ll be able to enjoy what you’re doing and potentially the people you’re doing it with.
Use social media
This is an easy one, mostly because you’re probably already on social media. If you’re a little shy or introverted, use social media to connect with others first. There are even countless apps specifically for people trying to make new friends in a new area. They will match you based on location and profile types.
Third times the charm
Remember that making a connection takes time. Even if you don’t completely hit it off with a person the first time, try to plan at least two more meetings. Experts say that there’s a three-meeting rule to making a true, genuine connection.
This one works because you get to know your community and the people in it. Volunteering is a great way to make new connections with new, like-minded people with good intentions.
Moving to a new place is never easy and it’s always stressful, but you can control how stressful it is.
One thing is for sure you’re certainly not alone. People move an average of 11 times in their lifetime, and sometimes more. You can rely on friends and family for emotional support, to share moving horror stories with, and then, of course, to physically help you pack up all your goods and go.
In addition to family and friends, you’re surrounded by a community of professional movers, practically everywhere. Hiring professionals will significantly de-stress your move and help you take a huge load off.