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Tips for Managing Moving Stress

Posted How-to / March 20, 2021

How stressful is it to move? Well, it depends on the person and type of move, but moving stress is no joke, especially if you are moving internationally. There’s just so much to be done, and it comes with a cost, which is in itself, a stressor. If you are about to embark on this endeavor – worry not, as there are ways to at least lessen the stress. And we share them all in this article. So, get comfy on that chair, and get ready to scroll down and soak up the knowledge it took us years of experience to gather.

Why Is Moving Stressful?

Not only is moving stressful in itself even if it’s a local move but moving overseas is a real challenge, especially if you are relocating across the world. So many aspects factor into it – maybe you are relocating abroad alone, and you’re feeling lonely, maybe you don’t really want to move, maybe you are moving to another country for love and have to deal with breaking the language barrier. There are so many documents needed to travel abroad, and figuring out how to move house plants long-distance and how to organize an international car shipping can give you a headache. There’s just so much to it, and each move is unique, but here are the most common stressors and the biggest issues people deal with when relocating:

  • Changes – No matter why you are relocating, adjusting to a new country and living overseas brings with it many changes and challenges. You might be on a planned-out and much-desired employee relocation or relocating to another place for love, but you will still feel overwhelmed. It is, after all, a major life change. Learning a new language abroad isn’t easy, either, especially if you aren’t the happiest about the move or the place you are going to. The fear of the unknown and the anxiety about moving out and changes are totally normal and to be expected.
  • Money – Let’s face it – relocating isn’t cheap. If you are relocating your whole household, the costs can amount to thousands of dollars. Not to mention if you need to use the overseas vehicle shipping services for the family car or both of them. You may as well be super excited about the move and might be on your way to some of the best places to live abroad with family, but the financial aspect of it can still be overwhelming.
  • Tasks and things to do – Yap, there are many tasks to do before, during, and after the move. Endless searches on how to move overseas, what relocation questions to ask the employer can give you gray hair – so can the act of carrying out all the tasks and worrying about forgetting something. Not to mention getting a hold of all the regulations in a bid to travel abroad during COVID19. It is an endeavor, but not an impossible mission – many have undertaken it successfully. And so will you, if you follow our tips.

#1 Know and Accept That Moving Stress Is Normal

Basically – there’s no way around it. Stress is going to be a part of this process one way or another, in one form or another. The goal here is to keep it to a minimum, so you can function and stay calm. To do so, you will have to prepare yourself and accept the fact that this period is going to be stressful for you and your family. With that in mind, it will be easier for you to prepare yourself, be on top of things, and avoid the stressors. This is the first and the most important tip – once you start with the right (and positive) attitude, brace yourself for a challenge, and follow the other tips, you will be able to get out of this scratch-free. Here are some inspirational quotes about relocating that can get you in the right mood.

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If the Stress Is Too Much – Get Professional Help

If these quotes don’t help, and you find yourself too overwhelmed and in a mess, consider getting professional help. There’s no shame in it, and no, it’s not too small of a problem. What are the 3 most stressful things in life? Yap, relocating at number 3, right after the death of a loved one and divorce. So, don’t refrain from contacting a professional regarding this – it’s a real thing and a good-enough reason. And nowadays, it’s super easy to talk with a professional, even online, and it makes a real difference. And, if it can keep your head calm during this period – why not give it a shot?

Is Moving Stressful on a Relationship?

Best believe. You will oftentimes hear people mention relocating or how many times they’ve moved together when counting what they’ve been through in life as a couple. You’ll have someone say ’15 years, 3 kids, 2 pets, and 3 moves, and we’re still together’. And not for no reason, as you are soon to find out. So many changes, tasks to do, money issues, and two people both under a lot of pressure – well, you do the math. It’s bound to reflect on a relationship, as well. But, hey – those who move together, stay together! So, whether you are relocating to Tokyo or some of the best places to retire in Europe, this will strengthen your relationship, bring you closer, and make sure you stay together for a long time after. And, who knows how many more moves.

#2 Start Preparing on Time

This sounds like a no-brainer – everything is better and gets done easier if we start on time, right? Yet, somehow, we tend to fail to do this, and more often than not, find ourselves on a tight schedule. This is not something you want happening to you on an international moving experience. So, as soon as you learn of the move, set it in motion. Do your due research – find out what kind of documents you’ll need and how to get them. Start reading about how to pack shoes. Start getting to know the place you’re going. Start with all the other steps as soon as possible. The earlier you start, the easier it will be, and the less pressure you’ll be under.

Make Checklists to Stay Organized and on Top of Things

As you have figured out by now, you’ll have a lot to do before you’re settled into your new home somewhere around the globe. You want to stay organized and on top of things, and you don’t want to overlook anything. So, it’s time to plan and get familiar with checklists. The right moving abroad checklist will help you stay on top of things even if you are relocating during the holidays.

Enlist all the stuff you should take care of, like finding a place to live, turning on the utilities there, getting all the documentation in order, and simpler tasks like packing. Another kind of checklist you should have is a checklist of the expenses. Set a budget for relocating, and stick to it, but also include other tasks, like setting up your new home. Here’s a nice video that shows the importance of checklists and how to make a good one.

#3 Hire the Right International Moving Company

We can’t stress this enough – when you are moving internationally, it’s key that you use the moving services of a reliable international moving company. The company you hire can make or break your entire move. If you choose the right one, your move will be easy and smooth. But if you go with an unprofessional company – problems will only add up, and you’ll be under a lot of pressure and have a lot of problems to deal with. Booking a mover is one of the tasks you also want to do early on, preferably as soon as you find out or decide to move and set a budget. See what services you will be able to afford, will you be able to cover the packing services as well, and whether or not you require the use of storage services. When you have it all sorted out, book the service and get on to packing.

#4 Follow Some Packing Tips for Moving Internationally

Packing to move and wondering where to start? This question can give you a headache and may leave you confused, not knowing where to begin. But, it’s actually easy – get all the boxes and moving supplies ready early on and pack the items you don’t use or don’t use that often first. Bust out the stuff you already have stored somewhere in your home and closets and start from there. Then pack stuff like seasonal clothing, extra towels, artwork, and books.

Work your way through to the clothes you’ll keep with you during your trip. Let this serve as a good opportunity to declutter and donate – you will make your packing and move easier, and you’ll make someone else happy along the way. Another piece of advice when it comes to packing – label and color-code the boxes and make inventories. You’ll be happy you did when you arrive at your new home, and it’s time to unpack.

#5 Ask Your Friends and Family to Help

Remember – you are not in this alone. Even if it may seem like that at the moment, we are sure your friends and family would be more than happy to give you a hand. If they haven’t offered themselves to help, don’t shy away from asking them. They can come by and give you a hand while packing, or they can assist with lifting large objects.

If you are relocating with pets, you can even ask them to look after your cat or dog while you do the packing or organize yourself. Who doesn’t love a little (or big) fur ball? Or they can just bring you coffee or food on a busy day and hear you out while you vent about the process. Either way, even a little help from a friend goes a long way, so don’t be afraid to take them up on their offer or ask for it. And, don’t forget to return the favor if you have a chance.

What’s the Best Way to Say Goodbye to Friends When Moving?

Saying goodbye will be difficult for both you and your friends. So, try to make the most of it. Throw a memorable party. You can also give them some tokens of friendships or going-away gifts, like the pictures of you together or some other memorabilia. And, don’t forget – we live in the internet era, and the question of how to keep in touch with friends after you’ve moved to another country isn’t really rocket science. There are plenty of ways you’ll still be able to communicate with each other and be part of each other’s lives. Your relationship will change, and you won’t be able to see each other that much or share that much, but you can still be friends.

#6 Don’t Forget to Breathe

We don’t mean that literally, of course, even though proper breathing techniques do wonders when it comes to peace of mind. Don’t let yourself become too consumed into little things and tasks and drown. Take deep breaths and get enough sleep. Get some rest, as well. Don’t forget what this is all about – you taking a new chapter in life. This goes a bit back to tip No.1 – accept that you’ll be stressed and there’ll be challenges, be up to the task, but give yourself a break, too. Don’t be too hard on yourself and beat yourself up if you miss a deadline or forget about something. Hey, it happens. Allow for some leeway and mistakes in the organization and your timeline, and you’ll be good.

#7 When Everything Is Set and Assembled – Enjoy Your New Home

And last but not least – when you unpack and set up your home, enjoy it – the home itself and your new adopted country. Even if you don’t like it that you’re there – give it a chance. Explore the place, get to know it, and how to live in another country. Get some tips for learning a new language, if another one is spoken there, and give it a go – it will be fun. Put yourself out there and meet new people – who knows, you may fall in love with the place and find friends for life.

Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

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