How to Manage Your Moving Stress Effectively

In a famous ranking of the most psychologically stressful events in a person’s life, “moving” ranked number seven on the list—beaten only by items like “divorce” or “death of a loved one.” Moving alone ranked seventh, but three of the top five stressful events often involved moving as well.

These stressful events often include moving as part of the experience:

  • Divorce
  • Getting married
  • Starting a new job

Psychologists and productivity experts agree that procrastination has nothing to do with laziness and much more to do with stress. Moving sits at the intersection of three major stress inducers: money, time, and change. Having too little of the first two things and too much of the third can lead to serious overwhelm, which in turn leads to procrastination. 

When you start to feel anxious and procrastinate on your moving-related tasks, here are three ways to cope:

#1: Start Small

If you’re tempted to skip out on packing and watch TV or scroll Instagram, here’s what we recommend: set a timer for five minutes, and do anything moving related. Maybe pack a single box—just one. Or maybe label a few boxes. 

Even if it’s barely progress, doing the minimum amount of work does a few things for us: one, it maintains momentum. Even if our momentum slows down for a day, it’s far easier to pick it up again the next day. If our momentum stops, starting is even harder (if you’ve ever skipped a day at the gym, you know what we mean). Two, starting small makes it more likely that we’ll keep making progress. Often, when you make a deal with yourself to pack only one box, you’ll end up doing a lot more. 

Why? Because the reason we procrastinate is because we’re overwhelmed by all the work there is to do. When we start small and focus on doing just the next box, the next room, the next task, it’s easier to start.

#2: Make a Complete List of the Entire Moving Project

When we get stressed about moving, we’re not stressed about all the things we know we have to do. We get stressed about all the unknowns—all the hidden tasks and to-dos that we don’t even know about that. One of the best ways to manage moving stress is to write down those “hidden tasks” and put them on a list.

Here’s what you do:

  • Break your entire move into mini-projects (by room, by stage, by whatever you like)
  • Brainstorm all the things you’ll need to do before you’d call a room or stage “done”
  • Turn your brainstorm items into concrete tasks

Don’t be afraid to go granular. You might have an entire mini-project devoted to your dog, and you might have tasks like “Pack up the dog toys in the living room and put into a bag.” 

After doing this for an hour, you should have a pretty thorough list of every single moving-related task on your plate. While it might seem counterintuitive, organizational experts say that this exercise helps reduce stress because it pulls our “finish line” into focus.

#3: Delegate Delegate Delegate!

During a move, there’s maybe a few things that only you can do: the move-in inspection, the transferring of utilities, calling your internet provider. Everything else can be handled by pretty much anyone with two arms and a strong back! If you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed about planning your move, packing, loading, and unpacking, then we can help.

Our licensed and professional movers know how to get your move done without a hitch. We’ve handled thousands of big and small moves, giving our customers the chance to relax and enjoy their new home on Moving Day. With logistical experts and friendly movers, we can handle every aspect of your move that’s causing you stress.

If you’re dealing with moving stress, the easiest solution is to call Affordable Quality Moving and Storage today! Dial (661) 622-2636 for a free in-home estimate.