moving day

How You Can Make Moving Day As Stress Free As Possible

Can we all agree that moving day is the worst?

When was the last time you moved? Was it a pleasant experience, or unpleasant? What could have made it go smoother?

We just moved less than a year ago, so it’s an experience still fresh in my mind.

Moving day doesn’t have to be all bad! Maybe you’re excited to leave your current neighborhood for a better one. Or maybe you’re excited to upgrade your space because you’re drowning in toys. (Raising my hand over here!) Maybe you’re excited for better schools for your kids. But actually moving? The packing tape, and bubble wrap, and trying to convince friends to help?

It can be the worst, if you don’t plan the right way.

I, for one, used to hate it. My brain is cluttered enough as it is.  Depending on how my bipolar disorder is cycling, I am either hyper-alert and overwhelmed easily, or too depressed to stay motivated. The last thing I need is to have my living space filled with boxes I forgot to label.

There is so much to think about when it comes to moving. And that is on top of the billion other things already swirling through your brain. School. Nap times. Laundry. Doctors appointments. Cleaning. The Battle of Winterfell. Seriously. You’ve got a lot going on.

So how can you plan your moving day to minimize the amount of stress it can create? Keep reading, and follow these 5 easy steps.

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Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.

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Prepping for a move: 5 Easy Steps

These steps are how I managed to keep our most recent move a little more stress free. Which ones have you tried?

Hire movers.

I know. It costs money. According to my research, the average cost of mover’s is $25/hour per mover.

The average moving price for local moves is $25 per hour per mover. However, that price can be higher depending on your location within the country. Therefore,
Studio apartment: 2 professional movers working for 3-5 hours at an average of $25 each per hour = $150-$250 for completing the entire moving job.
2-bedroom apartment: 3 local movers working for 5-7 hours at an average of $25 each per hour = $375-$525 to get the job done.
3-bedroom house: 4 professional local movers working for 7-10 hours at an average of $25 each per hour = $700-$1000 to complete the house move.
Larger homesthe estimated local moving costs for larger homes (5,000 square feet and up) rise sharply and can reach values around $1500-$2000, and even more.

We have moved quite a few times without hiring anyone and, ultimately, we survived. But your time and mental health are valuable. Moving by yourself is stressful. Sometimes you’re lucky and you can bribe friends to help you. But hiring professionals is so worth it. You can always make more money. You can’t get the time back you spent yelling at your husband to pivot.

Friends, gif, ross, moving, pivot

Make a list ahead of time of what you want to get rid of.

Don’t lug a bunch of crap to your new place (or pay for a bigger moving van!) when you plan to just pitch half of it anyway. That’s such a waste of time and energy. Before the move, make it a priority to create a game plan of what goes and what stays. Go room by room, and make a list with 3 columns: Toss, Donate, Keep. This will give you an idea of how big of a moving van/how many movers you will need.

Try to not get into the mindset of keeping things that you don’t need because you are emotionally attached to them. That is okay to a certain extent. (I have many things that belonged to my grandparents that are no longer with us.) But make sure to exercise proper discretion. You don’t need to keep everything!

Enlist help packing and unpacking.

Both these activities can be weirdly stressful, but they don’t need to be. It is perfectly okay to ask for help. If your mom can watch your kids so you can devote uninterrupted time to packing or unpacking, it will be way easier and it will save a little sanity. You can make a girls’ night of it! Invite a bunch of girlfriends over. Have them each bring a roll of packing tape or roll of bubble wrap, and you supply the wine and snacks.

Scotch Sure Start Shipping Packaging Tape, 1.88 x 38.2 Yards, 2 Rolls and 1 Dispenser (3450S-2-1RD)
Sharpie Color Burst Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 24 Count
moving day, purple background with white text that says "How You Can Make Moving Day As Stress Free As Possible," black and white picture of a couple packing and looking at a laptop

Make sure to reward your helpers!

Whether it’s pizza and beer or a custom gift basket, a little appreciation goes a long way. At the end of the day, your buddies aren’t required to help you move. If you go this route over a moving company, make sure to thank them adequately by tipping them. It is an exhausting job and they deserve a little gratitude.

If you are having your friends help you move, invite them over for dinner, or send them a thank you note with a gift card to their favorite restaurant. At the end of the day, your friends are not required to help you. They do it out of the goodness of their own hearts.

Do a little bit each day.

Have a ton of crap to weed through? (I know I did!) Dedicate 10 minutes a day to one area of the house. Every little bit helps. This saves you from the stress of realizing, “Oh wait. I move next week and my house looks like a episode of Hoarders.” (Again, right there with you.)

Looking for some more tips for organization and motivation. Check out my post about staying organized when you’re depressed.

What advice would you give to someone planning a move? What do you like and dislike about the moving process? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and make sure to share the post if you found it helpful.

Follow these moving day tips, and make it memorable… In a good way!

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Related posts about stress relief:

19 fun things to do with kids (And how to not lose your mind when you’re trapped at home!)

Goals tracker for someone living with depression

Positivity and negativity: How to challenge negative thought patterns

32 thoughts on “How You Can Make Moving Day As Stress Free As Possible”

  1. Kristine Nicole Alessandra

    I don’t think we will be moving house, because we have found our forever home. We’ve stayed here for 13 years (and counting). Your tips are very good though, and I am sharing this with my daughter. I think she and her husband are looking around for a new place.

    1. Moving with kids definitely complicates things! No offense to them, but they’re kind of just in the way and there are SO many toys to pack. Hope you can happily stay put for a while. Thanks for reading!

  2. We used to move a lot before we bought our house and we definitely could have used some of this advice! We have so many items that got lugged around from one move to another even though we never used them, and it would have been so much more efficient to just take the time to sort through our things before the first move! We’re planning on moving to a bigger house eventually so I’ll definitely keep these tips in mind!

    1. Great! Glad you found it helpful. We have moved 6 or 7 times together in our 15 years of couplehood and I am ready to settle down for a while. Thanks for reading!

  3. When I first moved down to this general area of the province I moved A LOT. It was a combination of things – being a university student following job opportunities, etc. The result? I lived in 11 different places in a 10-year span. Having moved that many times (which I will NEVER do again) I learned a few things – While hiring movers may seem like a lot, it’s worth every penny! That being said, don’t just pick the cheapest company. Make sure that you’re going with someone trustworthy, with good references and adequate insurance to protect your belongings!

  4. Travelogged blogs

    I wish I read this post sooner. We moved to our new place just 2 months ago! Thank you for sharing these tips. ❤️ They are really helpful!

  5. Pingback: Depression Explained Easily in 140 Characters - Diffusing the Tension

  6. We moved 2 hours up the country in one day the last time we moved. Went surprisingly alright with not many hiccups! Hoping our next move goes as well. I’m definitely going to take note of your tips with the planning and getting things sorted early though!!

  7. Amy Thetford

    We are moving in 2 weeks to a new state! This post is timely! We are selling most everything and starting over because it was the most cost effective option in our particular situation. I’m kinda freaking out because we have so much left to sell and get rid of and not much time left ?

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