Moving to a new home is ranked in the top thirty most stressful life events on the Holmes And Rahe Stress Scale. Therefore, before we consider five tips to help you have a stress-free move at the outset of this article, let’s examine the impact of stress on your physical and mental health and well-being.
The impact of stress on your health and well-being
WebMD.com describes stress as “any change in the environment that requires your body to react and adjust in response.”
While stress is a normal part of life, it is the amount that affects the human body. As a result, you can experience good or bad forms of stress from your environment, body, and thoughts.
The human body is designed to manage a certain amount of stress. It can be positive such as getting married, moving to a new home, starting a new job, having a baby. Or it can also be negative, such as the loss of a family member, going through a divorce, or being furloughed or laid off from work. No matter whether the stress is positive or negative, it must be appropriately managed. Otherwise, the stress turns into distress, leading to physical symptoms, including elevated blood pressure, headaches, and problems sleeping.
An excellent example of an extremely stressful response to a global environmental change is the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic and psychological consequences. Although this example is not relevant to this topic, it is an example of unavoidable stress that we have to do our best to manage.
Moving to a new home is also very stressful. It can cause physical symptoms and mental health symptoms like increased anxiety levels, panic attacks, and even major depression if left unchecked.
5 tips for a stress-free move
Thus, the best way to reduce your stress levels before, during, and after the move is to consider the following tips to help you move as stress-free as possible.
1. Choose your movers carefully
It is essential to get quotes from several different movers, study them carefully, and read the fine print. You aim to find a mover whose quotation is the most cost-effective, not the cheapest.
There is a difference between cost-effective and cheap. Succinctly stated, cost-effective translates into the best value for money while cheap is the lowest dollar price.
For instance, quotation A is $1 000, and quotation B is $1 200.
At first glance, quotation A looks like the best option. However, when further inspection, quotation A only includes loading the removals truck, transporting your household goods to their new destination, and unpacking the truck at the other end. It does not include insurance against theft, lost boxes, and damage to furniture and other household items. Nor does it include wrappings and claddings to wrap the furniture when it is loaded onto the truck.
Quotation B includes all the above, loading and unloading the truck, transport, insurance, and wrappings and claddings to protect the furniture in the truck.
Thus, all things being equal, it makes sound financial sense to choose quotation B over A, even though A is $200 less than B.
2. Ask for help from friends and family
You do not have to pack, move, and unpack on your own. Friends and family are always keen to help. You will find that, as soon as you announce you are moving to a new home, both friends and family will offer to help. Take them up on this offer.
3. Plan your move using a spreadsheet
The more comprehensive your moving plan, the easier your move will be. Therefore, it is essential to draw up a checklist and a schedule using a spreadsheet or a Gantt chart.
What is a Gantt chart?
Simply stated, a Gantt chart is a “visual view of tasks scheduled over time.”
You add all of the tasks needed to be completed before, during, and after the move to this chart. Then you add start and end dates to each task. It stands to reason that not every task can start at the same time. Some tasks will follow on from previously completed tasks.
For instance, you can’t start packing your household goods into boxes if you have not purchased the packing materials. And you can’t unpack until everything has been packed, loaded into the truck, and transported to your new home.
4. Source well-priced packing materials
Once you have determined what packing materials you need, the next step is to find a shop that offers boxes, packing tape, and wrappings like newsprint and bubble wrap at a reasonable price. If you can find second-hand boxes in good condition, then take them rather than buying new ones.
5. Only pack what is necessary
Before you start packing:
- Go through all of your household goods and furniture, dividing everything into one of three piles: throw away or recycle.
- Donate or sell second-hand.
- Take with you.
The less you take with you, the cheaper your move, and vice versa. Thus, it is not a good idea to pack broken items, furniture, and household appliances you no longer use, or items that are cheaper to buy at your destination than they are to ship. Completing this task will help you save time, money, and effort.