Make no bones about it, moving is a stressful situation. The goodbyes, the packing, the memories – all mingle with the flurry of action. Even when you manage to plan everything down to the tiniest detail, something is bound to go wrong or sideways. Yes, that sounds pessimistic but that’s just how moving goes, particularly if you love where you live and have to move to another city.
Right now we’re in the throes of helping a friend move while tackling a partial one of our own. I figured, instead of trying to fight it, why not simply try to find ways around it? There are things that you can do to lessen the stress that is usually associated with moving because let’s face it – change is stressful!
Here are 6 things I’ve learned.
Six Tips to Take the Stress Out of Moving
Packing is one of the most emotionally wrought processes of moving. Naturally, many people put it off until the last minute but that’s a bad idea. I encourage you to not do that. Starting the sorting process won’t necessarily make it emotionally easier, but it will make it less stressful because you won’t have the added worry of whether or not you’ll finish everything on time. Starting early gives you enough time to really look at your things, think about them and come to thoughtful decisions on what stays and what goes.
When you have to move suddenly every single thing you own starts to feel precious. Try not to let the sentiments keep you from letting go of the possessions you no longer use, need, or even want. A good rule of thumb is that if you do not use something at least once a year and it does not have tremendous sentimental value, then it isn’t going with you to your new home. Another good rule to follow: if you find something you forgot you owned, you can probably feel pretty good about not packing it. Ask me – I know!
Donate First, Sell Second
I know that the moving experts advise you to try and sell everything you can. The money you make from the sale of your unwanted stuff can be used to offset the costs. If money is an issue, this makes sense. If you feel like you’ve got the costs pretty well covered, though, donate everything. Donating feels good. Donating stuff you suddenly feel sentimental about will take some of the sting out of not carrying them with you. Rather than feel sad about letting them go, feel good that they’re going to new homes where they will be of use!
During the last week or so before your move and the first week or so after you move, a lot is going to be in flux. Prepare ahead of time. Start collecting takeout menus for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking. Scout out restaurants and delivery services in your new neighborhood so that you won’t feel pressured to get your new house up and running immediately. Pack a suitcase with about a week’s worth of clothes and toiletries. This way you know you’ll have at least some clothing available if you don’t want to hunt for the basic necessities on moving day. It’s also a good idea to figure out where the nearest grocery store and department store is in your new neighborhood so that if you need to run out for supplies, you don’t have to worry about getting lost.
No, seriously. This is one of the best and most important investments you can make for your sanity during the moving process. I’ve realized it more than once! Hiring professional movers to cart your belongings from one home to the next will save you tons of physical and emotional stress. If you can swing it, you can even hire people to pack for you. At the very least, though, hiring professionals to take care of the loading and unloading of a moving truck is one of the best stress free investments you can make.
Finally, tempers run short and emotions run high during a move. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve almost lost it during these transitions! Learn some stress relief techniques like deep breathing, meditation, etc to help you keep those heightened emotions in check. It’s also important to make sure you concentrate on your health. When we move it’s easy to toss our healthful routines out the window in favor of convenience. Convenience, though, usually makes us feel worse! Making sure to eat as healthfully as possible, going to bed on time, getting your exercise–all of these things combat stress and help keep you from getting sick (what is it with moving and the ‘lu, anyway!) and slowing everything down.
Of course there is no such thing as a stress-free move! You will need that box of tissues! But these tips can drastically reduce the stress involved in the process!.
Have you moved cities/residence? What was the one thing you learned? Please share in the comments!