Moving house can be one of the most stressful experiences of your life.
Whether you are relocating to a new area or just down the road, the thought of packing up all your belongings, leaving behind the familiar surroundings of your home, and starting from scratch can feel overwhelming.
But why is moving house so stressful and how can you move house without the stress?
Here, I’ll take a look at why feelings of stress and anxiety often outweigh those of excitement when moving home, and give you some tips and tactics to employ to reduce your stress levels.
What makes moving house so stressful?
Firstly, moving house disrupts our sense of routine and familiarity – something that human beings thrive on.
When you move it can be a shock to your system, even if you’re excited about the thought of settling into your dream house.
It takes time to adjust to new surroundings, become familiar with new people, and create new routines to establish your sense of belonging and security, and for many this adjustment period can be stressful.
Time consuming and demanding
Secondly, moving home is a time-consuming and physically demanding process.
Packing and unpacking boxes, arranging for movers or trucks, cleaning the old place, and organising everything in the new house requires a lot of time and energy.
Even keeping your home clean and tidy during viewing can be an arduous task itself.
This can be especially daunting for those who work full-time, have young children, or have health issues.
Thirdly, moving house can be costly.
1. Hiring a removal company
One of the most significant expenses associated with moving house is hiring a removal company. The cost of removal companies can vary depending on the distance you’re moving and the amount of stuff you’re moving.
2. Getting a house survey
You’ll need to pay for a home survey to ensure the house you’re moving to is sound and there are no hidden problems. This can be a significant cost depending on the level of service you need.
3. Hiring a conveyancing solicitor
You’ll need to hire a qualified conveyancing solicitor to help you navigate the legal aspects of buying and selling a house. This can be expensive and stressful in itself as they often need chasing as exchange date approaches.
4. Packing supplies
Another cost associated with moving house is purchasing packing supplies. This can include boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and other materials needed to protect and transport your belongings.
5. Cleaning and repairs
Before moving out of your current home, you may need to clean the property and make any necessary repairs depending on what has been agreed with the buyer, all of which are time-consuming and come with an added cost.
When moving house, you’ll need to set up new utilities, such as electricity, gas, water, and internet. This can be a stressful business on top of everything else and incur additional costs along the way.
7. Buying new furniture, fixtures and appliances
There are also a range of miscellaneous expenses associated with moving house, such as buying new furniture or appliances. You might also discover the previous owners have taken certain fixtures with them, or even things like light bulbs, which can be annoying and stressful.
These are just some of the costs you’ll need to factor in, so it’s clear that moving house puts most people under significant financial pressure and will therefore increase their stress levels.
You might also like: How to move house cheaply – top tips to save money
Emotional triggers when moving house
Finally, moving can also trigger a range of emotions, from excitement to sadness and even grief.
Leaving behind familiar surroundings and the memories associated with them can be emotionally draining.
It can be particularly challenging for children, who may have to leave friends behind and adjust to a new school.
Can moving house cause anxiety?
People often experience feelings of stress and worry when moving house, especially if they’re locked into a complex chain which has the potential to collapse. So can moving house cause anxiety?
The stress of juggling all the costs and arrangements, together with the worry that the sale may fall through for reasons beyond your control puts a huge amount of pressure on people.
While some people may embrace the experience and see it as a challenge and an opportunity for change and growth, others may find it overwhelming and distressing.
So, the answer is yes, moving house can cause anxiety for a variety of reasons.
People may worry about how they will adapt to their new surroundings, whether they will like their new neighbourhood or home, and how they will cope with the practicalities of moving.
You may worry about how you will adjust to new routines, how you’;; maintain your social connections, and how you’ll cope with any feelings of loneliness or isolation that may arise.
When moving house it’s essential to recognise the potential for stress and anxiety and take steps to manage it.
This might involve seeking support from friends and family, talking to a mental health professional, or engaging in self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, or mindfulness.
By taking care of your mental health during the moving process, you can reduce the stress and anxiety associated with moving house and make the transition to your new home as smooth as possible.
How to manage anxiety when moving house
There are several strategies that you can use to help you cope with the stress of moving house and manage any anxiety you may experience.
To minimize the stress of moving, it’s essential to:
- Plan ahead
- Enlist the help of family and friends
- Take time to adjust to your new surroundings
- Frame the move as a positive experience
Here, I’ll expand on these and give you a few more tips and tricks to give you a better idea about how to manage moving-related stress.
One of the best ways to manage anxiety when moving house is to plan ahead.
This means creating a timeline for your move, making a to-do list, and organising your belongings.
By doing this, you can reduce uncertainty and create a sense of control over the moving process.
Seek support from family and friends
Moving house can be a lonely and isolating experience, especially if you’re moving to an unfamiliar area.
To manage anxiety, it’s important to seek support from friends and family.
Talking to someone about your feelings can help you feel less alone and more supported during this challenging time.
It’s important to look after yourself and practise some self-care during the moving process.
This might involve taking regular breaks, eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that you enjoy.
Staying organised during the moving process can help you feel more in control and reduce anxiety.
This means keeping track of your belongings, labelling boxes clearly, and creating a system for unpacking and organizing your new home.
Mindfulness is a technique that involves paying attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental way.
Practicing mindfulness can help reduce anxiety by helping you stay grounded and present during the moving process.
You might try practicing mindfulness exercises such as breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga.
Even if you only follow a few of these tips, you’ll find the moving process less stressful.
How to move house without stress
I find staying organised is the most important way to minimise any anxiety and stress caused by the moving process.
It can take a huge amount of effort to stay on top of all the things you need to do during the moving process, but doing a little often will help you get the job done and preserve your sanity.
With proper planning and organisation, it’s possible to have a less stressful house moving experience.
Here are a few more tips to help you move house with ease.
Start planning early
One of the most important steps to moving house without stress is to start planning early.
Begin by creating a timeline of tasks that need to be completed before the moving day.
This will include things like sorting through your belongings, decluttering, and packing.
Give yourself plenty of time to complete each task, so you don’t feel rushed or overwhelmed.
Get your finances in order
There’s nothing worse than running out of money during the moving process.
Get your finances in order long in advance of your move and budget for all the expenses you’ll incur during the process.
It’s a good idea to create a contingency fund for anything unexpected that crops up as well.
Hire a reputable moving company
If you’re planning on hiring a moving company, make sure to do your research and choose a reputable company.
Look at reviews online and seek recommendations from friends and family, and ask for quotes from multiple companies.
Once you’ve found the right company, book them well in advance to ensure availability on your moving day.
Declutter and organise your belongings
Moving house is an excellent opportunity to declutter your belongings and get rid of items you no longer need or want.
Start by going through each room and sorting items into piles of things to keep, donate, sell, or discard.
Organise the items you’re keeping by category, such as clothing, books, or kitchenware, and pack them accordingly.
Label your boxes
Labelling your boxes when packing is essential when moving house. It helps to keep things organized and ensures that everything ends up in the right place in your new home.
Label each box with its contents and the room it belongs in. This will make unpacking much easier and less stressful and will help with your stress levels.
Pack a moving day essentials kit
Pack a moving day essentials kit with all the things you’ll need on the day of the move.
This should include things like snacks, water, medication, toiletries, and a change of clothes.
Keep this kit with you during the move, so you have easy access to everything you need.
Moving house is physically and mentally exhausting, so it’s essential to take breaks and rest when you need to.
Make sure to take breaks throughout the day, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep the night before the move.
This will help you feel refreshed and energised for the task ahead.
While its inevitable that moving house is stressful to a degree, there are steps you can take to make this more manageable.
Try reframing your feelings of anxiety into excitement and focus on all the new opportunities a move can bring.
It’s also possible to reduce the stress of moving by buying a house without a mortgage if you’re financially able.
A move can be a great way to reset your life if you’re stuck in a rut, and there’ll undoubtedly be loads of new things to discover and people to meet around your new home.