Moving to a new house, new neighbourhood or a new state or country is exciting. It can also be stressful. In fact, moving house is known to be one of the most stressful life experiences – even more stressful than a relationship breakdown or new job!
There are many factors that contribute to a stressful move.
- Change. Any form of change means uncertainty and it’s normal to have feelings of anxiousness when you’re facing so many unknowns.
- Finances. Moving house doesn’t come cheap and money is considered one of the biggest causes of stress in individuals who are planning to move.
- Time. When you’re moving house it can feel like you’re putting your life on hold, with all your attention and energy being sucked up by packing, transitioning and getting settled.
A little stress is normal, but extreme stress can (and should) be avoided.
A stress-free move is far more likely to occur if you plan effectively from the moment you consider moving. Planning every last detail of what goes into moving from one house to another is crucial in simplifying the process and ensuring that things go smoothly.
Surprises when moving house are inevitable, and having a hold on the elements you can control will make managing these surprises easier when they come. Having control on critical aspects also helps you to stay on schedule, save money and budget effectively.
Here are ten crucial things you should consider for achieving a stress-free move
Chances are there are things you’ve held onto that don’t need to make the move with you. Regardless of how long you’ve lived in your current home, there will be things you have accumulated that could now be considered clutter. Getting rid of this stuff as soon as you decide to move is a great way to gain clarity on what you’ve got, how much packing time you’ll need, and what costs will be for moving your necessary items. Less things to pack is a blessing!
Before a single box is packed, research your new area. Where will you work or what will your commute be? What are the school’s like? What restaurants and cafes are there for you to enjoy? The more questions you ask about your new area and the more research you do, the more you’ll feel comfortable with your decision to move. If things don’t feel right, find ways to make them right before you jump into packing.
From buying packing supplies and hiring a removalist to taking unpaid leave days, there are lots of costs associated with moving house to consider. Costs for re-activating utility services can add up and can cause down-time of tools. A moving-in and a moving-out cleaner is optional, but worth it if you can afford it. Takeaway food when the kitchen isn’t usable can also blow out costs. Consider everything you will spend so you can manage your budget well.
There are so many moving parts when relocating that it helps to make a checklist. You can take this one step further by creating a moving schedule to support your checklist. Separate your to-do lists in priority order, ensuring you allow enough time for each. In the last few days before move-day, bring your to-do lists together and tick everything off. You’ll be amazed by what you have achieved!
Choosing a professional and reputable removalist firm is important. So too is booking them early. The last thing you want is to get caught out with no one to move your stuff! Look at reviews from previous customers, break down at least three quotes, and get your belongings properly assessed to make sure you have the right sized van and number of team members on the day.
An important item on your moving to-do list should be to transfer utility services. This task can seem overwhelming, so give yourself plenty of time to avoid getting stressed. Create a list of utilities you may want transferred or turned on before you move in, such as water, power, gas and internet. If your new location is only temporary, it might be worth signing up on a month-by-month basis. Alternatively, look for providers who are happy to transfer utilities at no cost.
For important documents like passports, birth certificates, house deeds, wills and insurance papers, store them safely and together. A good idea would be to create electronic copies of each to store them on the cloud so you always have access. If you have precious heirlooms or things of sentimental value, keep these with your important documents too. When it comes to moving day, keep your ‘valuable box’ with you and separate from the rest of your stuff.
When you have young children or pets there are things you’ll need to do before the move, during the move and after. Planning for this early takes the pressure off when your normal routine is disturbed. Give your kids plenty of notice about the move and take your pets for a vet checkup. Book your kids a sitter on moving day and keep pets out of the way either at a friend’s, cattery or kennel. Unpack their things first and start on your routines immediately. These are all things that can make a move easier for kids and pets.
There’s a bit of etiquette when it comes to asking friends to help you move but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask. Acknowledge that it’s a big favour and give plenty of notice. Be precise about what help you need and schedule this help for times that work for your friends – eg. the weekend. Let go of perfectionism, refrain from being bossy and show your gratitude. If someone can’t or won’t help, don’t take it personally. Asking for help is worth a shot.
10. Use the right sized boxes
It might seem like a no-brainer, but finding the right sized packing boxes is a crucial part of a stress-free move. Heavy items should be packed in small boxes and light items like linen and pillows can be packed into larger ones. The last thing you want is boxes being dropped or broken. When packing, fill all empty spaces with clothing, towels or packing paper.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, moving house can still be overwhelmingly stressful. Look for signs that stress is building and when you see it occurring, push pause and take stock. Signs of high stress include:
- Finding it hard to relax
- Getting easily triggered or overwhelmed
- Headaches and body aches
- Insomnia and poor focus
- Forgetfulness, lack of organisation and unproductiveness
- Inability to make decisions
- Uncontrollable shaking or crying
- Avoidance of people
- Constant worry
- Chest pains
Stress becomes detrimental when it becomes uncontrollable, so don’t let it get that way. Plan early, pack smartly and check things off as you go!