5 Ways to Eliminate Stress When Moving

A woman, stressed out, surrounded by boxes

 Peter Dressel/Getty Images

Moving is difficult—not just because your to-do list is long and endless, but also because it's a huge change. Moving to a new home is both physically and emotionally draining. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In other words, take steps to tackle the biggest stressors long before you change your address.

Get Organized

This sounds like common sense, but when it comes to moving, most people run out of time for proper planning and organization. After all, moving is like managing a huge project—on top of all that you do on a regular basis. With that in mind, the more organized you are, the more likely that your move will go smooth. And a smooth move is a happy move, and a happy move means that everyone around you will be happy, too. Use this task and schedule guide to plan your move.

Start Early

If possible, try to plan your move weeks—or even months—in advance. At least three months is preferred, as it will give you lots of time to figure out any issues, hire a moving company, and to start gathering packing supplies.

A move can also be made, with little stress, in eight weeks. Any less, however, and you'll find yourself more anxious. If you're making a last-minute move—a month or less—is possible, but make sure you have time off from work and your regular everyday duties to finish all your moving tasks before the movers arrive.

Think Through 'What If' Scenarios

Try to think about all the things that could go wrong, and then do some creative problem-solving. For instance, what happens if the movers that you've booked don't show up? Do you have a backup mover in place? What if the truck you rented isn't in the lot when you go to pick it up? Things may go wrong—and, frequently, they will—but to avoid the stress make sure you keep a list of back-up movers, other rental agencies, friends you can call if you need more help, or a list of professionals you can hire—anything that will provide you with options and peace of mind.

Take A Time-Out

With so much to do, the last thing you're thinking of doing is to take a much-needed time-out—but this is exactly why you should catch a breath and do something fun and relaxing. Even just a half hour here and there will go a long way toward ensuring you don't feel overwhelmed. In between all the sorting and packing, put your feet up, read a book, go out for lunch with a friend, have a relaxing dinner or even a quiet cup of coffee—anything that will give you a chance to have a moment or two of downtime. 

Enjoy the Moment

It may not seem possible, but try to think of your move as an opportunity for change. Whether that change is coming in the form of a new town, a new job, or getting away from a bad experience, moving can be thought of as something that's bringing about a change in your life. If you can, savor this rare experience and think about all the positive things that are coming your way because you're taking a chance, you're creating a new opportunity, and you're stepping away from the familiar. If that doesn't work, try to think about it not as a long, arduous process, but rather one day that could, and probably will, change your life.