How to Make a Move Less Stressful

Moving is an exciting time. You’ll get to move to a new house, see a new city, and establish new friendships, habits, and routines. But it can also be stressful.

You’ll have to spend time packing all your possessions, make difficult decisions about what to keep, coordinate dozens of different boxes, stay focused on your moving timeline, and manage external points of contact and resources as well. It’s overwhelming, and even worse when you’re trying to move an entire family. 

So what steps can you take to make a move less stressful? 

Rent a Dumpster (and Use It) 

First, consider renting a dumpster and using it to dispose of the things you no longer want or need. Spending a day throwing out all your old furniture and bulky possessions can feel cathartic – and give you far fewer things to worry about packing. You also won’t have to worry about taking a separate trip to the dump or dealing with bulky items on the curb. 

Start Early 

Start the moving process as early as possible, preferably several weeks before your actual moving day. This way, you can do a little bit of work each day and not feel overwhelmed. You also won’t be as affected by time pressure; the extended deadline will help you keep your cool and remain feeling in control. 

Hire a Moving Company 

While not the right choice for every move or every family, most people can benefit from hiring a moving company. It may cost a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars, but it can instantly make your moving experience less stressful; someone else will be responsible for transporting all those big, bulky items to your new home. Before making your final decision, be sure to do your research – and only work with a moving company you trust. 

Make Use of Lists

One of the most stressful parts of moving is remembering everything you have to do; you’ll be responsible for juggling multiple priorities simultaneously as you coordinate the move. The easiest, most stress-free way to manage these is with the help of lists. Create a master checklist for everything that needs to be accomplished before, during, and after the move, and be consistent in checking things off it. You’ll also want to create smaller to-do lists to keep you and your family organized as you get closer to your moving date. 

Delegate Responsibilities 

If you live with a family, don’t take on the full burden of moving by yourself. It’s a good idea to delegate responsibilities. If you have a partner and/or older children, each of them can take on major responsibilities. Even smaller children can do their part, such as organizing their toy collection or participating in packing. 

Keep Your Boxes Labelled 

It’s a good idea to use moving boxes that are all the same size or boxes of a small number of different sizes; this way, you can pack and prepare consistently. Additionally, it’s important to keep all your moving boxes labelled. Note what types of items are included in this box as well as where the box is supposed to end up (such as “living room” or “kitchen”). This will prevent you from losing track of things and will make the move-in process much smoother overall. 

Focus on One Room at a Time

A walk throughout your house may fill you with panic, making you feel overwhelmed at the sheer number of items that need to be packed and transported. But you can minimize this stress by focusing on just one room at a time. You’ll feel less overwhelmed at the onset and will feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish each room. 

Communicate Proactively 

Communicate proactively with your family and friends. If you’re feeling stressed about the move, talk about it. If someone in your family isn’t doing their part to help, tell them. Bottling up your feelings will just make things worse. 

Get More Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for more help if necessary. For example, you can call up some friends and ask them for help sorting out your possessions and packing them away. If you’re not hiring a moving company, you can also ask them to help you physically move. 

Take Breaks 

Finally, take plenty of breaks. Trying to accomplish as much as possible in long, extended sessions isn’t good for your health. It’s much better to work in short bursts and give yourself plenty of time to relax and recover from the effort. 

Moving is going to be a bit stressful no matter what you do – but it doesn’t have to be devastating. A bit of proactive planning and a few stress management strategies can instantly make the situation more manageable.

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