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How to Manage the Stress of Moving

How to Manage the Stress of Moving

We are all familiar with the fear of missing out, an anxiety that can affect anyone. What if I told you there is a fear of moving out too? Now visualize. You are packing all your stuff and imagining yourself enjoying your new home. You feel joyful and thrilled. Then, quite unexpectedly, you start feeling anxiety creeping up. I am sure many of you can relate to this experience. After all, moving out brings a big change in your life, and there are a lot of details that you need to sort out in the process. Experiencing some anxiety along the way is normal but it can be easily overcome. Let’s discuss how.


First, you need to understand why moving can create stress for you.

It is normal to feel stressed when moving

The first step in managing stress is to understand why you feel how you feel. It can be difficult to determine the exact source. But you are not the only one who feels stressed when moving out, it happens to almost all of us. You have to plan and consider a lot when you are making a big move. This produces stress and worry for everyone making a move. Moving shakes up our world, does it not? So, of course, that induces stress.


Moving often entails other big changes

Moving is often accompanied by other significant changes in your life – good or bad. Maybe you are moving out of your parents’ house to start college. Maybe you are leaving home to start a career. Maybe you are moving in with a new partner. Maybe you are moving out following a breakup. There could be numerous big reasons. The thing is that big transitions like these involve a leap into the unknown and bring their own stress. It is normal to feel uncomfortable when so many things associated with the change are outside of your control.

Moving threatens to disrupt your long-set habits

As humans, we are creatures of habit. Moving means that we will need to change some of our old habits that we are used to. Especially if you are moving to a different city, you may have to give up a few things that you regularly do and enjoy, like playing a sport with your friends, going to a club you enjoy, or relishing a few drinks with your neighbors.  

Getting settled in a new home is a big ask

Sometimes the stress begins building up from the moment you start the search for your new abode. Finding a new place can be complicated and may entail some difficult decision making. Plus, this can be a cumbersome process that requires searching and evaluating different neighborhoods while keeping an eye on your budget.


There is no ideal place waiting for you, you have to make some compromises, well mostly if not always. Once you settle on a place, negotiations can be tortuous. Then there is paperwork for ownership, renting, or financing. At the same time, your mind is trying to figure out which of your belongings you will take with you, which you will get rid of, and what new items you need to buy.  

Financial aspects of moving

Moving can be expensive and thus stressful. Not only does it cost money but there also are a number of financial decisions associated with moving such as choosing a moving company, finding a new home, buying new furniture, eating out, and a lot more. Budgeting for a move can be stressful. 

Packing and moving can be strenuous


The mere physical act of getting all the required packing supplies and then packing, sorting, cleaning, hauling, lifting, moving, and setting up can be exhausting. Trying to decide what comes with you and what you leave behind is also stressful, especially if you have never done it before. Then you have to make sure that your valuables are packed carefully and are transported in a safe manner. This is serious work and physical strain on your body also triggers stress within it.


Now that we have discussed some of the reasons why moving can be stressful for you, let’s talk about how you can address those causes of stress. Here are some simple tips about how you can better manage the stress of moving out.

Focus on the positive changes this move means for you

Staying positive reduces stress. When you focus on the positive changes this will bring you -a bigger home, a better job, a nicer neighborhood, a beloved partner etc.- it helps you stay cheerful and upbeat through the arduous physical and mental asks of the moving process. Focus on how your life will turn for better as a result of this move whether that is your chance for new experiences, the opportunity to go to college, opening to enhance your career, or anything else positive and exciting. Shift your attention to the positive facets of the move you are making.


Talk to someone who has moving experience

It can be a friend or someone else who has previous moving experience. Someone who has moved recently or to similar areas that you are envisaging can give you useful advice and can assure you that your stress is normal, but it will dissipate once you get settled in.

Turn packing into a fun activity

Try and make your packing time fun, while still being diligent and careful. Put on some music you love, be cheerful, sing along, or dance around. Putting things into boxes does not have to be a dreary task. In order to make packing a fun activity, you will have to give yourself enough time to do it. Start early and set a number of boxes to pack per day so that you do not get overwhelmed.  


Use this as an opportunity to declutter

This will divide your attention to multitasking and will also enable you to accomplish something you might have wanted to do for a long time – getting rid of things you do not need. You will have less to pack and unpack, and you will feel good about being able to do something to lighten up your life. 

declutter - MPR Movers

Moving offers you a fabulous opportunity to dig deep into your closets and belongings and find things you have not used, or not even seen, in years. People who have already espoused a minimalist lifestyle find it liberating to get rid of unused items. For others it may take some acclimatization to throwing away things. See our blog on how to declutter.   

Be well organized

Staying organized is the best way to avoid stress, and it typically means planning your move in advance and well. This begins with making a list of all the tasks that need to be done leading up to, during, and after the move. Oftentimes overestimating the time it will take to get something done is not such a bad idea. It is always nice to end up having some extra time on your hand. Meanwhile staying ahead of schedule keeps stress from building up.   

So, stay organized through the process. Giving yourself enough time prevents the pressure of time from building up. Making lists and schedules keeps your head uncluttered. Knowing that you have sorted out everything lessens your packing burden. Figuring out what exactly you need makes unpacking on the other end of your move less cumbersome. Labelling your boxes and packing guides you in what order to unpack. 

Take breaks

Even though you may be tempted to just power through the whole process, this can induce mistakes that will later create further stress. Allowing yourself time for occasional breaks will keep you focused and on schedule without burning out. Being well organized also means that you will have to take sufficient breaks to recharge yourself. But even if you do not have a lot of time to work with, you still need to allow yourself some breaks. Take time to drink water and to eat, remember to breathe well, sit down and relax from time to time, and laugh. Find ways to refresh yourself and then get back at it. 

Get help

If you are doing a lot of stuff yourself, then seriously consider asking for help. There is nothing wrong with requesting friends, family, coworkers, or neighbors for help with packing, minding your kids, disassembling furniture, and hauling large items. Who knows, you may be able to return the favor one day.

Take pictures or make videos

Do not overburden your mind. Moving means that there are a lot of items you will be disassembling or breaking down into parts in order to be able to transport them safely to your new destination. Taking pictures or making videos of these items provides you with a visual reference for putting them back together. This may save you a lot of stress and quite a bit of time.  

Focus on what you can control

The best way to keep stress out of your life is to not let what you cannot control interfere with what you can control. Moving is no exception. There are some things you cannot control; for example, elevator breaking down, movers showing up late, or an item getting damaged. Accept the things you cannot control and focus instead on what you can control like changing your address wherever needed, calling up utility companies, and sticking to your plan.  

Hire a professional

Long-distance-moving - MPR Movers

Initially, you are tempted to save money as it seems so easy to get a few friends, buy some packing materials, and hire a truck to do it on your own. However, sometimes it makes sense to hire professional movers. Certain buildings will only allow moving companies to move residents in and out to prevent damage to corridors and elevators. Some buildings also need the movers to present certificates of insurance covering any damage during moving. Whether you engage a professional mover to handle the entire process from start to finish or only a part of it, farming out a part of the exercise can be a useful way to get some of the burden off your shoulders. Please feel free to contact MPR Movers to see how we can alleviate the process for you. 


Now that the process of moving –packing, truck rental, loading, unpacking, settling in, etc.- is behind you, apart from being physically demanding, the act of displacing yourself from one place and planting yourself somewhere else may also have been emotionally taxing. Let’s discuss how you can shed all the stress you have been carrying and unwind after your move. Here are some tips that may help you do so: 


Physical exercise is a great way to reduce stress. While you may feel exhausted and drained, participating in regular exercise can be just the thing to help you regain your energy and focus. Get yourself to engage in a physical exercise you enjoy.   


One of the challenges of moving is leaving behind your friends, relatives, and social network. Hence you set about finding new opportunities to socialize and connect. As you start socializing you will find it easier to get back to a routine and stress will ebb away. Some of the ways you can begin to socialize are:

💠 Throw a housewarming party

💠 Join a social network – like a club, class, or another group

💠 Start connecting with your neighbors

💠 Invite your coworkers to join you for a drink 

Listen to Music

If you have time on hand, listen to some music that you find uplifting or music that soothes your nerves.


Get in the open air

Regardless of the weather, spending time outside allays stress. You do not need to do something physically strenuous, the mere act of being outside can improve your mood. Connect with nature, head out to a nearby forest or natural park. If you cannot get far, just sit in your backyard, inhale fresh air, look at the plants, and relax.   

Do some gardening

If your new abode has a garden, even a small one, start tending to it. Gardening is not only a highly productive hobby but is also known to defuse stress. The sense of satisfaction that you will derive from planting, watching your gardens grow, and making your new home more beautiful will be a bonus.

DIY activities

Pick some DIY projects in your new home. This will help you reduce the stress and will also get some work done. Choose something that you will enjoy and is within your skill level such as painting a door or a wall, assembling furniture, building a bookshelf.

Give yourself a treat

Pamper yourself like you would indulge a loved one in your position. Go to a spa, buy yourself a meal in a great restaurant, get a massage, or do whatever gives you pleasure.  And yes, do not feel compelled to do everything alone. Take a look at some of the moving services offered by MPR Movers. We are there to help you with your move to the extent and in the manner that suits you best.

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