Five Tips to Take the Stress Out of Moving

MovingOkay, although I blog about happiness, I am officially stressed out.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, “How Clearing Clutter Can Make You Happy,” after 15 years in our home, we are moving. Moving is recognized by researchers as one of the most stressful events in life. In fact, moving ranks up there with the death of a loved one or divorce.

I am not moving far – just 15 minutes away. My husband and I are building a house across the street from my parents so I can help my Mom who is suffering from health issues. In the meantime, we’ll be living with them.

Oh my! It feels like my life is being turned upside down.

So what can you do if you are in my shoes? Whether you’re moving just around the corner or to the other side of the world, packing can seem overwhelming and daunting, bringing on anxiety and even panic. Hiring a moving company can help take the stress off of you.

To help you out – and myself as well – I’m listing five tips to take some of the stress out of moving:

1.      Start Early

Even if you’re just thinking about putting your house on the market, get started right away. Clear out the clutter and start paring down to the essentials. Sell or donate items. If you need some ideas of what to get chuck, check out my blog. Take my word for it, the sooner the better. I should have started this process earlier.

2.      Be Organized

Have a system. Be sure and put room labels with a brief description on every box. Tip: Your cooking routine will be dramatically disrupted before, during, and after you move, so prepare a basic kitchen kit to have on hand. You don’t need a full set of pots, pans, dishes, or utensils. Just keep a few necessary items packed in one box and label “Essential Kitchen Tools” so you can whip up a few simple meals.

3.      Have Resources Ready

Nothing is more irritating than to be in the middle of packing and run out of boxes, tape, bubble wrap, or packing paper. Have plenty on hand. Keep towels, dish cloths, sheets, and blankets accessible to protect delicate items and furniture.

4.      Ask For Help

Admittedly, this is one of my downfalls. Don’t try to do everything yourself and then realize a day before your move that you’re not ready. Ask family and friends early on to help you out. Books, DVDs, china, and other items can be easily packed ahead of time with some help. Provide pizza and beer to show your appreciation. Thankfully, my children and siblings are helping me now, but I should have probably asked earlier.

5.      Take a Break

When your head is spinning and your nerves are shot, take a 15-20 minute break to clear your mind and calm your senses. Have a cup of tea, call a good friend and vent, close your eyes and listen to some relaxing music, watch something funny. You’ll come back with renewed energy and be able to get more accomplished.

Okay, those are my five tips. Now it’s time to get back to packing. Wish me luck!

Image courtesy of stockimages at


Julie A. Gorges is the author of two young adult novels, Just Call Me Goody Two Shoes and Time to Cast Away and co-author of Residential Steel Design and Construction published by McGraw Hill. In addition, hundreds of her articles and short stories have been published in national and regional magazines, and she received three journalism awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association while working as a newspaper reporter. Julie currently lives in southern California with her husband, Scott, and has two grown children and three grandchildren.

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4 Responses

  1. Dawn DuBose says:

    Julie. As always, helpful and positive. Thanks. Dawn

  2. Well, I certainly wish you luck on the move. We just moved my dad and step-mom into an apartment from a house that my step-mom has lived in for many years. They’re having a house built, so the entire process is going to be repeated six months later. I think they’ve decided to use professional movers next time.

    The worst stress of their move had more to do with the timing than anything else. My step-mom’s a teacher, and school started the Monday after the move (they actually signed the paperwork to sell their house that next Wednesday). To say she was stressed might be an understatement.

    Then again, doing it during the school year might have been worse.

    • juliegorges says:

      Your step-mother has my deepest sympathies! Actually, we are also building a house and will repeat the process in six months as well. Oh well…as a past blog I wrote discussed, “This, too, shall pass.” Thanks for sharing your parents’ experience. Misery loves company!

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