Moving can be an exhilarating moment in your life. It can also be one of the most stressful. Although there’s something exciting about new places, new people, and new opportunities, most people aren’t overjoyed when moving day begins to creep closer.
It’s not just the dread of figuring out the logistics of moving everything you own, but the anticipation and anxiety that accompanies any new change you experience. Add on the physical strain of having to pack and unpack all of your belongings and you’re ripe to have a mental health breakdown.
Like with anything different, it’s going to take some time to adjust and have your new home actually feel like home. That being said, there are steps you can take to make this adjustment go more smoothly and help you destress before, during, and after your move. Here’s how.
Before Your Move
You can save yourself a lot of heartache by addressing some things before you start your move. One of the best things you can do is give yourself as much time as possible to prepare. This isn’t always possible, but if you’re in a position where you can give yourself a few months to get everything planned and settled, then do so.
Having three months to get ready is a lot less stressful than having a couple weeks to get the same amount of work done. Make a schedule of what you’ll do each day and week as well. Even if you have plenty of time to get everything done, that time won’t be very productive if you don’t have a list of some sort to organize the tasks you need to do.
One of the first things on your list should be to declutter your home. It’s a pain enough as it is packing the things you actually want to take with you. Packing items you know you won’t ever use again, on the other hand, is a whole other level of frustration. So do yourself a favor and do a little bit of spring cleaning before you even touch a box.
Don’t forget to care for your own needs either while preparing for your move. It can be hard to find time for yourself when you have a million and one things to do. However, moving an entire house will be much harder if you don’t give yourself enough sleep or you eat convenient but unhealthy meals. Taking a break every now and then may seem counterproductive, but a refreshed and revitalized you will get much more work done then a tired and sluggish you.
During Your Move
When moving day finally arrives, you’re definitely going to need some help in the stress relieving department. In fact, you’re just going to need help in general. Moving an entire household is way too big of a job for just a few people to handle alone, so don’t be afraid to ask friends and family if they can lend you a hand.
You’ll appreciate the assistance as well as the time you’ll spend with them if you’re moving far away. If you don’t have anyone close by who can help, check if your neighbors or coworkers could lend a hand. Craigslist is also a good resource to utilize when you’re in need of helpers. See if these people can stay behind too and help you move and assemble some of your bigger belongings.
Even hiring a moving company is worth the cost to not deal with any of the headaches yourself. Just make sure to do some research on the company first to make sure it’s not a scam. Be prepared as well for things to not go according to plan. You never know who’s going to cancel or get sick at the last minute.
Big moves are complicated, messy operations, so even if you didn’t schedule for any hiccups, they’re going to happen anyways, with or without your approval. That’s why it’s important to keep in the back of your mind some alternative options in case things do go awry. By having some sort of back-up plan, you’ll feel less stressed whether or not something does happen.
After Your Move
When you’re done moving, that means the chaos is over, right? Unfortunately, the answer is no. It’s just like packing everything in the beginning, but in reverse. Although the stress of whether or not everything made it over in one piece has subsided, you are once again in a house full of boxes.
It helps to make an unpacking schedule so you don’t become overwhelmed by the shear mass of work you’ll have to do. By tackling boxes in a strategized way, you’ll finish getting moved in without getting burnt out. Be prepared for a feeling of disconnect between yourself and your new place as well.
Depending on whether your reasons for moving were more positive or negative, you’re going to feel some emotions that need to be expressed. If you need to yell or even cry, then do it. Keeping your feelings all bottled up will wreak havoc on your mental health. Don’t hesitate to let your friends and family in the loop either.
You may experience relocation depression, so having a support system you can rely on will be essential. The sooner you address your thoughts and emotions surrounding your move, the sooner you’ll adjust to your new house. Still, it’s going to take time before you can start calling it “home sweet home.”
After all, a home is more than just a building. The people and memories that are shared within the walls play the biggest role in that. So get to know your new neighbors and town a little more by doing research about where everything is and how you can get involved.
Moving to somewhere new can be an incredible adventure and an incredible pain in the neck all at once. It makes anyone consider embracing the minimalist lifestyle and leave everything you own behind just so you don’t have to pack it all up.
However, this option isn’t feasible for most of us, so we have to deal with the stress that accompanies every move. Or do we? By following some stress relieving steps before, during, and after your move, you can arrive to your destination with your belongings and mental health safe and intact.