Tips on How to Move with Less Stress

“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.”  -John Ed Pearce

Moving is one of the top stressful events you can have in your life. There are an enormous amount of plotting and planning to make a move as easy as possible. Adrenaline begins to pump throughout your body the moment you decide to move to a new home. The mounds of boxes, clutter and accumulated treasures can be really overwhelming to toss or keep.

Moving can also be emotional as well. It’s easy to underestimate the level of grief, anxiety, excitement and happiness you can feel at this time. Moving can be accompanied with other life events such as getting a new job, divorce, marriage or death.  It’s stressful enough to deal with packing and planning a move. However, the stressful the new living situation can be equally as stressful as the moving preparations. Each move is like starting a new chapter of your life.  This is truly the part of any move that is minimized.

Get a Plan. One of the strategies I use is to sketch out a plan from door to door. An ideal amount of time for planning would be six to eight weeks, however that isn’t always possible. The most obvious task is finding a place to move. Write down the other important things, such as moving estimates, utility stop and start times, job school and other information. Get the basics down first then allow other details to fall into place. Let this be a working document that you refer to for further to do lists.

Sort, Toss, Pack. Once you have made a basic plan, begin packing. Compare living spaces. Will you need the same amount of furniture and personal items when you move? Do you need a storage space? This will help determine what will be packing, throwing away or donating to local charities.

To Keep or Not to Keep? This can be the most time consuming task during a move. Opening boxes and pouring through treasures can take you down memory lane. It could be really tempting and distracting to look through photos and other items close to your heart. Remind yourself that this can be a huge time sucker and return to the task at hand. The bottom line in sorting through your things to pack is:

• Do I really want it?
• Have I used it in the past 6-12 months?
• If it’s something I can’t part with, ask why it’s still in a box.

Memories and emotions attached to special things such as your baby’s blanket, shoes can be truly enjoyed when displayed in a creative way. Keep this mind for later projects and keep packing.

Take care of yourself. It’s really tempting not to take care of yourself during a move. Skipping meals, eating unhealthy foods on the run and not getting enough sleep can wear you out quickly. This is the time to ask for help. Friends are more likely to pitch in and help during the preparation stage. Keep basic healthy food on hand so you won’t be tempted to cruise through the drive-through lines. Be careful to lift things properly to avoid injuries, too.

When moving day arrives, take a big sigh of relief. Following these basic tips will help you have less stress when moving.

For over 25 years in the health care profession, Lisa Birnesser has studied stress relief techniques and have helped hundreds of people reduce stress in their lives. Lisa specializes in stress management coaching by helping people do what matters most every day.