How to Make Moving Less Stressful

Jon Fesmire |

When it comes time to move, stress levels spike. Between all the packing, the expenses and  simply not knowing what life will be like in your new home, you’re going to feel extra pressure.

Don’t worry, though. We know you can handle it, and we’ve come up with some helpful tips to lower your stress and make the move easier.

Check Your Perspective

When stressed or worried, it’s easy to get down on yourself and to try to will the stress away. Instead, simply acknowledge that it’s normal in any life-changing situation like moving. Accept the stress as a normal part of the process. Doing so can actually give you a sense of relief.

Prepare Early

It can take two or three days full days to pack up a one bedroom home, and a week or more to pack a three to five bedroom home. That’s exhausting work. You can make it easier, and bring down your stress, by doing a little every day, as soon as you know you need to move.

Here’s a framework we like. Rent a self storage unit to use as a staging area, and make sure it’s big enough to keep most of your belongings in. Then, pack a few boxes per day, and every few days, put what you’ve packed in storage. This way you’ll make progress toward your move and keep your place from looking cluttered. Obviously, keep the things you absolutely need at home. When you’re within a week of moving, you’ll find you have a lot less packing to do.

Create a To Do List

To lessen stress, write down a to do list. Get moving-related tasks out of your head and on paper, or in a computer file, where you can look them up. As you get them done, check them off.

Use Same-Size Boxes

For moving or storage, same-size boxes are great, mostly because they stack so well. Document boxes, which you can get at home improvement and other stores, are strong, cheap, have handles, and are just the right size for things like books, clothes, dishes, and yes, documents. These boxes are typically 15’x12’x10’. Even if you don’t use document boxes, we recommend boxes that size or slightly larger. How does this help with stress? When you’re able to stack your boxes easily at home, in storage, in your car, or in the moving truck, you’re less likely to worry about the stacks falling over. Also, a sense of order helps alleviate stress.

Label Your Boxes

It’s important to label each box before you pack it. Fortunately, this is easy. It will help reduce stress when you bring the boxes to your new home, as you’ll be able to bring them directly to the room where they belong and won’t have to open each box to discover what’s inside beforehand.

Do These Things Ahead of Time

To move your large items, like your beds, dressers, desks, refrigerator, and so on, you will need to rent a moving truck, so reserve one at least a week in advance of the move. This way, you can be sure to get just the size you need, and you’ll be able to compare prices.

You will also need helpers, so two weeks to a month before your move, let your friends know that you could use their help, and when you’re moving. Ideally, you’ll end up with a few strong friends willing and ready to help. Knowing these steps are taken care of will allow you to not worry about them later.

Get Enough Sleep

Preparing to move, even when you space out the work, is still going to add tasks to your day, and will tire you out. Remember to get a good night’s sleep every night. This alone will help you tackle everything in your life, your move included.

A Note on Self Storage

In addition to making it easy to space out your packing and still keep your home free of clutter, self storage can allow you to move into your new place a bit at a time.

On moving day, you and your helpers can put your big and necessary items into the truck, then into your new home. Over the next week or month, you can head over to your self storage unit, retrieve boxes, and bring them home in your car. Then, when you have everything, you can thank the storage facility workers and close your contract.

If you’re moving a long distance, of course, the self storage method may not work for you, but the other tips will still help. Create your to do list, pack mostly in same-size boxes, reserve your truck and recruit your helpers, and pack over the course of a month or so, rather than over a few days.

Best of luck on your move!