How Can I Make Moving House Less Stressful?

Reducing Stress Levels When Moving Home

Moving house and stress seem to go hand-in-hand. In fact, there’s been research that says moving is more stressful than divorce. The idea of moving house stress-free, then, seems like an impossible dream.

If removing all the stress isn’t possible, it is possible to reduce it. In this post, we’ll look at 10 top ways you can reduce the stress-load to make moving a less… traumatic experience.

1. Make Lists – Lots of Lists

Moving is complicated. There’s so much to sort out that it’s easy to forget things – which just adds to the stress levels later. To avoid adding unnecessary stress, making lists is important.

Yes, I said lists (plural) because a single list isn’t enough. You could try to cram everything you need to do into a single list, but it would be really long. And really overwhelming. Breaking that big list into smaller lists makes the tasks seem more manageable. Even though you have the same amount of stuff to do, multiple lists trick your brain and stop a stress overload.

You might have lists for:

  • Paperwork that needs organizing
  • Arrangements that need to be made
  • Packing
  • Moving day

An organized move is much less stressful!

2. Book your removal van early

Removals companies can get busy. There’s certain times (for example May to July in Dublin) that are especially busy. Leaving booking your removal van to the last minute can send your stress levels soaring.

You’ve got enough to deal with without having to spend hours trying to track down a company who’s free on the day you’re moving. Booking a removal van early gives you the chance to find the best deal, read reviews, or get recommendations from friends and family.

3. Declutter

KonMari your house before you move! Marie Kondo’s KonMari method has taken the world by storm – and there’s no better way to reduce your stress than to reduce the amount you have to pack.

It’s amazing how much stuff we accumulate in a short period of time. Every time I move, I find old, unwanted (and even broken) items that are just taking up space. Moving house is a perfect opportunity to declutter all the stuff you don’t use.

Decluttering also reduces the cost of removals – the less stuff you have, the less time you’ll need the removals van for. Good for your stress levels and good for your wallet! Decluttering is a must.

4. Be organized with packing

Everyone – and I mean everyone – always underestimates how long it will take to pack everything up. A mad dash at the last minute is a sure way to increase stress levels, too. Being organized with your packing can reduce the stress load a lot.

Ways that you can be organized with packing include:

  • Having a packing list
  • Making sure you have enough boxes
  • Labelling your boxes clearly
  • Prioritizing your packing
  • Allowing extra time for packing (and wrapping) fragile items


5. Dealing with what can’t be moved

It’s easy to overlook the things that can’t be moved using a removal company. Not everyone even knows that there’s things a removal company won’t transport. To avoid added stress (or outright panic!) on moving day, have a strategy for these items.

The types of things that can’t be moved include:

  • Hazardous materials
  • Plants with soil in
  • Tins of paint
  • Chemicals

If you have a stash of paint in the garage, you’ll either have to get rid of it or transport it yourself. Plants in pots with soil in can be more tricky. One solution is to take as much soil out as possible and put bubble wrap around the plant and transport it yourself.

6. Sort your utilities

Arranging the utilities is a must-do part of moving that often gets left to the last minute. Don’t do that! Forgetting to take final meter readings – or forgetting to arrange the utilities in your new home – just adds to your already full stress bucket.

Contacting your utility company in advance saves headaches later. On moving day, set a reminder on your phone to take the final readings from your meters. You could simply take a photo to make it super simple.

7. Avoid paperwork problems

There are plenty of potential paperwork problems with moving. Not being able to find important documents after you move (or before you move, even) increases stress levels. To avoid these problems, make sure you put all your important documents into a single box (perhaps a box-file or a lock-box) and label it clearly.

For quick access to important documents, make photocopies or scans that you can keep to hand, or scan them onto a USB stick.

If you’re worried about documents getting waylaid in the post, set up a redirection with the postal service. That takes the pressure off so you don’t have to rush to update your details with everyone who sends you mail right away.

8. Cleaning solutions

Cleaning your new home is one of the biggest stress-points on moving day. There’s the dilemma of wanting to clean before you bring your furniture in, but not wanting to pay the removals company to sit outside while you clean.

If it’s possible to arrange to have the keys to your new home before moving day, or earlier in the day, then you can reduce the stress load. Being able to get into the house and start cleaning before the furniture and boxes arrive makes moving day much easier to handle.

9. Create a survival kit for moving day

There’s going to be some stress on moving day – no matter how much you do to reduce it. To make the stress levels as low as possible, pack a survival kit for the day of the move. Items that need to go into your moving day survival kit include:

  • Toiletries
  • Phone chargers
  • Snacks/sandwiches etc
  • Bottles of water or juice
  • Tea, coffee, sugar/sweetener
  • Kettle
  • Things to keep the kids entertained
  • Essentials for your pets
  • Important medications/medical equipment

10. Remember to breathe

Moving day is intense and exhausting. Everyone is on edge and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Remembering to take a breath is essential. So is being realistic. Accept that it’s going to take a while to get everything unpacked.

When you get to your new home, take time to relax – and breathe. The worst part is over. Your stuff is in your new house, even if it is in boxes. Don’t create additional stress by trying to do everything at once.

Stress Less When You Move

So, it may not be realistic to have a completely stress-free moving experience. What you can do, though, is keep the stress to an absolute minimum by following these tips. Good luck with your move!

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