Although the idea of moving house might be very exciting, the actual process to get there is one of life’s greatest stressors. Many surveys have been conducted around the world which have shown that people list moving house as one of the most stressful things they can do in a lifetime – right up there with divorce, health problems and employment issues. But packing up and moving is a necessary means to an end, with the final result being that you are in a lovely new place to call home. So how do you get through the stress of moving and make the ordeal as smooth as possible? Here are some tips:
The more people in your household, such as children or elderly relatives who live with you, the further out you should start planning. You don’t want to leave everything until the last week or the job will become overwhelming and you may find yourself frozen in panic.
Cleaning your house out can never be done too early. Hire a skip bin and set about clearing all of the old things you don’t need. Hire a recycling skip if you have a lot of old paper or books, and you can get a combined waste bin for other items such as old broken furniture, long-forgotten items in your storage areas or even rolled up old carpets and things you’ve been meaning to get to for a long time.
Take time to research
Part of the stress of moving is the fear of the unknown; taking yourself out of your comfort zone and landing somewhere where everything is new. To alleviate some of this stress, do some research on your new area. Look into schools, local shops and cafes, find out the bin collection night and how long the walk to the train station is. Anything to make it easier to slot back into routine once you are in your new place.
Ask for help
This is one time in your life that you should not be afraid of asking for help. Organising your entire house to be moved from one place to another is overwhelming for anyone, but to have kids underfoot or a stressful job to go to makes it even harder. Ask neighbours or family if they can help mind the kids while you pack, or ask a colleague if they could head up any important meetings that fall in the same week of your move. Say yes to kind offers of people cooking you a meal or helping with your laundry. Every little bit of help will count!
If you have the money available, asking for help can also be stretched into paying for help. Hire a babysitter on moving day, hire a cleaner to sort out the new house before you move in and the old house after you move out. And best of all, hire professional movers if you can. Having someone come in and take care of all of your items will be the biggest stress relief of all. If you have the spare money, hiring removalists who also do the packing and unpacking can be a life saver.
Allow time for sadness
Whether the move is a happy, planned move or whether it is one you are doing against your wishes (like if your partner has had a work transfer), take the time to let the emotions flow. Even a happy move will have moments of sadness and melancholy as you pack your life up and farewell the place you’ve been calling home. Goodbyes are always difficult, so don’t be too hard on yourself by not acknowledging any sadness. Take the time to have a cry, and to feel down, and once you’ve done that you can give yourself a pep talk and keep going. Give yourself the space to grieve, but don’t dwell on it. If the move wasn’t your idea, try to get the anger out of your system. The sooner you accept it and get on board with it, the happier you’ll be.
Join the new neighbourhood
Nothing makes a house feel like a home faster than having friends. Look up some local events, clubs or sports teams and join any that suit your interests. Get on the P&C meetings at your children’s new school or volunteer at your new local charity. The more you throw yourself into your new community, the more you will open yourself up to new friendships. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to the new neighbours, and have people on your street over for a drink to get to know them. Have some plans with your old neighbours in the diary as well, because sometimes it’s nice to go back to your familiar scene every now and then.
Once you get past the stress of the organisation and the physical move, try to embrace your new area and your new life as much as possible. You never know, a big move might be the beginning of some fantastic new experiences.