When preparing for a move, lean on the coping mechanisms that work best for you during stress. The seemingly endless list of tasks can feel overwhelming, but try to budget a few hours in advance of your move to map out a plan and organize your time to help streamline the process.
Below is a list of tips for managing both the emotional and tangible stressors around a big move.
Create a to-do list
A common approach to alleviate stress is to claim a bit of control over your situation and get organized. Make a list of all the tasks that need to be done for a successful move. This is a starting point to wrap your mind around the full picture, out of your head, on paper.
Create a timeline
Now that you’ve got a clear list of to-dos, start mapping them on a calendar. Can you pack the kitchen and dining room on Saturday? Be realistic to avoid an overload at the end. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with the small things, like checking the drivetime between properties on your GPS, or packing up a single cabinet. Don’t procrastinate. Consider taking time off work to allow yourself the focus to pack purposefully.
If you can minimize your things as you pack, it’ll feel much lighter to unpack in your new home. Label everything you pack by room or purpose. If you hire movers, they can move your boxes to the dedicated rooms. As you pack, take photos of your assembled electronics and keep all the screws and assembly pieces for furniture and wall mounts in individual baggies.
Think about moving day; you’ll want a plate, water glass and utensils, a change of clothes, set of sheets, toothbrush, shower curtain, towel and a roll of toilet paper. Reserve a box or two with obvious labels for those immediate needs.
Create a budget
If money is one of your stressors, create a budget for the month of your move. Can you afford to eat out while your kitchen is all packed up? Do you have wiggle room for moving support? Should you host a garage sale for your give-away items?
Hire movers as soon as possible, but at least four weeks before the move during the summer months. If you’re not hiring movers, enlist the help of friends before their schedules fill up. Regardless of who is helping, reflect on your timeline to ensure you’re fully packed by the time your help arrives. It’s very stressful to actively pack while directing movers.
Research the new area
Chances are, you’re not moving too far away. In a recent survey, Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report 2020, most homebuyers were making short-distance moves, either moving to a different neighborhood within the same city (36%) or moving to a new city within the same metropolitan area. Only 14% were moving to a different state. If you’re feeling a bit scared to move, try researching your new neighborhood. Check maps or drive around the area. Pick a local grocery store you think you’ll use. Check out the transit center if you commute. If you have a dog, select a park you might take them to. Or make plans to visit a local farmers market. Try to establish some routine activities to feel calmer about the relocation.
If you’re feeling pessimistic, turn on some uplifting music to get your energy pumping and motivate you to pack. Or stream a comedian that makes you laugh. Drink a cup of coffee or tea for a little boost. Create a positive mantra to focus on and repeat instead of negative self-talk. “I’m excited for this new chapter in my life.”