We moved to a new house in January and things have been c-r-a-z-y! We have been stressed, overwhelmed, snapping at each other and needless to say, overworked. This move has made me realize how hectic this whole process can be no matter how many times you have moved to a new place. It’s extremely important to manage stress while moving. Or else, the stress and anxiety can take a huge toll on you: physically, mentally, psychologically, and financially.
When you move, you may be excited to settle in a new place. However, at the same time, there will be many stressful changes going on since you’ll be moving away from the place you consider as your familiar and comfortable home. You may be leaving your friends and family behind if you are moving to a new city. You may struggle in a new place with zero knowledge of the area and it can be difficult to get used to a completely different climate and environment.
Such transitions can be very unsettling and can cause anxiety. When managing stress and overcoming anxiety while moving, here are some helpful tips on how to do so.
How to manage stress while moving- 10 tips to follow:
1. Pack wisely for the move.
By packing wisely you can save some extra work in the future. Taking out the hangers from the clothes, deciding what kind of products should stay in a particular box, which box you are going to need first after the move and which products are absolutely necessary for your daily life- these are some factors you need to consider before the packing.
Editor’s Tip: I can not stress this enough, pack wisely. We made a list of things we will need once we move to the new house and those things were packed together. For example, sleeping and everyday clothing essentials were in one box. Our necessary toiletries were in another. We opened these boxes first before opening anything else.
2. Do inventory.
It’s also a smart choice to get rid of the old, not used stuff. Sell, donate or toss them- your choice. We did so, and it helped a lot!
You may think your new place needs this or that, but going on a massive shopping spree of items you might think you’ll need in your new place is not wise. This can overwhelm you and cause stress as you also have to be extra careful with what you bring because if misplaced or lost, it will be tough to replace missing things on a moving day.
It’s best to keep track of what items are still needed at home and postpone your purchase until after the move.
Editor’s Tip: This idea came from my husband. He urged me to note the things we were taking to the new house and which box contained which kinds of stuff. You do not have to be too thorough, but it will be easier for you if you write down the general category of the things on top of the boxes. It helped us a lot to manage the stress while moving.
3. Give yourself ample time before the move.
Everyone has different needs and capabilities, so it’s good that you schedule at least six months before your official moving date. Ample time is needed for things like packaging, planning routes to your new place, setting up electricity and water connections if required, and enrolling kids in school. This way, you have more than enough time to check out what plans are available to quickly decide what option suits your needs.
This also allows you to have sufficient time to adjust yourself beforehand. If you cram everything in the last two weeks of the month before the move, you will likely miss important details or be too overwhelmed by sudden changes and the chores to finish.
Editor’s Tip: I can not work for long hours or lift heavy stuff, my health will not allow me to do so. This is why I started packing the lighter, less used products 4 months ahead. My office stuff (besides the camera and lighting equipment) was the first to be packed.
4. Make a checklist of things to do before the move.
Things will get overwhelming and your mind will be crowded during packing and moving. This is why list everything that needs to be done so you can check off each job one after another. In this way, you make sure everything is in order and are less prone to forget during the moving day. In addition, doing so will help lessen anxiety as there’s a sense of control in managing all major tasks ahead of time without any further distress about what still needs doing at the last minute.
Editor’s Tip: Trust me on this, you will forget one or two critical things. It helped a lot when I made a list of the work we needed to finish before moving. Here’s an example:
1 . Cleaning the kitchen:
5. Take breaks in between.
When you’re busy with tasks, it’s easy to get caught up in the momentum and completely forget that you need rest for this to go well. However, you can take breaks in between, even if just for five minutes, to catch your breath, stretch your legs, and refocus to continue working without getting exhausted quickly.
Editor’s Tip: I followed one rule while we were in the moving process. To manage stress while moving, you need to take physical and mental breaks. I would sit down or stretch and take rest every 30-45 minutes so that my body gets some time to cope (chronic illness hack!). Keep a travel-friendly folding chair with you. In this way, my body and mind didn’t get too overwhelmed and I felt like I could “breathe” without feeling stressed. You can read more on Expert Tips for Staying Mindful & Stress-Free While Traveling.
6. Watch your diet.
Eating the right amount of food is essential when you’re in the middle of packing or unpacking, especially since you need to be physically active when lifting heavy items and be mentally prepared with the many tasks to think about.
So think ahead about the food situation, especially if you have kids. Sometimes, you get so worked up during the moving process that you will think about food at the absolute last moment and this is how HANGRY happens.
Editor’s Tip: Pack some lunch or healthy snacks the night before. Keep fruits, granola, energy bars and water with you.
7. Be flexible with your plans.
You don’t know what challenges await until after the move has occurred, so it’s best to prepare yourself beforehand and be ready for any obstacle that may come your way. For example, your new home may be smaller than what you’ve been used to, or you get a bad surprise when the moving truck is about to arrive, and there are too many things for them to bring inside. Things don’t always go according to plan, so being flexible with your new circumstances will help lessen stress because you’re already expecting the worst of scenarios.
Editor’s Tip: Take measurements of the entry doors and rooms before moving in. It will save a lot of time and hassle later.
8. Accept help from other people.
If you have the opportunity, don’t be afraid to ask for help from others if you need to. You don’t have to be tough all the time or do everything by yourself. Sometimes it’s good to rely on others once in a while. Your family and friends may want to lend a helping hand without reserve. It’s also best that you’re open about your problems to people you could trust so they can help ease your worries.
Editor’s Tip: My in-laws came from Bangladesh and stayed with us in November and December before the move. My mother-in-law helped me pack the glassware, heavy decorations and clothes. Given the fact that my arms and fingers give up while in pain or doing something heavy, it was a huge help! So ask for help from the people near and dear. No matter how small it is, it really helps.
9. Make time to say goodbye.
It’s not a good idea to just leave old friends and neighbors without giving them your thanks. A simple goodbye can be sufficient, but if you have the time, make it more meaningful by giving out small tokens of appreciation or attending a farewell party. This way, you won’t feel guilty for leaving people who helped you throughout the years.
Editor’s Tip: We thanked our neighbors the week before the move. There was a blizzard and everything was covered in snow. One neighbor was kind enough to help us with the snow plowing during the move.
10. Relax after the move.
Finally, after the move is complete and done with, it’s good to take time and relax. Give yourself a chance to appreciate what you have now, even if it may be different from before. Visit new places, be more social with people around you, take care of your health by getting enough exercise and good rest.
Editor’s Tip: I took a week off from work. My husband was not that lucky. I took this time to take a lot of rest to manage the pain, handle the new house and make it livable. Though I wish I had more time to do so, I am still thankful.
There’s no hard and fast rule on how to manage stress while moving, but the above 10 tips will give you a boost, and help you get started.
Amelia Evans is a freelance writer and works as a content manager for various international brands – currently for Be in Health. When Amelia is not researching and writing, she loves nothing more than heading out into the country for some downtime.
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