Along with divorce and getting suddenly fired, many people feel that moving house is up there with life’s most stressful events. It’s not necessarily about the packing, the sifting through things, the saying goodbye to friends, family and loved ones, but it’s the emotional upheaval that moving causes. It represents change and uncertainty and can be triggering for underlying mental health difficulties, such as OCD and depression caused by the lack of order and familiarity. Most of us like things to be a certain way – that’s why returning to your own home after a busy day is often soothing and relieves stress. We lose this when we move home. Even if there are some great benefits to moving – perhaps you’re upsizing or moving for an exciting new opportunity work-wise – it can still cause worry. Well, below you’ll find some things you might not have considered when planning for your move, and how to manage them.
The unfamiliarity of things can be concerning, but moving also causes a ripple of change throughout your entire life. You might have to change jobs, move the kids to a new school, find a new family doctor… Add them all up, and it’s not just the load of admin that comes with a move and buying a new house whilst selling an old one, but it’s also the never-ending list of other things to research and organize. Don’t get overwhelmed though. It’s very possible and the internet has made these kind of transitions so much simpler. If you can, visit the area as much as possible before you actually move. This will give you the opportunity to get a feel for the place, maybe stop in at some local cafes or parks, and enjoy just wandering round and exploring your new stomping ground. You never know what you might discover!
The internet will also enable you to resolve multiple problems before you’ve even loaded the first van. You can research and find doctors and playgroups or schools before you go. There are usually Facebook groups for community places like this, and they will give you a good sense of what it will be like. Start in plenty of time and then you won’t be in a rush when it comes to making a final decision.
Ultimately, the best way to manage your stress and anxiety around moving is to help yourself as much as possible. You can find and use apps to manage your stress, so you’ve got a mobile means of support with you at all times. Set aside time for mindfulness and anything else that makes you feel better and gives you time away from the packing and sorting. It might feel counter-productive but, in the long run, your health comes first.
Decorate First, Move Later
If you’re planning on any extensive work or remodelling to your new home, can you find a way so that this happens before you move in? There are some fantastic ways to make your home more environmentally friendly (and therefore also cost-efficient), but some of them, like installing wall insulation, can be big jobs that are particularly disruptive. You don’t necessarily want to move from one site of upheaval to another so, if you can manage to line it up, do what you can to organize being absent if major renovations are taking place.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
It’s all too easy to try and be a superhuman at times like this. But, let’s face it, it’s stressful enough just trying to wrangle the kids out of the house in the morning, let alone managing that and the thousand and one other jobs you have to do on a daily basis as well as organizing the packing, and the paperwork and everything else that goes with moving home. Here are a few suggestions for jobs that you might want to think about offloading to the professionals, so you can get on with everything else:
– Packing: You’ll save an incredible amount of time if you hire some pro-packers. If you work round the clock, then trying to find time over the weekend to pack up an entire house isn’t realistic. Not only that, but you might find your possessions aren’t insured in transit if they haven’t been packed by a professional company. You won’t have to get all the supplies yourself, and spend time arduously wrapping up every breakable thing and assembling boxes. That would take a lot of time generally speaking, but especially if you need to be out and gone swiftly, getting some professional packers in to sort it for you will be a lifesaver.
– Book car transport and relocation; It’s something that slips many people’s minds but transporting your car from A to B, particularly if you’re going interstate, can be an expensive and time-consuming affair. You might not feel confident undertaking a huge drive yourself, which is where expert car transportation services and helpful. Not only will they bring your car to you, but it means you won’t be putting your car through the wear and tear that can occur on long journeys, particularly vital if your car was only ever designed for nipping to the grocery store and back in.
– Cleaners: If the old owners had to leave in a rush, then it might not be… as you would like to find it. Though you might never dream of leaving your house anything but sparkling clean for the new occupants, the people you are buying from might not be so considerate. Before you move all your furniture and possessions in, see if you can hire a local cleaning company to go in and get make sure it’s spotless. Before you move is ideal as, one all your furniture is in place, it will be far more difficult to reach those nooks and crannies.
Update Your Providers
This is one of those particularly annoying jobs that comes as part and parcel of moving house. When you start thinking about moving is when it’s best to start this. We aren’t just talking about your electricity and internet provider, but there might be sensitive or confidential information coming through the post for you from things you’ve signed up for as well as, equally importantly, money-off and savings vouchers that you don’t want to miss out on. As soon as you start thinking of moving, make a list of everything that comes to your current address. Even if it’s just the Anthropologie catalogue. You can shift a lot of this correspondence so it arrives via email but, if this isn’t possible or you just prefer receiving it as post, then note down what it is or just take a quick snap with your phone so you know what you need to change or update as you go.
One of the things that will make packing up significantly easier for you – whether you do it yourself or hire professional rubbish removal – is decluttering first. Not only will it make the actual packing process much easier (you’ll just have less stuff) but it will also mean unpacking when you get to your new home far more straightforward. You won’t have to sort through mounds of things that actually would have been better going off to goodwill or risk, in a fit of post-moving exhaustion, just stuffing everything into a cupboard to deal with later.
As with switching your suppliers and sorting out your post, it’s better to begin the decluttering process as soon as there’s the possibility of moving in the air. There are lots of simple ways to get started. Some of them are:
– Divide your home into sections to deal with. If you’re just left starting at a huge room, not knowing where to start, it can cause procrastination. Instead, carve up your house into manageable sections and set aside time for each one, rather than having a vague goal to just ‘declutter.’
– Get the kids involved. Sometimes, it can be handy having the kids about! Decluttering is a good practice to share with them. The idea of looking after their spaces as well as donating or recycling toys, books and clothing that are no longer right for them is a great thing for them to learn when they’re small. Also, you might just find they’ve got a natural inclination towards it and are pros at getting involved and helping you becoming more organized.
– Take pictures on your phone of sentimental items. Take your wardrobe – we all have clothes in there that have sentimental value but, being honest with ourselves, aren’t quite right for us anymore. Instead of hanging on to them, it can be just as good to take a picture of them on your phone. You’ll have the same memories looking at them, but without the space taken up.
Moving to a new place, especially far away, can be daunting. But, with some preparation, it doesn’t have to be stressful, which will give you the time to sit back and enjoy the adventure.