Moving to a new home is a common life event for many. In fact, using 2011-2013 U.S. Census data, it was found Americans moved an average of 11.3 times over their lifetime. People move for a variety of reasons. Whatever the reason, moving homes can be one of the most stressful life events for many. For some, moving stress is ranked up there with the strain of divorces or the death of a loved one.
Moving Stress, Like Other Types, Can Take a Toll on Your Mental and Physical Well Being.
Generally, stress can lead to increased depression and anxiety. It also manifests itself through physical ailments including high blood pressure, heartburn, headaches, and stomachaches. Over the long run, stress can weaken your immune system. This ultimately leads to illnesses as your body is unable to aggressively fight off infections.
Here Are Some of The Common Sources of Moving Stress and How You Can Relieve the Negative Impact of Each.
1. Moving Stressor: Your To-Do List is Getting Longer, But Your Available Time Is Not Increasing.
Moving can be stressful because it is time-consuming. More often than not, the rest of your world does not stop when you begin your move preparations. You are likely dealing with work and family responsibilities while gathering quotes, packing, and decluttering.
In addition, many dig themselves further into a time crunch by putting off packing until the last minute. A study revealed that 45% of people are guilty of this, adding an even higher level of stress to the process.
How to Relieve It: Plan Ahead and Manage Your Time.
Begin devising a plan as soon as you know you will be moving. Do not wait until you have moving services booked or a date on the calendar to devise your moving strategy. If you have an estimated moving day, you are ready to start planning and preparing for your move.
Set daily or weekly goals to make sure you are staying on schedule and will be ready when moving day comes around. Examples of goals could include collecting or purchasing moving boxes, requesting moving quotes, and decluttering a specific room in your house.
2. Moving Stressor: Packing, Decluttering, and Cleaning Are Just a Few of the Moving Tasks that Can Be Physically Draining.
There are many physically demanding tasks that need to be executed to ensure a successful move. After a long day of winding through your daily routines, there’s minimal energy left for additional projects.
Are you planning on packing and cleaning for hours on several consecutive days? This might not be an optimal plan. You will begin to feel the physical toll it takes on your body. Subsequently, you may find it negatively affecting other areas of your life.
How to Relieve It: When Creating Your Moving Plan, Balance Your Most Strenuous Tasks With Those That Are Less Physically Demanding.
Avoid planning your most laborious tasks in clusters. For example, if you have a few hours of time available on a given day, don’t spend the entire time packing all the heavy books on your bookshelves.
Instead, spend some of the time accomplishing less strenuous items on your to-do list. This may include constructing boxes for your next packing session, updating your to-do list for the days ahead, or tasks such as forwarding mail and setting up utilities at your new home.
If your budget allows for it, consider hiring a professional moving company that also offers packing services. Some offer package deals that include cleaning as well. Depending on the size of your moving budget, look to hire others to help out with some of your moving tasks.
Ultimately, some level of physical stress can’t be avoided during the moving process. However, another great way to manage this type of moving stress is to make time for yourself. Whatever it is you enjoy doing to decompress, don’t stop doing it. In fact, include it on your to-do list. You may have less time to spend doing it, but don’t stop doing it altogether.
Mindfulness activities are found to be a great way to relieve stress and physical tension. These types of activities include yoga, deep breathing, and meditation.
If mindfulness activities aren’t your “cup of tea”, there are other ways to relieve the physical moving stress you are experiencing. Other types of exercise and social interaction can also be great stress relievers. Entertainment such as music and a comedy movie can also provide stress relief.
The idea is to reduce the cortisol levels in your body. Cortisol is the stress hormone your body produces. While reducing cortisol, strive to increase your body’s production of endorphins. Naturally produced by your nervous system, endorphins act like pain-relievers and elevate your happiness. Although it’s often associated with exercise, there are other natural ways to release endorphins.
Of course, taking a warm bath and receiving a relaxing massage are effective methods for relieving physical stress or tension.
3. Moving Stressor: Unexpected Events During the Moving Process Can Turn Your Plans Upside Down.
There’s no question a well-detailed plan can go a long way in relieving your moving stress. However, it’s difficult to plan for unexpected things that will come up as you prepare for and execute your move.
As they say, “Expect the unexpected.”
How to Relieve It: The Best Way to Prepare for the Unexpected is to Remain as Flexible as Possible and Have a Back-Up Plan.
If you decide to use professional moving services, inquire how they handle unexpected scenarios. Unforeseen events may include things such as inclement weather, delayed availability of your new home, and family emergencies.
Another way to prepare for the unexpected is to rally back-up support from family and friends. In the event you suddenly find yourself behind schedule or in a bind during the moving process, it’s comforting to have a support system in place. This would be a network of people who would be willing to help you in a last-minute bind.
4. Moving Stressor: The Move Process Can Be Emotionally Draining for Many.
Moving to a new home can be the start of an exciting new life chapter for some. For others, it can be an emotionally somber end to an otherwise happy journey. Yet for others, it can be a messy mix of both.
On top of feeling physically and mentally worn out, you end up dealing with a host of emotions. Sadness about leaving parts of a beloved life behind, excitement about the potential of the future, and uncertainty of how well you will adjust in your new environment. This is on top of addressing all the emotions your family may be experiencing.
How to Relieve It: The Best Way to Deal With Your Emotional Stress is to Acknowledge It.
When dealing with the emotional side of moving stress, don’t try to stifle what you are feeling. It is okay and normal to feel any and all of the emotions the moving process brings about.
Some suggest having a final gathering of friends and family helps give you a sense of closure before you move. Nothing compares to the feeling of those closest to you wishing you well on the next chapter of your life.
Also, make a concerted effort to stay in touch with friends and family you are leaving. Doing so can help you adjust to your new home. Although you should work towards creating a network of friends in your new location, it can be therapeutic to maintain relationships with those who know you best.
Some have very strong emotional attachments to their homes. Whether it’s because it was your first home or where your children were born and raised, homes can hold many strong, warm memories. Allow yourself to grieve over your loss of what you have known as “home”. Decorate your new home with small reminders of all the memories you created in your previous home. Most importantly, remind yourself that you are leaving a structure behind, but not the memories you’ve made.
5. Moving Stressor: Moving Expenses Can Add Up Quickly And Cause a Strain on Your Finances.
Total moving costs depend on a number of factors. The American Moving and Storage Association reports a general average of $2.3K for a local move and $4.3K for a long-distance move executed by professional movers.
Of course, there are several factors that could result in the cost of your move being more or less expensive than these averages. Factors could include the size of your home (which correlates with the number of items you are moving), the distance you are traveling, and any optional services you request of your movers.
If you plan on moving without the aid of professional movers, then your cost will likely be substantially lower. It may only include packing supplies and fees for rental trucks and/or equipment. If you are considering going this route, be sure you weigh the pros and cons. What you save in money may be replaced with added moving stress.
How to Relieve It: Realistic Planning is Essential to Minimizing Cost-Related Moving Stress.
At the risk of sounding redundant, timely research and planning are key to reducing money-related stress as well. Early on, begin researching the estimated costs of various moving services, supplies, and/or rental equipment including trucks. This will help you have realistic cost expectations as you finalize your moving plans.
As you get a sense of the costs associated with your move, start saving funds as soon as possible. The sooner you begin, the less impact it will have on your day-to-day living expenses. In addition, temporarily cut costs where you can to cover moving expenses, including eating out less often and reducing your entertainment budget.
If necessary, take out a small personal bank loan to cover costs. Although it isn’t advisable to take on debt, the interest loan on a personal bank loan will likely be far less than the interest on an outstanding balance on your credit card.
In addition, prepare yourself for unexpected costs. Mentally and financially preparing for those will help alleviate the stress you may gain from the shock of an unexpected additional strain on your wallet.
At Reynolds Transfer & Moving, we can empathize with those facing home moving stress. Our experienced moving advisors are well equipped to help you through the process and minimize the moving stress you encounter.
As you begin the planning process, please contact us. We would be happy to give you a quote and answer any questions you may have.