According to a recent survey, most Americans believe that moving is the most stressful event they’ve ever experienced. To make matters more complicated, people often decide to move because of a major life change, such as getting married, changing jobs or starting/graduating from school. While there’s no way to completely take the hassle out of moving to a new city or home, you can make the process a whole lot less stressful. In this article, we’ll share our favorite tips on how to make moving easier on the nerves, whether you’re in the packing stages or trying to adjust to your new city.
1. Create a To-Do List and Timeline
Moving requires months of detailed planning and coordination. Last-minute complications can make the process even more stressful.
Your to-do list and timeline will serve as the blueprint for a smooth transition out of your home. Create a detailed checklist that lists every key task, such as making a down payment or storing a vehicle, with a specific date attached to each. Here are some other important items you won’t want to miss:
- Staging your home
- Selling the furniture you don’t want to keep
- Sprucing up your yard for increased curb appeal
- Updating mailing address and subscriptions
- Transferring utilities
- Updating your car registration
|No one should go through a move alone. That’s why we created a comprehensive guide with a step-by-step breakdown of what you can do to stay organized throughout the entire process. Check it out here: Essential Tips for Packing and Moving While You Sell Your Old House.|
2. Give Yourself Enough Time
No one wants to scramble the week leading up to a move. Plan to start packing sooner rather than later to account for any unforeseen emergencies or items you may have left off your checklist. The first tasks you should tackle are the ones that involve a third-party vendor (i.e., hiring a moving crew or staging company). Be sure to give yourself enough time to sell the belongings you don’t plan on taking with you — it may be a while before you find someone who can take them off your hands.
3. Finish Unpacking ASAP
It’s tempting to want to take your time unpacking after you get to your new home, but try to open each box as soon as possible to check for damages or missing items. (Plus, do you really want to have all that cardboard lying around your new space?) If there are seasonal decor and rarely used items that you know you won’t need immediately, consider storing them temporarily in a storage unit rather than clutter up your home.
4. Take Breaks and Reward Yourself
Moving is a marathon, so you’ll want to schedule plenty of breaks and rewards to help you push across the finish line. For example, if you stick to your timeline, treat yourself to a few new pieces of artwork to hang on your new walls, or budget for a fancy night out in your new neighborhood to celebrate an exciting new chapter.
5. Stay Healthy
Moving may take up the lion’s share of your time, but keeping up your physical health can do wonders for stress and anxiety. The following activities can drastically improve your mood, even if you only have 10 minutes to spare:
- Exercising (walking, running, hiking, weight lifting)
- Getting enough sleep
- Meditating or doing yoga
- Eating healthy, energizing foods
6. Keep in Touch With Friends and Family
Once you've moved in, it takes time for a new home to feel like home, but there are ways you can make the transition easier.
Don’t let distance be a barrier between you and your loved ones. Schedule a virtual house tour with your friends and family to show off your new space. You can also set up a recurring monthly happy hour or create a long-distance book club to give you and your friends a common activity to double as a catch-up session.
7. Explore Your New City or Neighborhood
Don’t miss out on opportunities to explore your new city or neighborhood, whether it’s strolling through downtown, visiting nearby scenic trails or bar-hopping. Don’t be embarrassed to spend the first few months exploring like a tourist — letting yourself get lost and stepping out of your comfort zone can help you feel like a local in no time at all. Here are a few easy ways to get the most out of your new surroundings:
- Take public transit
- Find a list of the best-reviewed restaurants and make a “foodie bucket list” to tackle
- Locate the important stores in your area (pharmacies, grocery stores, gyms, etc.)
- Make time to get to know your new coworkers, classmates or neighbors
|Tip: Head to our blog and filter our posts by “Guides + Checklists” to learn about the best things to do in your new city.|
8. Keep Your Home Clean
During your first few months in a new city, you’ll need a home base you look forward to returning to. A dirty, cluttered space will only make your existing stress worse. Though you should make as much time as possible to get out into your new city and make new friends, save some time each week to organize your belongings, decorate your space, and practice routine cleaning.
9. Make New Friends
Making new friends in an unfamiliar city can seem like a daunting task, but a little bit of online digging can help you find opportunities to connect with neighbors and community members over hobbies, interests, and causes you care about. Find local running groups, yoga studios, ceramics workshops and other classes where you can interact with new folks, or follow pages on social media that distill the best events in your city into a summary or newsletter. Feel free to go other routes, asking friends if they can connect you with like-minded people in your city, or tap into your alumni network to see who’s nearby. It also never hurts to go the old-school route and say throw a housewarming party for your neighbors or coworkers.
Exploring all the fun things your city has to offer is one part of getting to know your new space, but finding volunteering organizations and other local causes can help you take an active role in bettering your community. It’s also a great way to meet new people.
For more tips on how to make moving less stressful and organizing your belongings in a new space, check out our blog.