Moving home is a stressful and traumatic event at the best of times. It represents a time of upheaval and transition. The actual moving home part might only take one day. But there might be months of stressful preparation beforehand, and a long and anxiety-ridden settling-in period afterwards. It’s not uncommon for a house move to disrupt two or three months of your life. And if you’re buying a house, this can be even longer.
According to a survey by E.ON, six out of 10 people said that moving house is the most stressful life event. This was followed by divorce or a break up. Before we look at ways you can make a home move less stressful, let’s first look at why we get so stressed.
Change of routine
Perhaps the most popular reason that moving house is so stressful is that is messes with our routines. You might think you’re a spontaneous person, but your day-to-day life is likely ruled by a routine. When you move house, this whole routine is thrown out of the window.
It’s not only the time after the move that will heighten anxiety. Before the move your time will be occupied with tasks you wouldn’t normally be doing. This can have a significant impact on your productivity and lead to stress at work.
Although there are ways to save on moving costs, there's no doubt moving house can be expensive which can lead some people to worry about money.
If you’re renting, you have probably been asked to hand over a healthy deposit before you’ve got it back from your current home. And if you’re buying a home, there are so many fees and payments due that can be a drain on your resources.
In some cases, you may be moving home because of money problems. If you’re recently lost your job or parted ways with a partner, you might be forced to downsize. In this situation, you might feel out of control.
Attached to old home
Leaving a home you love is always stressful. It doesn’t matter how great your new home is, you will still be leaving behind a home full of memories. We attach so much significance to our homes that it can be difficult to walk away.
When the time comes to hand over the keys for the final time, it’s normal to feel emotional or anxious.
Large purchases come with equally large emotional reactions. Buying a home involves handing over huge sums of money, and this can lead to some remorse. This can often compound on moving day when you are forced to confront your decision. You might have feelings that the new home wasn’t worth it. Or you might wonder why you have put yourself through the stress.
Sometimes, the anxious feelings aren’t fully realised until you are in your new home. Relocation depression is often seen in these symptoms:
- abnormal sleep patterns (sleeping too much or not enough)
- a loss of interest in your usual activities
- difficulty concentrating
- unwillingness to go out and socialise
- low energy and mood
It doesn’t matter if you’ve moved to another part of town or to a different country, relocation depression can hit you the same way.
Moving home can often be about saying goodbye. Selling your family home after your parents have passed away can be emotionally distressing. Likewise if you have parted ways with your partner and are selling the home you built together. Dealing with grief or heartbreak during a home move can make the entire process even more difficult.
Guilt of moving children
If you are moving with children who still live at home, you may have to deal with arguments and tantrums. If the child or children have to go to a different school and make new friends, you might feel guilty that they are going through this. Even if you know the move will be for the best, convincing young children that being the new kid at school is a good thing can be a tough sell.
Now that we’ve looked at the different causes of moving home anxiety, we can see that there are many different reasons to feel sad, anxious or depressed. And what’s important to remember is that they are all valid.
Since moving house is a necessary evil that all of us will have to face at some point, we can now look at ways to make moving home less stressful.
1. Make a list
If the stress of forgetting something is keeping you up at night, start making a list as soon as the house move is confirmed. Scribble down every last detail so you don’t forget it. By getting it all down in writing, you can free your mind and start to organise your time. You can also keep it by your bed so that your thoughts don’t keep you up at night.
2. Get organised
When moving house, if you don’t plan for things, there’s a good chance they won’t happen. Make a plan for the days and weeks running up to the big move and then make a list of things you need to do in your new home. Our moving tips include some helpful hints to help you plan a smooth move.
3. Focus on the positives
Imagine you’re moving house in a blizzard, you’ve broken your favourite wine glasses and your pets are having an utter meltdown at the thought of being stuck in a travel crate. When moving house, it’s important to let the little events pass you by and focus on the positives. If everything is getting too much, take a step back and try some breathing exercises to ease your anxiety.
4. Hire a great team
Working with a great team can help to ease your mind. When choosing your man with a van team, think about how much heavy lifting you want to do. By choosing a two man team, you can sit back and relax while all of the hard work is taken care of. All you need to think about is where you’ll put all your stuff in your new home.
5. Get out and explore
Moving to a new area can make you feel isolated, which can make feelings of anxiety much worse. Make an effort to get out and explore your new area. Get to know your neighbours, visit the local shops and treat yourself to some much needed down-time after your move. Don’t worry, unpacking those last few boxes can always wait!