7 Ways to Make Moving Less Stressful

Krista Diamond |

Unlike riding a bike or going to the gym, moving is one of those things that doesn’t seem to get easier with practice. No matter how many times you move—and most of us do it 11.7 times in a lifetime—it can still feel overwhelming. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, moving day (or days if you’re especially unlucky) is bound to cause stress. If you’re currently dealing with a U-Haul truck-sized ball of anxiety related to your own upcoming move, take a moment to breath, refocus and read these tips which will make the process more manageable.

Declutter First

If you’re facing a move and you’re also facing a closet that is filled with junk, stress is inevitable. Before you even think about packing, devote a day to decluttering your home so you can wrap your head around the items you actually want to take with you. Go through your house room by room and separate the things you either don’t need or don’t need right away at your new place. Donate, recycle or throw out the stuff you have no use for and rent a storage unit for the items you want to hang onto but don’t need to move immediately.

Make a List

One of the most stressful things about moving is the overwhelming feeling that comes from having so many different tasks to accomplish. Where do you start? Can you really get everything done in time? Are you forgetting something? Once the questions start, it’s easy to spiral. Wrangle your stress by turning this generalized anxiety into a concrete list. It will seem surprisingly doable.

Stock Up on Moving Supplies

If moving is a battle, then moving supplies are the artillery. Before you pack, go to a storage facility that sells moving supplies and purchase these essentials. This likely includes boxes, tape and bubble wrap, but take stock of what you’re moving in case any of your items need specialized supplies. Not sure? Ask an employee at the storage facility for advice.

Start Packing Early

We’ve all had that move. You know the one. The last-minute move where you’re scrambling around your home, shoving clothing into garbage bags and overloading cardboard boxes with plates because you don’t have enough time to organize and do it the right way. Remember that move? Remember how you promised you’d get an earlier start next time? Well, consider this next time. Start packing two weeks to a month in advance. Begin with the items you don’t need on a daily basis and slowly work towards the stuff you use regularly.

Get Help

No man is an island. Moving is easier with extra hands. You can certainly ask your friends and family to help—just be sure to thank them appropriately. You can also hire professional movers, rent a moving truck from a storage facility or utilize a portable moving container such as a POD.

Focus on One Good Thing That Will Happen When You Get There

In addition to the logistical stressors associated with moving, the experience can also be emotionally exhausting. This is especially true if you are moving to a new city where you don’t know anyone, moving out of a home that you shared with an ex-partner or leaving your college years behind. Even if you’re relocating for an opportunity you’re excited about, such as a new job, you might feel nervous. Ease stress by focusing on one good thing—no matter how small—that will happen after you move. It could be better weather, closer proximity to family, lower cost of living or perhaps something about your new home itself, such as an extra bedroom or a nice view.

Hydrate and Fuel Your Body

Feeling hangry—aka anger as a result of hunger—isn’t just a concept that Snickers came up with to sell more candy bars. During the actual move, you may feel rushed to stick to a timeline as a result of busy schedules and movers who charge by the hour. It’s easy to forget to drink water and eat food. Failing to hydrate and fuel can exacerbate stress. It can also make you cranky, light-headed and weak—three things you definitely don’t want to be while carrying boxes and driving a moving truck. Hydrate often, especially if you’re moving during the summer, and have meals and snacks. This will also give you time to relax and recharge, and think about how great your new home is going to be.