Moving is a stressful time for anyone. It’s a time of big changes and an uncertain future. Even if you are 100% certain of what you will find at the other end of your move, the transition itself is enough to drive anyone a little frazzled. Between packing all your worldly possessions, making arrangements with movers, and planning for a serious personal car trip, moving is, by its very nature, just a little stressful. Creating a plan for dealing with moving stress is essential.
Where Moving Stress Comes From
- A long to-do list
It’s okay to feel stressed when you’re moving, but you also don’t have to let the anxiety get to you. We’ve put together a collection of helpful tips dealing with moving stress and how to help yourself manage the very reasonable tension you may feel as the big move comes up on the calendar.
Packing: One Box at a Time
The first step of dealing with moving stress is creating a plan for packing. Some people love to pack boxes; some find the process to be nearly impossible. How can you transition your home from a personalized abode to an empty space filled with packed boxes? The answer is one box at a time.
It’s easiest to start small. Keep it simple.
Open a box, tape the bottom with a sturdy “H,” and pick a shelf. Empty a drawer, a closet, or a cabinet. Clear one table or shelf. Pick things you don’t use every day, at first. It’s often easiest to start with your seasonal items that are already packed up.
Then the back of your closet, your spare bed linens, your unread books, and old DVDs or game cases. Soon, you’ll be down to the things you use every day and the systems that will take more effort to dismantle, and half your house will already be packed.
Make packing fun
Make an effort to have fun with packing. Put on an enjoyable podcast or television show, watch a series of theme-night movies, or video chat with your friends while you pack. Don’t let packing take over your life. Instead, use it as an excuse to do more fun things with your day. While your hands are busy, you could be listening to comedy, following an interesting story, rocking out to music, or catching up with friends.
Build a routine around packing
Packing gets less overwhelming when you get into the habit. Instead of forcing yourself to get started every day, build it into your routine. Pack one box in the morning and then pack between dinner and bedtime every weekday. Get into the swing of packing after you do the laundry or dropping things into open sorting boxes as you walk through the house. The more you pack passively and regularly, the faster your house will seem to pack itself, and dealing with moving stress will be easier.
Save your essentials for last
Don’t forget to hold back your essentials and daily items to either pack last into the truck (first out of the truck) or carry as overnight supplies on your road trip. Pack the bathroom and kitchen last (especially the things you use most), and pack your personal items to stay in the car with you. This ensures you have everything you need on those last days in the old house and first days in the new house.
Pro tip for dealing with moving stress:
Don’t forget a bedroll or sleeping bag, just in case.
Plan Ahead, Remove Uncertainty
Moving brings a lot of worry about the future: the uncertainty of travel, what you’ll find at your new home, and making your moving schedule on time. The best way to help yourself and ease that anxiety is to lock everything down. Plan ahead and remove that element of uncertainty so you can check your itinerary every time you want to worry. You have peace of mind knowing that things are still booked and on schedule.
Book your movers and truck dates
Book your movers and truck weeks and months ahead of time. Booking assures that your movers will be available and there to help you with the final stages of moving. You don’t have to worry about missing the key moving window or forgetting your own moving dates. Your booked movers will help you remember the dates and offer extra services in case you’re too slammed to finish all your pre-moving tasks.
Book your road trip hotel nights
Worried about the road trip where you drive yourself, your car, and any house pets and plants to the new home? Plan ahead! Plan every gas stop you will make, consider everywhere you might stop for lunch, and pre-book your hotel rooms so someone will be expecting you each night you’re on the road. This gives you not just the assurance of planning but also the surety that you won’t run out of gas or find yourself without lodgings during your trip.
Get the house ready to move in
Finally, make sure the house is ready to receive you. If you’re worried about dark rooms that haven’t been aired or warmed up yet, don’t wait. Work with your landlord or real estate agent to ensure the home is turned on, the utilities are activated, and the HVAC is running when you arrive. The house will be ready to welcome you so there’s nothing to worry about on arrival.
Put Together Backup Plans
Now, let’s talk about backup plans. If you’re worried about what could go wrong, apply the “red emergency folder” technique. Just make plans that cover every possible thing (within reason) that might throw off your move.
Last-minute packing services
The single biggest worry for most people when moving is not finishing the packing. It’s true, packing is hard to do, and finishing can take a special personal push. You may also not have the strength or literal manpower to fold up your furniture, wrap it, and stow it in the moving truck. Don’t worry, movers often provide packing services for people who are moving remotely or are too busy to finish all their packing before moving day. Just let your movers know if you’ll need packing services, and you’ll be taken care of.
Storage solutions at both ends of the trip
What if your move isn’t timed quite right and you need temporary storage? What if you have too many items to fit in your new place? That’s where a good plan for local storage can help ease your moving anxieties. And no, you don’t have to go to a creepy personal storage rental place. Neighbor makes it possible to rent some garage space from a friendly local neighbor, someone who will keep an eye on your boxes without having to enter a code or drive through countless little storage alleyways.
Plan for Downtime Around the Move
Last but not least, prepare to give yourself a break from dealing with moving stress. Often, the worst anxiety comes from running yourself ragged. Moving stress and a tight moving schedule are closely related, so take good care of yourself and let yourself relax from time to time before, during, and after your move.
Give yourself time to rest
When packing, set resting breaks. Take meal breaks sitting on a few boxes, kicking back to some TV or good company. If you feel yourself becoming exhausted, take a short nap and get back to boxing in an hour or so. The last thing you want is for your moving anxiety frenzy to result in a pulled muscle or lowered immune system from the stress.
Give yourself permission to stress out (a little)
If you’re freaking out about the move and it’s all too much, give yourself permission to freak out. Moving is a big life change, and it can be stressful. You might have some real, legitimate concerns that require logic instead of emotion. Allow yourself to freak out, just a little.
It’s okay if you find yourself a little upset when packing heirlooms or suddenly overwhelmed by the situation. Breathe through it, give yourself permission to feel your feelings, and come out the other side.
Give yourself time to settle into your new house
Finally, let yourself rest when you arrive at the new house. Sure, there are a million boxes to unpack, but you’ve already achieved a great victory by getting to the new house in one piece and with all your possessions. Unpack just enough to make your bed and let yourself rest. Order takeout while the kitchen is not yet unpacked. Then kick back on boxes once more so you don’t even have to think about dealing with moving stress. Invite your friends to virtually admire the new still-empty house before you fill it. Toast to the hard work you’ve already done and the task of rebuilding your life ahead. You’ve earned it.
With just a few destressing techniques and a little forward planning, you can have a solid plan for dealing with moving stress. Here at Neighbor, we know that a creepy storage facility is exactly what you don’t need when you’re already tackling the stress of moving homes. With our service, you can connect with other local residents to rent residential storage when and where you need it. Talk to us about lifting a few worries if you need moving storage.
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