Moving to a new house is one of life’s biggest stressors, that usually comes with an array of all sorts of emotions.
Excitement comes from the thought of starting a new life and meeting new people whereas the upheaval of moving to a new location and transporting a whole house load of goods with you, can trigger off emotions such as anxiety and stress.
In order to get over the process you need to fully understand what actually triggers the stress of moving in the first place, this way you can understand ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’ to enable a straightforward, less stressful time in your life, and hopefully move and settle in as soon as possible.
Why is moving so stressful?
It’s usually a whole host of smaller things that make moving stressful. Some of those are as follows:
No one likes change – It’s true that the thought of change often leaves many people feeling anxious, and more often than not, the change turns out to be not so bad after all, but we still get worked up about it anyway.
Changing location, jobs, circle of friends, the kid’s schools, etc., can all be scary, but what most people fear, and hate is changing their daily routine. Try not to dwell too much on the change itself, as it’s unavoidable first and foremost, and things tend to settle shortly afterwards, in fact, the change may turn out to be for the better.
Financial stresses – Money tends to be a contributing factor for many when it comes to moving, and the truth is money is needed to make the move happen, it could include removals costs, agency fees, solicitor fees, DIY and renovations etc. Try not to do it all at once, budget and spend where it’s most important, and the rest can wait until you have more financial stability.
The time involved – Moving is never a quick thing, it will take some considerable amount of time to get from A to B and everything in between. Try to go with the flow and allow yourself time to settle in slowly rather than rush it quickly and create more stress on your shoulders. If possible, try to arrange the move during yours or perhaps your kids’ school holidays, where there are fewer things to do;, this way the move can happen without you having to worry about other things in your life.
Ways to manage the stress
Stress isn’t good for anyone, when it takes its toll, it can affect people in many ways, including your mental and physical health. But there are a couple of things you can do to help you manage the stress associated with moving, so that you can move quickly whilst staying focussed and in control.
- Positive attitude – Allowing stress to get the better of us will have dire effects, it will diminish focus, and a downward spiral of ‘can’t do it’ abruptly follows. This is not the right kind of attitude to have when amid a house move so try to remain positive, have faith that things will get done in a timely manner, and allow the process to go ahead smoothly without weighing yourself down. There are many positives to be had, such as meeting new people, exploring your new surroundings, finding out about local activities and things that can contribute towards your new life and also the fun of a new home, new set-up, new decor and newfound space. Keeping a positive attitude is the best way to mitigate stress. Always remember that the stress of moving is relatively short-lived and what follows could be a lifetime of settled happiness, and if you’ve done this before and got through it, what makes you think you cannot survive this turbulent time again.
- Research – Leaping into the unknown is one of the biggest causes of stress, so don’t move into your new home before you know all about your new location. If you know what you are setting yourself up for, chances are it won’t be as stressful. Take some time to do much-needed research with regards to your new area, read up all about your new location and what’s available nearby, the local shops, restaurants etc. how far to the nearest shopping centre or supermarkets, where are the pharmacies, doctors and local hospitals? Is there any park nearby and places to walk the dog or take the kids on the weekend? Make sure you research well in advance of the big move so that it won’t look so daunting when the time comes.
- Keep a checklist – It’s really important to create a checklist. Take that weight off your shoulders, out of your head and put it on paper instead, it’s surprising what a remarkable difference that makes as you cannot simply remember it all when it comes to removals and what is involved. Checklists help you to manage the stress by breaking it down into easily manageable tasks, besides there is nothing better than the satisfaction of ticking those jobs off the list once completed.
The list should be things such as:
– The process of box collecting for storage of removal items.
– Travel plans, mapping routes and any stop-off points required.
– Packing timetable, when and how?
– Storage and if applicable arranging to store items in self-storage temporarily.
- De-clutter – Make life easier by removing the clutter you’ve obtained over the years before you make the move. There is no point in taking all of your stuff with you if you no longer need any of it, so declutter now or pop it all inside a storage unit until you decide what to do with it.
- Start well in advance – Don’t leave it all to the last minute, start early and do some things now. Decluttering, researching and packing can all be done slowly in advance, helping to reduce the stress once the big day arrives.
- Accept help when offered – Don’t be stubborn into thinking that you can do all of this on your own, yes you probably can but if help is offered, take it! When people move house, they usually have family and friends offering to chip in to reduce the load. Take them up on their offers if they want to help with packing and removals, you can always repay the favour later on, or reward their hard work with some lunch and a drink in the new house.
Saying goodbye to your old house, favourite places and specially to close friends is never easy, but it’s important to address it before you go, as well as tying up any loose ends. Remember this move is about starting fresh, so it is good to spend some quality time with loved ones before you go, in case you don’t get to see them for a while.