Reducing Stress When You Move to a New Home
Life can be stressful enough these days without throwing a move into the mix. Moving to a new home has many moving parts, and problems can arise even with the best planning. Check out our tips to make your move as stress-free as possible.
Deadlines. Contracts. Logistics. Kids. Pets. Moving is stressful. Plus, you will need to get acquainted with your new town or new state. You will need to find new schools, jobs, doctors, friends, and more. But, managing your move well will help you manage the stress as well. Here are our top tips:
- Don’t procrastinate. Yes, that’s sounds obvious. But here you are reading this, so you are already making plans for a smooth move. You simply need to follow through. Start packing about 3 to 4 weeks ahead of time. Keep a to-do list with deadlines for important tasks such as connecting and disconnecting utilities, updating insurance, and changing addresses. Most importantly, be prepared for moving day when the movers arrive to load and unload. Being ill-prepared can be costly, add to delays, cause a move to be rescheduled, and cause extreme stress.
- Assemble a team. Get your family on board with the packing schedule including your kids who can take care of age-appropriate packing tasks. Divide the tasks appropriately as well. You might add some incentives like rewards for met deadlines. Consider asking extended family and close friends for help with a garage sale, delivering donations, or watching the kids and pets. And pay for help if you need it, whether that’s paying for additional cleaning services or hiring out some (or all) of the packing.
- Discard, donate, or sell unwanted items. Remember that you don’t have to take everything with you. You can use the move as an opportunity to purge those items you haven’t used or needed for years. Eliminating clutter can help reduce stress. Plus, if you get rid of large items you no longer want or need, you will save money be not moving it to the new home. Then, you can purchase new, more up-to-date items and have them delivered to the new home.
- Address any negative feelings or apprehensions honestly. Encourage your family members to do the same. Let them speak about their fears as well as their excitement. If you’re worried about finding replacements for services, activities, and social connections, take the time to plan for how you’ll go about establishing new ones. If you’re moving for a job, there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that there is sometimes fear as well as anticipation in such a move. Above all, talk to your family, especially young kids and teens, about their feelings.
- Get enough rest and take breaks. Moving can be an all-consuming task, especially as the big day draws closer. Fourth, take a break. Moving becomes all-consuming, so be sure you get time to get away from it. Whether that’s as a family at a movie, picnic, or ball game, or some me-time with friends or binge-watching your favorite show, it’s important to decompress. Admittedly, this gets harder as the move gets closer, so schedule some activities for that last week so you get the breaks you need. Exercise is a great stress reliever, so whether you get a long walk or your normal workout, stay active if you can.
- Plan for contingencies. If you plan ahead for an unexpected delay, bad weather, or other obstacles, then you will be better prepared if a problem arises. You will be more flexible and adaptable if you plan for contingencies.
Lastly, remember that the actual move doesn’t go on forever even if it feels that way on occasion. Whether it’s a delivery problem, delays in closing the escrow, or other issues, remind yourself that this is all temporary and the move will have an ending. When things are really stressful, remind yourself of why you’re moving, and the benefits you hope to get out of the move.