Up there with the other big life shake-ups like changing jobs, losing loved ones, and dealing with illness, moving is one of the top stressors that life has to offer. Usually, the bigger the move, the bigger the stress. Thankfully, the end result of a move is typically a net positive for you and your family — it’s just getting there that’s the tough part. In this guide, our experts at Stor-It are here to make “getting there” as streamlined and stress-free as possible. Below, we discuss what is moving stress and how to mitigate it with 16 simple tips. Start your move off on the right foot, and end it the same way. Move stress-free with help from our experts, and store your excess stuff with us!
What is Moving Stress and How Can It Affect You?
Most of us know what stress is. It’s that all-too-common anxious feeling in response to certain factors in our lives, especially anything that instills a feeling of instability or the unknown. Many of these triggering factors are the same for everyone, with one of the most surefire ones being moving. Moving stress occurs when your normal routines, your established safe space (your home), and other aspects of your life like your job and relationships, all get altered in a very short period of time. Humans are creatures of habit and comfort, and when these things are altered, our instincts perk up and tell us something is wrong. We’re here to help you override those instincts and ease the stress of moving. Take a deep breath, read these 16 tips, and get ready to breeze through your move.
16 Things You Can Do to Combat Moving Stress
- Moving is a marathon, not a sprint. Give yourself time to go slow. In an ideal world, you know months in advance the exact date when you will be moving. While this doesn’t always happen, most people are given a sizable amount of time to pack up and relocate. Use all of the time you have and don’t rush through anything. The periods right before and right after a move can get hectic, so spreading things out across the “moving era” is essential for keeping stress levels low.
- Make a master schedule. If handled correctly, deadlines can be your best friend. Squish a bunch of them in the final weekend before you leave, and those deadlines are now your worst, most stress-inducing enemies. There are so many steps to a move, so many rooms needing to be packed, that having a large, overarching plan on how to attack the move can help make it all seem less daunting. Crossing off individual steps on the schedule that you have accomplished is a great way to remind your brain that you are making progress and your to-do list for the move is getting smaller and smaller.
- Build a budget. Moving is expensive. Don’t compound your moving stress by neglecting to build a budget. Building a budget (and sticking to it!) allows you help combat financial stress. If you know what you can (and will) spend going into the move, it helps you confidently answer questions like: “How much of the moving do I do on my own?”, “Do I drive the moving truck across the country myself?”, and “Can I afford to get a storage unit to hold my already packed things leading up to the move?” Having a budget will also help ensure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck during your move.
- Research your new area. Doing research on your new area (especially the fun things to do in that area) early on in the moving process is an excellent way to help combat any negative emotions you have about leaving your old space. Excitement is the happier cousin of stress, and often its antidote. Being excited about your newest chapter can help you put your negative emotions in perspective without eliminating them altogether.
- Consider investing in a storage unit. There’s nothing worse than sidestepping a bunch of already-packed stuff as you try to complete your move. If you have room in your budget, consider investing in a storage unit to keep all of your already-packed-up boxes out of the way. Not only will it declutter your house as you pack, but it will be a constant reminder that you, in fact, are making progress in your move. Plus, your storage unit will allow you to keep that stuff you were struggling to donate.
- Prepare for the extra effort that comes with a move. Newsflash: there’s no secret that’s going to make moving pure bliss. Some parts of moving are hard — or, at the very least, annoying — and being mentally prepared for those parts can help proactively combat much of the stress that will come about during the moving process. If you know in advance that you are going to be organizing, packing, lugging, and dragging for several post-work hours per day for several weeks, you can get prepared mentally. Mediate, itemize, and move towards a place of acceptance. This will make things much easier when it’s time to start moving in earnest.
- Know what makes you happy and prioritize it. “Know thyself,” as the old philosophers say. One aspect of knowing yourself that will come in handy during your move is knowing what de-stresses you and makes you happy. Whether it’s playing a round of golf on a weekend morning, going to a Friday night movie premier, or crocheting in front of the Monday Night Football game, make sure you pencil in time to do the activities that make you happy during your move. Take a break (or several) to recharge your batteries — you deserve it!
- Pack important documents together. Nothing is worse than misplacing a passport, birth certificate, or social security card. Misplacing, damaging beyond recognition, or flat out losing your most important documents in a move creates one giant ball of stress right in the middle of any already-hectic era. If you haven’t invested in a lockbox or safe up until now, it’s probably time for you to get one. Give yourself the peace of mind that your important things are going to be accounted for at every step of the moving process by locking them up.
- Pack the things you use (and love) the most last. Are you a big-time baker? Maybe a hobbyist painter? A regular gamer? Don’t pack up the things you love and/or do on a semi-regular basis when you are starting your general packing. You are going to invariably need little breaks from all the stressful parts of the moving process, and these often-used items are your escape. Keep them accessible until the last possible moment.
- Get help from friends and family. Most of the people in your life have faced the harsh reality of a big move. They know how much work it is and how much stress you experience. So, when they inevitably ask if you need help, don’t let your pride or desire to not burden others get in the way of a much-needed helping hand. The more tasks that you can get off your own plate, the less stress will show its face. And if you’re lucky enough to not have family or friends that add to your general stress levels, then having them there to help you with the move will get you out of your own head and grant you an opportunity to have a good time while packing up your house.
- Embrace feelings as they come. Trying to push feelings away or bottle them up can lead to some emotional explosions later. For better or worse, moving can be a bit of a grieving process. You’ll grieve for your old place that you made into a home, for friends and neighbors who you are about to see far less frequently, and for the old life you were living. Be open to the grieving process by letting yourself feel these emotions. If you have to take a ten-minute break from packing to go cry in the closet, take those ten minutes! They’ll most likely turn out to be the most cathartic ten minutes of your whole day. Try not to turn ten minutes into two hours, but always give yourself time and space to embrace your emotions. They’re natural, and letting yourself feel them will help you power through these long weeks leading up to the big move.
- Hire professional movers. Unless you and your cadre of helpers do manual labor for a living, you will not know the true strain of moving thousands of pounds of boxes and furniture in and out of a moving truck. On top of that, you’re bound to be far less skillful at navigating tight corners, packing your truck, or driving the behemoth of a vehicle from point A to point B than professionals. For these reasons, you should strongly consider hiring said professionals for your move — especially if you’re moving an entire house or moving over a long distance.
- Make a plan to see the people you care about in your old place again. One of the most stress-inducing elements of the whole moving process is knowing that you are not going to see the local people you care about as much as you once did. A clean break is good for some things — leaving the ones you love is not one of those things. Before everything gets way too hectic, make a plan to come back for a long weekend (or a few) to just be with all of the people you love and left.
- Leave time for goodbyes. While you may have a trip planned for the future, it’s always important to leave time to say goodbye. Most of these goodbyes are probably not going to happen on the very last day you’re in town, but they should be penciled into your schedule nonetheless. They’ll serve as further motivation to get on top of your move schedule so you have time to say goodbye properly. If you don’t have time for individual goodbyes with everyone, consider having a going away party at a close friend’s or family member’s house. Have friends help you with the planning of the party. There’s no need to add to your moving stress by having a bunch of goodbye stress on top of it.
- Make introductions with your new neighbors. There’s a magic window for making a good first impression with your new neighbors. The time to make the introduction is early so that you don’t run the risk of settling into a rhythm of never even acknowledging your new neighbors. No need to bring them a Bundt cake — if anything, they should be baking you a cake for all of the stress you just survived. Cakes aside, a good introduction sets the stage for an amicable (stress-free) relationship with your neighbors.
- Establish new routines in your new space. Moving to a new space gives you a new lease on life (or at least a new lease on the property). Start establishing good habits early and often in your new space. You just moved into a place with an entirely new feel and Feng Shui. Capitalize on it. Establishing good routines is so much easier right when you get to a place because it harbors no bad habits that need to be broken. Once you get unpacked, start journaling for 30 minutes every day, read a book before falling asleep instead of scrolling through your phone, start going on runs. Moving into a new pad is an excellent opportunity for you to start becoming the best you that you can be.
Ease the Stress of Moving With Our Team at Stor-It
If you are moving to or from anywhere in the Treasure Valley and you are looking to make your life exponentially easier during your move, consider investing in a storage unit from our team at Stor-It. With 14 locations conveniently situated around the Treasure Valley, and amazing prices on month-to-month storage units, we make self-storage and moving stress-free. Need packing supplies for the big move? We’ve got those too! Swing by a Stor-It storage facility today to see for yourself just how easy moving and storing is with our team!