How to overcome the stress and anxiety of moving

Child has to deal with anxiety, stress and being emotional when moving into a new home and meeting new people

Moving house is a rollercoaster of emotions. Besides the stress of the move itself, your mood can swing from overwhelmed to excited to depressed, anxious and even grieving at the sight of an empty home.

It’s normal — you’re going through a new experience and major life change.

Along with break-ups and losing loved ones, moving is considered one of the most stressful and life-changing moments of a person’s life.


What causes moving stress?

Unfortunately, there is no one cause of your moving stress. Instead, it’s a bunch of smaller worries that can make your move to a new place a stressful experience:

Change is hard

You are changing location and leaving behind your old home. Maybe even your family, friends, and entire life. Even if it’s a good experience and you know that you could meet new people or make new friends, you can still feel anxious.

Moving is stressful financially

When we add moving to the list of money concerns, it’s no wonder that it amplifies moving anxiousness.

Moving is time consuming

It doesn’t matter if you move across the street or to the other side of the world, moving consumes a lot of time. You need to pack everything, carry heavy boxes, drive the truck, and unpack. You have to put your entire life on hold until you sort everything out.

How to better cope with moving stress and anxiety

People feel stressful and emotional when moving from an old home to a new home
Photo: Freepik by Andrea Piacquadio

At Foxie we understand what moving to a new house feels like and how hard it can be. That’s why we take care of your utility connections in a single phone call, for free, helping you avoid further headaches with moving.

After speaking to thousands of house movers across Australia, we’ve created 8 tried-and-true tips to help you solve the stress and anxiety of moving.


1. Start early, take small steps with your packing

  • Start the moving process as early as you can so you don’t find yourself overwhelmed at the last minute.
  • Don’t jump into packing right away. Instead, go through your possessions and declutter as much as you can. A good way to start is by throwing out, selling or donating the things you no longer want.
  • Don’t go on a shopping spree for your new place — wait until you move. You will get a better feel for your new home, and it will be one less thing you have to think about when moving.

2. Research and get to know your new area

If you are moving far away, take some time each day to learn about your new area before the move. You’ll feel more comfortable, positive and have a better sense of your bearings before you even start living in the new house.

Research things like:

The best moving route

Look up the route in advance. Do it on the same day of the week that you’ll be moving, because sites like Google Maps offer traffic analysis which will give you a clear indication of the best time for the journey.

The best way from home to school (if you have kids)

Check maps to find out which way is the quickest.

Where the closest grocery stores, supermarkets and other essential services are — Opening times, and the kinds of products they sell.

Get to know restaurants in your new area

Take a look at reviews at Zomato or TripAdvisor. Filter your search according to your needs: the type of cuisine you like, if it’s suitable for children, what the opening hours are, etc. Treating yourself to some local food also gives you something to look forward to.

Look up your new local community groups

Enquire with the local libraries, community centers and councils to meet new people and see what’s happening in the area.

Building a sense of familiarity and anticipation makes the transition all the more easy for you.


3. Give yourself time (and time off)

Most people mark off one weekend for their move. While it’s true that moving possessions from your old home to a new home can fit into one weekend, this often causes more stress. There is no harm in giving yourself more time!

You can also set out some time each day for planning and preparing for the move. This will get you on top of things, save time, and reduce stress.

Since moving tends to be an emotional and exhausting life experience, you can also use that time set aside to meditate or rest.

Take things at your place slowly. Settling in a new place takes time, so you may not be able to hit the ground running. Allow some space to acclimate to your new life.

If necessary, take time off from work. It will allow you to adjust to the new life and get your new home in order. Plus, if you’ve moved to a whole new area, having a couple of days off to explore can make a huge difference to your mindset.


4. Group your essentials together for peace of mind

A good way to deal with feeling emotional is to get your everyday essentials ready. Group them close together or put them in a bag somewhere visible.

This way, no matter how chaotic life feels, you will have everything you need on-hand to feel well and happy.

Essential items can include:

  • Documents — Driver’s license, credit cards, passports, visas, medical records, birth certificates, lease or mortgage documents.
  • Toiletries — Soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, moisturizing cream.
  • Clothes — Enough clothes to last until you get around to unpacking.
  • Tech gadgets — Tablet, laptop and charger, kindle.
  • Medication

For a more comprehensive list, check out the 30 essentials people should have when they move homes.

5. Be kind to yourself and be aware of any negative thoughts

It doesn’t matter if this is your first or 101st move — don’t be too harsh on yourself.

We are sure you have a never-ending list of tasks to do but don’t forget to spare some time for yourself.

Here are some tips on good ways to relax:

Get out of the house

Even just for a short walk to the nearest park.

Do breathing exercises

They don’t take up too much time and can help when feeling overwhelmed. Take a look at this instructional video.

If you’re moving far away, spend time with friends and family

Loved ones always make us feel better. It’s not easy to say goodbye. Knowing you’ve made an effort to see your loved ones as much as possible might make it more bearable.

Avoid negative self-talk

Thoughts like ‘I’m so disorganised’ or ‘this is so stressful’ will only get you worked up. Remember that you’re doing the best you can and no one is perfect.

Do the things you like

Read your favourite book, watch a movie, or listen to music.

Try rhythmic movement exercises

Exercising may not sound especially soothing, but once you get into the repetitive flow, it can lead to relaxation. You can try running, swimming, dancing, or even climbing.

For more tips on stress relief, here are some relaxation techniques.

6. Ask for a helping hand

What move into a new home with a child feels like
Photo: by cottonbro

You don’t have to do everything on your own. Consider asking friends and family for assistance, and accept any offers of help.

It doesn’t matter if it’s from someone that can’t lug heavy boxes up and down stairs — if they want to cook you a meal to help you relax instead, take them up on their offer.

Consider professional help as well, and maybe hire a moving company. Remember: if it brings you peace of mind, the money spent is worth it.

Here is a list of best moving companies in Australia.

If you find yourself stressing about how to move things like fridges or the lawnmower, see our guide on how to move awkward items.

7. Get yourself a checklist

You could create a checklist from scratch, but there are so many existing checklists that can do most of the work fo you. Here are some ideas to get you started, taken from our popular moving house checklist:

Six weeks before your move:
  • Confirm the moving date.
  • Notify your landlord.
  • Contact removal companies.
  • Choose the best quote available.
  • Start to declutter.
  • Find a kennel for your pet.
  • Get packing supplies.
Two weeks before your move:
  • Start packing.
  • Notify utility companies (or call Foxie, where we take care of all your utilities with one phone call).
  • Inform relevant people of the move (your employer, cleaner, gardener, solicitor).
  • Change your address with the important companies and institutions (Electoral Roll, insurance companies, health providers, the bank, and more).
  • Arrange to collect keys.
  • Defrost the freezer.

8. Say a proper goodbye to your home and community

If you are moving far away, saying goodbye to friends, family, places you like, and a home where you made so many memories is never easy.

Here are some tips that can make the move a little more bearable:

Host a moving party

This allows you to see old faces one more time. Even if you will see people important to you in the future, this is a significant change. Give them the opportunity to say goodbye, and reassure them that the new friends you’ll make won’t replace them.

Take a tour

If you’ve lived in one place for a long time, chances are you’ve avoided tourist traps. Now is a good time to go and see them. You never know when you’ll have a chance again, and it’s interesting to compare how the town presents itself to how you have come to know it.

Go to your favourite haunts

Visit your favourite restaurant, cafe, bookshop, and other destinations, especially local establishments.

Get a keepsake

Even though you are bringing tons of your belongings with you when you move, bring some memorabilia to remember your old life. It can be a mug from your favourite cafe, tickets from a game at the local stadium, or a series of photographs. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, it’s a way to make the stress of moving more bearable.

Remember you’ve got this

We hope these tips help keep you calm throughout the moving process. Remember, health comes first — everything else is replaceable.

Stick to our advice and your move will be stress-free.

Don’t hesitate to check our blog. Any question, uncertainty, and doubt about moving you may have will be answered there.

Featured Image: freepik by senivpetro

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