Getting Ready for a Big Move: Tips to Ease the Stress of Relocating

new house

Most people are going to move at some point in their life. Young adults going to college will have to move frequently over the course of their schooling. Newlyweds will most likely find a place away from their families to settle down. Some people will just get bored with their current living area and others will have to move for work related reasons.

Even if you’re the kind who enjoys the experience of getting settled into a different lifestyle and a different location, moving is still going to cause you a good deal of stress, simply because there’s so much to do in the planning and in the actual move itself.

In general, you probably already know that a move costs money, so saving is a major financial must. Beyond that, there are things you can do to make the move itself less stressful. While there’s no magic spell that will make a move miraculously and completely worry-free, eliminating at least a little stress will go a long way towards helping save your sanity in the moving process.

Job search ahead of time:

1. If you have access to the internet, start your job hunt before you even set foot into your new town. There are several different job sites out there, as well as local sites for the city you’re moving to. Post your resumes and do as many online applications as you can. If a temp agency is available in the area, sign up to work through them until you get settled. Once you actually make the move, you should already have your name out to several companies and following up with them will be a lot easier. Who knows? You might already have a job by the time you move.

It is a good idea to try, and find a good job before making the move, and if you follow these tips you can find a well paying job just in time before the big move takes place.

Have a place of residence ready:

2. This seems like an obvious one, but many people pack up and move with no idea of where they’re going to live. While you can survive if you have enough money for a hotel, there’s a good chance you’re going to want to have somewhere to call home when you get to your destination. If you have family or friends living near your new home, ask if you can stay with them temporarily.

Yes, you’ll have to swallow some pride and you should definitely offer up some compensation, but if they’re willing to help you out, you’ll have somewhere to stay while you look for a permanent place to live. You can also use the internet to look for apartments. This can be tricky, especially if you’re moving to a big city and are unsure of the safety of certain neighborhoods. But if you use your instincts and do as much research as you can, you should be able to complete online applications and find a home ready to welcome you.

Visit your post office:

3. Mail forwarding is quick and easy and can be done in enough time so that you don’t miss a beat where your mail is concerned. Ask a postal worker to show you the forms to fill out a few weeks before your move. You can also request that any new mail be held for a short period of time and then sent to your new address. This will take care of any stray mail while you contact everyone and let them know what your new address is going to be.

The post office also offers one form to have all your catalogs and magazines forwarded, saving you the time of contacting each one separately. If you’re unsure of a new address (i.e. haven’t found a place to live yet), make arrangements for your mail to be held. Then get a contact number so that you can call to have it released once you know where you’re going to live.

Plan for packing and cleaning help:

4. There’s a good chance you know someone looking to make a few extra dollars. Offer to pay them to help you load up your vehicle or trailer before the move. (High school and college students are especially good candidates for this, so ask around). Pick a few separate weekends before the move to have them come over and load up things you’re not going to need right away, like knick-knacks and dress clothes.

Even if you do all the packing, it’s nice to have help with the grunt work. You can also ask them if, for an extra fee, they would help get your soon to be old home in order by doing any yard work, painting, or repairs before you leave. They’ll enjoy the cash and you’ll enjoy the lack of stress from a lighter labor load.

It is also a great way for students to make money as you’re getting the help you need, and making your own life easier.

Take inventory of your necessities:

5. Many people have a hard time with letting go of certain pieces of décor and furniture. But remember, if you have limited space in your moving vehicle, you’re going to want to take the most important items. Figure out what you absolutely need and what can stay behind. Hold a rummage sale and use the money you make to help with your move. Remember that many items are replaceable, and that sometimes it’s easier to buy a new piece of furniture in your new residence than it is to haul it across the distance.

If you find you have too many things you just can’t let go of, rent a temporary storage facility and ask a trusted friend or family member to ship them to you (postage paid by you, of course) after you’re settled in. This will free up space in your vehicle and give you time to set up your new home without a bunch of other knickknacks to contend with.

Assign a box for the immediate needs:

6. When you move, there will be things you need right away, like towels, washcloths, eating utensils, bath stuff, and obviously your clothes. Keep these things separate and label them accordingly. Pack them last so that you’ll have easy access to them, both on the road if you need to stop at a hotel and at your new home once you get there.

The unpacking process will be tedious, but having the necessities right at your fingertips will save you a lot of time and stress in having to sort through boxes to find what you need. (Note: For all of your boxes, make sure you label them with a permanent black marker so if you do have to go searching, you’ll find what you need a lot easier).

Get your vehicle travel ready:

7. If you’re going to be using your personal vehicle for the move, make sure it’s in good condition before you head out. Most full service stations will not only give you an oil change, they’ll check your lights, fluids, brakes, and tires. Make sure you have all your registration and insurance papers in your glove compartment in case you get pulled over and a fully charged cell phone with important numbers handy for emergencies. Knowing that you’ll be safe on the road will take at least some stress off your shoulders during your move.

Take care of yourself:

8. It’s easy to forget about taking care of your own body when you’re stressing about a move, but it’s an important part to making sure that your anxiety levels stay down and your health levels stay up. Prior to the move, make sure you’re eating well and following an exercise program, even if it’s just taking a half hour walk as your break from packing. The tendency for movers is to order out pizza and other fast foods, and while this is convenient, don’t let yourself get into the rut of burgers and fries for every meal.

Opt for healthier menu items like salads or grilled chicken sandwiches. During the move, keep a cooler with fresh fruit and plenty of bottled water on hand. While you may think you need a caffeine boost to keep you alert on the road, staying hydrated will actually give you the energy you need for the drive. Feeling healthy won’t eliminate all the stress of a move, but it will help stop any ailments or just overall poor health that would make the move harder.


Planning and preparation will take you far towards having a much easier move than what you might have had. Even though there’s bound to be some bumps along the way, there are ways to make the transition of moving to a new home easier. Give these a try for a safe, healthy, and hopefully smoother move and good luck in your new home.