How To Make Moving Less Stressful: 16 Helpful Tips

by Dusty Rhodes on Oct 13, 2017  in 
  • SMARTBOX Moving Tips
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Updated on 12/1/23

There is a reason moving ranks at the top of the most stressful days in your life.  It is tiring, strenuous, and mentally and physically exhausting.  For many just the thought of moving is enough to make their stomach churn.  While it is impossible to eliminate all of your moving day stress, there are certainly plenty of things you can do to keep much of your stress at bay on moving day.  Here are a few tips and tricks for reducing your moving day stress.

Why Is Moving Stressful?

There are numerous reasons why moving is stressful, but the specific ones can vary from one person to the next. Some of the many reasons can include worrying about properly packing items, ensuring no items get lost in transit, having a huge number of tasks to complete, and being nervous about being in a new location. There’s also the temporary disruption of the stability of being in a familiar routine and setting, at least until you get settled in your new place.

To cope with the emotional stress of moving, you need to know that it's not abnormal. This can be hard to believe when you're in the middle of it, but it is normal. It's important to remember that there are many different ways of coping with stress, and moving can be stressful for some people. The best way to deal with this is by accepting that it will be difficult but not impossible.

Signs of Moving Stress

Just like how reasons for moving stress can vary between individuals, so can the effects of moving on the body and how it impacts your physical health. You may find that the loss of your family home is causing you to feel emotionally unstable. Signs can range from feeling constantly anxious and having problems sleeping to isolating yourself from others and experiencing forgetfulness.

Moving can be challenging for anyone, but it may be even more difficult for those going through a divorce or who have recently lost a loved one. If you're experiencing symptoms of moving stress or you're worried about the future of your marriage or relationship, it may be wise to seek counseling.

  1. Plan Ahead

    Moving requires a great deal of work and the more prepared you are the less stressful the experience will be.  While there are no guarantees that things will go exactly as planned, problems are less likely to occur when you are well organized.  Start planning about a month in advance for your move.  Start by purging your house and getting rid of unwanted items.  Next, gather packing supplies and begin packing rooms one at a time.  Hire a mover well in advance to ensure their availability.  Make a timeline of what needs to be done and when and check each item off as you complete it. 

  2. Make a List

    There is no shortage of things that need to be done when you are moving and stress can make it difficult to remember everything.  Avoid this unnecessary stress by creating a checklist.  Write down every detail of the move and cross it off as you go.  Not only will this give you a sense of accomplishment as you progress, but you won’t have to worry about forgetting something important.

  3. Do a Little Bit Each Day to Make the Move Easier
    No matter how much you want to get moving and start packing, there's no need to rush into things. You can make moving easier for yourself by doing a little bit each day. This way, you'll have a better idea of what needs to be done before packing up and moving out.

  4. Hire Movers

    Sure, everyone loves the idea of saving a little money but hiring movers will save you a tremendous amount of stress, which can be just as valuable.  Professional movers do this every day, so they will be much more efficient at navigating that large couch through a narrow doorway.  Not only will movers save you a great deal of time, but they will save you the physical exhaustion as well. 

  5. Pack Properly

    No one likes the idea of packing, but you can actually make it more enjoyable if you plan ahead.  Don’t wait until the last minute to start this process or you are sure to spend several sleepless nights agonizing over this chore.  You can also make it fun by inviting family and friends over for a packing party.  Provide food and drinks in exchange for their help.  Finally, take the time to do it right.  Don’t pack your boxes too heavy and make sure you wrap any fragile items.

  6. Get Help and Say Goodbye
    If you're having a hard time dealing with the stress of moving, it can be helpful to seek help from your family and friends. They might be able to help you with the emotional aspects of relocating, such as giving you advice about finding a new place, helping you find a new job or school, or simply supporting you through your transition. You might also want to say goodbye to your old home and belongings before moving. If this will take some time, consider having someone else come over and pick up what's left of your things.

  7. Take Photos of Things You're Disassembling (and the Rest of Your Stuff Too)
    If you can't find a moving company that agrees to do your moving for a reasonable price, you will have to do it yourself. This is especially true if the items in your current home are sentimental and important to you. It's not uncommon for people to lose more than half of their stuff when they start packing up their home for the move, so it's not worth risking all of your belongings just because you need to save money.

  8. Treat Your Move Like a Trip and Pack a Suitcase
    Moving can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. If you're moving to a new city, you may find it hard to get out and about because of how your new schedule will unfold. But if you plan and pack fun things to do into your move, you can make a move that works for both your schedule and your mental health.

  9. Always Pack Dishes on Their Sides
    Sorting and packing your things can be a very time-consuming process, and it's not uncommon for you to get frustrated when you have to sort through a bunch of stuff that was packed in random ways. To avoid frustration, try packing dishes on their sides, so they don't stick out of your box or bag. Pack the things you regularly use first, then pack the less necessary things to keep around.

  10. Get Rid of the Clutter
    When you move, the last thing you want to do is spend time sorting through things and organizing your new house. But when you have a lot of clutter in your home, it can make the transition to a new place even more difficult. Clutter creates stress and anxiety and can cause you to feel overwhelmed. So get rid of as much clutter as possible during the moving process. This will help you feel more organized and calm once you're settled in your new home.

  11. Get Enough Sleep and Eat Healthily
    It would help if you gave your body time to adjust to the new place and get used to the new routine. You must eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep to be as productive as possible once you've settled in.

  12. Listen to Music While Packing and Moving
    Music can be a great way to help you relax and reduce the stress of moving. Music can help you focus on something other than what's happening around you, which can be a great way to de-stress and keep yourself from becoming too anxious about your move. If you're moving far away from your family or friends, it may be helpful to listen to music that reminds you of where you're from or what music makes you feel at home.

  13. Promise Yourself a Reward After the Move
    If you have a move coming up, the last thing you want to do is to get yourself worked up over it. It's not just the physical and emotional stress that can make you feel unsettled but also the financial stress of moving that can make you feel unhappy. But there's no reason for you to let negative emotions get you. Instead, try your best to focus on the positive aspects of moving there and take care of those before worrying about any negative aspects.

  14. Focus on the Positives of Moving
    When you're facing the emotional strain of moving, the first thing you should do is focus on your move's positive aspects. You may feel like you're being uprooted from everything and everyone you know, but that doesn't mean it'll be bad for you. Moving will give you a new start in life. You can start fresh in a new city with a new job, new friends, and a new home.

  15. Get a Sitter

    Moving is stressful enough without adding kids to the mix.  Don’t try to tell yourself that you can just “work around them” or “they will think it’s fun.” Nothing is fun about watching mom and dad run around like chickens with their heads cut off.  Instead, hire a sitter or get a family member to watch the children so you can focus on the task at hand.  It will make for a much more enjoyable experience for everyone.

  16. Celebrate
    You have completed the move and all of your hard work has finally paid off.  Take some of the stress off by celebrating! Order some takeout and have a picnic on the floor in your new home.  Grab some dessert and champagne and toast to your new adventure! Those boxes can wait to be unpacked, so take some time for yourself and celebrate your accomplishment!

There is no easy way to move. It takes time, patience, and a lot of hard work. But moving can be a rewarding experience if you know how to make it go as smoothly as possible. The tips above can help you make the transition easier and give you the tools to cope with it.

Dusty Rhodes