As a Professional Organizer who has helped many clients with their big moves, I understand first-hand that moving is a process full of mixed emotions. On the one hand, it’s the start of an exciting new journey. On the other hand, moving comes with a lot of change all at once. To make things a little more complicated, people often move because of a major life change, such as getting married, changing jobs, or starting/graduating from school. If you find yourself with increased stress levels during the moving process, you’re not alone. In order to get the most out of your move and get settled into your new place quickly, it can be helpful to understand what makes moving so stressful and what you can do to reduce that stress.
What is Moving Stress And How Can It Affect You?
Relocating can be difficult to manage, without us really understanding why. Moving stress occurs when your normal routines, your established safe space (your home), and other aspects of your life like your job and relationships, all get altered in a very short period of time. We are creatures of habit and when these things are altered, our instincts heighten and tell us something doesn't feel just right.
Moving stress can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Sometimes, a little stress can be useful. It can help motivate you into action, however, too much stress can be overwhelming and have a negative effect on your health. Common signs of too much stress may include:
Interrupted or difficulty getting to sleep
Inability to relax or unwind
Mood swings, prone to becoming upset or irritable
Difficulty in focusing and paying attention
Increased or decreased appetite
Follow along with me as I provide useful guidelines, tips, checklists, and timelines, to help you achieve a more organized and efficient move with as LESS stress as possible.
Plan Your Move
To make sure you stay on track and organized during your move it is necessary to make a plan. We all know it is easier to remember what you need to do if you sit down and make a list. Also, that gives you the opportunity to check off to-do items as you go, which is always satisfying. When you've got kids and pets to consider, there are a lot of things to remember. A list will help you organize your thoughts, and it should be made months in advance of your move.
Think about what needs to be done in your current home, and purchases that will need to be made for your new home, and don't forget to set a moving budget.
Declutter Your Home
The longer you've been in one home, the more you have accumulated. Whether you're upsizing or downsizing, the fact remains that when you move you don't need to take it all with you. And let us not forget, the cost of moving can also add up pretty quickly too. So by lightening the load you can save yourself financially.
Clutter can also negatively impact your mental health, causing anxiety and stress. Decluttering your home before moving can create a more peaceful and calm environment. It can also be a chance to let go of any emotional baggage associated with certain items in your home. It can be cathartic to let go of things that no longer serve a purpose in your life and create space for new opportunities.
Here are a few quick tips on decluttering your home:
Start with one room or one category at a time.
Pack any items that you won't need in the next 3-6 months.
Have a list of donation resources so you know where you can take items.
Questions to ask yourself when decluttering:
Will I use this item?
Do I love this item?
How many of these items do I need?
Have I used this in the last 6-12 months?
Will this item serve a purpose in my new space?
Are there new services or amenities that can replace this item?
Checklist and Time Lines
The most effective way to make the moving process more manageable and less stressful is to prepare as much as possible in advance (the advance part can’t be emphasized enough). As I mentioned above, there’s a lot to keep track of during a move. You’ve got to pack, schedule, clean, and coordinate a lot of logistics especially when there are children involved.
To help you stay on task and lessen the anxiety you might have, I created the below tips and timeline for moving.
Moving With Kids
Moving can be a stressful situation for a child. They are leaving behind friends, teachers, and the familiar comforts that they are used to. Moving does not inevitably have to be a negative experience. By keeping lines of communication open, and maintaining a positive attitude, parents can help their kids cope with the challenges of relocating to their new home.
Below are some tips to ensure a smoother transition for your family when moving with kids:
Talk to your kids about the move. Prepare your children early by sharing plenty of details about the upcoming move, including where and when you're moving. Be sure to mention things that will stay the same, the toys you will be taking, and let them know some of the exciting changes coming up, such as a bigger yard, or let them know about the ice cream shop that you can walk to.
Involve your kids in the move. You can have your child pick their room out in the new house along with having them pack up their favorite toys and books. Get them involved in decorating their space. Make sure to bring your children along with you when you are making visits to the new home to get them familiar with their new surroundings.
Be consistent with routines. Although staying within your routine while moving can be challenging, it’s best to try to keep things as similar as possible. For instance, whether it’s dinner time, bath time, or bedtime, it’s best to stick to your daily routine to ensure your child feels more comfortable wherever they are. Here is a pro tip...try to unpack your child’s room immediately, giving them a safe haven and stability.
Give your child time to adjust. Even if you stick with your normal routine, it can still take some time for your child to adjust to a new environment. That said, staying patient with your kids and allowing them some extra time to adjust to the new home, neighborhood, and school system is essential.
Say goodbye to your old home. If you’re able, take a moment to say goodbye with your children to your empty house. Take a moment to thank the home for all the good memories. By taking this step, you’ll give your kids a sense of closure.
Moving is a stressful event whether you’re moving a short distance or relocating thousands of miles away. Making a plan, staying organized, practicing self-care, focusing on positives, and nourishing relationships old and new can help ignite excitement and keep you feeling mentally and physically healthy.
If were lucky enough to have already received my Moving Guide...Congratulations! If would like my FREE Moving Guide that is filled with all the information you need for your move, make sure you click the download button to receive your FREE download! This guide will provide you with moving checklists, packing and staging tips, must-have moving supplies to have on hand, and referrals for home services.
Want more tips on home organizing?
You can follow A Meaningful Space on Instagram and Facebook for more photos and ideas for home organizing tips, before and afters, and other organizing fun. If you are struggling with routines, time management, or clutter in your home, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how I can help you!