Moving house is stressful. There’s absolutely no avoiding that. There’s a lot to think about and do, it’s mentally and physically exhausting, and it’s never just one day. The stress starts as soon as you decide that you want to move. You’ve got to decide whether to buy or rent and you might have to sell your old house. Some of us have to think about school and changing jobs, but even without this, you’ll want to know that your new home is in a nice area with all of the amenities that you need. Then there’s letting everyone know about your change of address, setting up new contacts, packing and the move itself. Once that’s out of the way you need to unpack and start thinking about any DIY that you need to tackle. Moving house is a long process. It’s physically and mentally draining, and it’s something that few of us look forward to.
But, it should also be exciting. Moving to a new house is like the start of a new chapter in your life. It’s a fresh start, a time of significant change and the chance to create the home that you’ve always dreamed of. A little stress is normal, but you shouldn’t let it ruin the excitement of starting your new chapter. Despite the stress, you should be able to enjoy the process and take pleasure in making plans for the future. Let’s take a look at some of the ways to minimise and cope with the stress of a move.
Don’t Let it Take Over Your Life
The problem with moving house is that it’s never one day. If you are buying a new home, it can take months from viewing the house, through finding a mortgage and solicitor, surveys and conveyancing and waiting for a chain to clear to moving into your home. You might find that you are waiting for a moving in day for months and that there are many hiccups along the way. Then, you can quite suddenly get the go ahead and find yourself with days to move.
During the waiting, your move can take over your every thought. Every day can be dominated by packing, planning, and preparing, while always knowing that there is only so much that you can do before you get the keys to your new home. This can lead to growing stress levels and feelings of helplessness.
Even if your move runs smoothly and there’s not much waiting, you shouldn’t let it take over. Let yourself have entire days away from moving stuff. Go out with your friends and family and don’t even think about your move. Have evenings off, where you do something relaxing without worrying.
Take Some Time Off Work
Even the idea of moving everything in one day can make you feel stressed out and tired. So, don’t do it. While completion dates and the sale of your old home might mean that the actual move itself has to be done in one day, you certainly don’t have to pack, unpack and organise everything on that same day.
If you’ve got some advanced warning of your moving in date, book a few days or even a week off work so that you can pack and unpack in your own time.
Let Your Standards Slide
Most of us have got quite high standards when it comes to our houses. We like them to be clean, tidy and well presented. We want to feel as though we are always ready to welcome guests. You might have weekly chores routine, and you might spend time cooking nutritious meals.
Trying to do all of this on top of a move can just increase the pressure and stress. So, don’t. Let your standards slide. Have sandwiches and take outs for dinner, let the kids have more screen time and don’t worry if things get a little untidy.
Make Some Plans and Get Creative
The stress of a house move can quite quickly bring doubts to your mind. You’ll start to question your decision. You might ask yourself if you can really afford this move, if it’s what you really want, or if it’s the right choice for the rest of your family.
Having to wait for a long time between seeing the house and moving in doesn’t help either. You might have only viewed it once for a few minutes, and you might not see it again until the day that you collect the keys. You could easily forget what it looks like or the finer details, giving your doubts room to grow.
When this happens, try to forget all of the stress. Avoid all of your packing and to-do lists and instead, get creative. Look at any pictures that you’ve got of the house, and look at floor plans online. Draw out plans for your rooms and create templates of furniture. Move things around and see how it fits. Start looking at furniture and decor online, or start some home decor Pinterest boards. Create mood boards, look at colours that you like. Think about how your home will look once all of the hard work is over (even if realistically you know that it might take some time to decorate) and let yourself get carried away with excitement.
Prepare the Kids
If you’ve got kids, they’re never going to make a house move easier. Everything that you pack, they’ll unpack. They’ll decide that they desperately need that toy they haven’t touched for years as soon as it’s sealed in a box, and they’ll generally get in your way.
But, remember that it’s hard for them too. The idea of moving house can be scary for a little person. They might be scared of getting left behind, or feel as though their whole life is changing. It’s common for a previously dry child to start bedwetting around a house move, and great eaters and sleepers can suddenly become fussy. Your stress rubs off on them, which in turn makes your life harder and more stressful.
So, take your time to prepare them. Take them to see the house, even if you can’t take them inside. Visit local parks and playgrounds. Find the local library and any other attractions, and show them how close they will be to their old friends and family. If you are moving a little further away, show them how they can still talk to other family members online and try to make the move exciting to reduce their fears.
Don’t Try to Do it All Alone
You don’t have to tackle moving alone. Get friends and family to help you pack, clean and decorate your new home. Ask someone to look after the kids or pets while you move. Hire cheap interstate movers to take all of the hard work out of moving day, and generally accept help when it’s offered.
Lists are your friend. Break them down into separate lists, so that it doesn’t look overwhelming, but make sure you write everything down so that nothing gets overlooked. Then, keep checking back on how much you’ve ticked off for a morale boost.
Don’t Expect Perfection
Things will go wrong. Expecting perfection will only lead to disappointment and further stress. Relax, if something goes wrong, deal with it, and don’t put extra pressure on yourself.
While it’s probably fair to say that you’ll never find moving house enjoyable, you should gain enjoyment from certain aspects of it. With the right planning, you should be able to get excited about your new home and making plans for the future, without the stress of the move itself taking over entirely.