wikiHow to Cope With the Stress of Moving

Four Parts:Staying Organized Before Your MoveTaking Care of YourselfAdapting to Your New LocationLearning How to Adapt to Moving as a Child

Moving can be very stressful, whether if you are anticipating or a new opportunity or dealing with difficulties in your life. However, with a little preparation and perspective, you can make the relocation process a little easier for you and your family. In order to make moving less stressful, it’s important to stay organized before you move, take care of yourself during this stressful time, and adapt to your new residence. Coping with the stress of moving can be difficult, but moving can be an exciting and fun new chapter to your life.

Part 1
Staying Organized Before Your Move

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    Get rid of excess clutter. When you’re moving is a great time to get rid of old things you don’t need anymore. It can be a big stress relief and make moving easier, since you’ll have less to move.[1]
    • When you’re going through your things, put them into four piles: sell, donate, toss, and keep. You can try to sell some items online, while donating less valuable items to thrift stores.
    • Minimizing the things you have can also relieve stress. You’ll feel better when you’re not worried about keeping everything you own in your move.[2]
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    Pack with a clear plan. It’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re packing and why. This will make unpacking that much easier and give you a sense of relief when you’re finally moved into your new place.
    • You’ll want to start collecting boxes a few weeks before your move so you have enough to pack your belongings. Many retailers will give you boxes and you can buy specialty boxes at moving company offices.[3]
    • Label all of your boxes according to the category they belong in and they room they will go in. You can also organize them by color if possible or by number.[4]
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    Keep a task list of what you need to do before moving. Packing up is not the only part of moving; you’ll also need to coordinate moving out of your old place and into your new place. You may also need to cut off old utilities at your old place and set them up at your new.
    • Prioritize your task list from most to least important. In general, anything involving specific payments or dates should be at the top of your list.
    • Verify that you have the correct move-in and move-out dates for both places. You may need to pay double rent for a few days or weeks, but it will be worth it to get rid of the excess stress.
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    Assign tasks to others. If you have a family, give specific tasks to each family member. When you have small children, they will not be able to pack up their own room, but they can help clean in some small ways.
    • It’s important to not try to do everything alone. Even if you don’t have a family, see if your friends may be able to help you during your move. Helping you pack or stay organized can be really useful during this stressful time.
    • Hire help if possible and necessary. You may want to hire movers, depending on the amount of stuff you have and the distance you have to travel.[5]

Part 2
Taking Care of Yourself

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    Attend to your emotional needs. Even if the reasons for your move are positive ones, feelings of sadness and anxiety can arise. Don’t discount how difficult moving can be, but instead take it into account when planning your move.[6]
    • While you may have a lot to look forward to in your move, making a change can still be hard. It’s important to allow yourself to mourn the move as well as look forward to new challenges ahead.
    • If you’re moving because of some difficult life changes, it may be a good idea to try to stay on task. Since moving will be difficult in an already difficult time, staying focused on what you’re doing can help you to move with a clear head; however, if you feel emotional, don’t stifle it, but instead allow yourself to feel these emotions fully.
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    Say goodbye to places and people before you leave. It may be fun to visit places in the neighborhood and remember the times that you spent there before you leave. Bringing along friends with you can make these moments easier and more enjoyable.[7]
    • You can go out for a final dinner or evening out with friends before moving. Making an event out of your last time out on the town can be a good way to cap off your time where you lived.
    • When you’re saying goodbye to friends, it’s important to tell them how and why you valued them. Even if you promise to stay in touch, you’ll want tell your friends how important they are to you before moving.
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    Talk about your feelings with someone you trust. Although some people feel that it’s best to ignore your feelings during a move, talking about your feelings can relieve some of your tension and refresh you for the days ahead. Having a confidant you can trust can be invaluable to cope with the stress of moving.
    • Moving can make you feel a lot of emotions, such as hope, anxiety, fear, and disappointment. It’s good to talk to someone about these things so you don’t avoid them.[8]
    • If you need to, it may be a good idea to talk to a therapist about your move. This may be especially useful if you’re moving because of difficulties in your life.
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    Encourage your children to express themselves. If you have children, they should know their feelings are normal. Especially since they are young, children need to be able to feel and process their emotions.[9]
    • Ask your children how they feel about the move. Involving them in the moving process, if not the moving decision, can make them feel more invested in moving.
    • If you have children in the tweens or teens, make sure there is something each day for them to do. You can do things like going for a walk, swimming, or seeing a movie. This may be an especially good idea if there is a divorce or separation involved.
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    Keep up your routine where possible. During the hectic, whirlwind days of moving, people often lose sleep and forget to eat properly. As much as possible, try to maintain your routines and get enough rest and nutrition, since it can be really needed during this difficult time.
    • Continue to do the same things as much as possible when moving. If you have a family dinner or night out each week, don’t stop doing this just because you are moving in a few weeks.
    • Get enough sleep every night. By planning your move carefully, you can be sure to get enough sleep each night and avoid all night packing or planning sessions.

Part 3
Adapting to Your New Location

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    Allow yourself time to deal with the move. Moving is emotional, so it's best to have some time to adjust to your new location. If possible, try to give yourself at least a few days off before starting work or a new job.[10]
    • After you've finished unpacking, you can go explore the area surrounding your new place. You can travel by foot if possible or maybe just go for a casual drive.
    • If you are moving to a foreign country, research culture shock. You'll need some time to understand the new pace of life and societal mores.
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    Build new routines once you've arrived in your new place. Routines can be comforting when you're in a new place, especially since everything else is so new. Having something you can rely on each day can be a good way to get used to a new environment.[11]
    • Starting off each day with a healthy breakfast or a cup of coffee on the porch can be a good comforting routine. Even going for a daily walk at the end of the day can help you learn the neighborhood and help you to feel more comfortable in your new environment.
    • If you have a family, you can try doing a weekly family dinner at a new location. Additionally, you can try spending your initial weekends learning more about your city with your children by going to farmer's markets or local businesses.
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    Get things unpacked as needed or unpack quickly. For some people, getting unpacked quickly is more comforting, while others prefer waiting awhile. After you get the essentials unpacked, do what feels best in terms of unpacking your belongings.
    • If you want to unpack quickly, take a few days to unpack all at once. This can be especially useful if you have help from a friend or family member when you first arrive at your new location.[12]
    • You may also feel like you want to take your time unpacking. While you'll need to have the most important things unpacked, you may want to take longer to unpack particularly personal belongings.
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    Develop new habits in your new environment. Some people use moving to start new, healthier habits. If you start out with these habits after you move, they are more likely to stay with you.
    • Relocation is a good time to add positive habits you always wanted to do. You may want to start eating better, exercising regularly, or otherwise improve your daily routine.
    • Don't overwhelm yourself with too much self improvement when moving. Try to pick one area to work on and establish a new habit slowly, but thoroughly.

Part 4
Learning How to Adapt to Moving as a Child

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    Ask plenty of questions about the move. It's normal to be confused about why, where, and how you're moving. Talking to your parents about the move keeps you informed and can make you understand why you're moving more.
    • Your parents should be able to tell you the primary reasons why you're moving. It may be because of a new job, changing financial circumstances, or maybe divorce or separation.
    • When you talk to your parents about moving, try not to be accusatory. Instead, understand the move from their perspective and why they think it's necessary.
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    Visit your new home before moving. Sometimes, it helps to see your new home before moving to it. Then, you can realize that there will be plenty to do and see in your new hometown.[13]
    • A pre-move visit is a good idea both for parents and children. It can be fun to look at the local schools, shops, and different attractions in your new home.
    • If possible, go to your actual new home. Walking around in the place before everything is moved in can be a good way to imagine your new life there.
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    Find some small tasks to complete during the moving process. Moving can be a lot of work, but it can be good for kids to help out. Helping out doesn't have to be a major task, but can just be something to stay involved in the process.
    • If you're an older teen, you can be the one to pack up your room. It's important to get rid of anything non-essential first, but packing up your room and setting it up at your new home can be a good activity to do to stay busy during your move.
    • Even if you can't pack up your entire room, your parents will likely have some tasks for you to do. Anything you can do to help will be useful to them and likely make you feel better and more involved in moving.
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    Stay in contact with friends after a move. When you move, you'll likely leave behind some good friends that you've made. Even if you'll no longer see them everyday, there are still plenty of ways to stay in touch with old friends.[14]
    • You can have your parents buy you an address book so you can stay in touch with your friends. If you have their address, e-mail, and phone number, it should be easy to find ways to talk to your friends often.
    • Staying in touch with friends is easier now because of social media and online video. You can try to set up times to chat with your friends on Skype so you'll be able to see and hear your friends.
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    Take time to adjust to a new school. A new school can be a scary prospect, especially since you'll be meeting all new people. When you first start a new school, try not to stress out too much about how many people you meet; give yourself some time to adjust to your new surroundings.[15]
    • Many schools will assign you a buddy on your first day or first week who will show you how to get everywhere. This can be a good person to talk to about the school and learn about what's good and bad about the place.
    • After you've figured out how the school works, it may be a good idea to join some fun clubs or after school activities. This can be a good way to meet new people and make new friends.

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Categories: Moving House and Packing | Stress Anxiety and Crisis Management