Life

Six tips to make moving house stress-free

Written by: Esther Smith

We’ve all heard (or had) a moving home horror story. Here’s a handy moving guide to make your next shift as stress free as possible.


First, a pop quiz: the last time you moved house, did you exclaim “I’m never moving ever again!”? As anyone who has ever tried to fit their entire kitchen into three packing boxes knows, moving house can be one of the most stressful experiences of a person’s life. There are elbows to whack against door frames, heavy objects to be lifted, and heightened emotions that will have you laughing hysterically one minute, crying the next.

Yes, moving is a big deal, but there are things you can do to ease the burden on your mind (and lower back). So, whether you’re shifting into the apartment or house you’ve just bought, or doing the rental tango from suburb to adjoining suburb, read on for six tips that will make your next move a stress-free experience.

1. Trust the professionals

If you’ve got heavy appliances, oversized mirrors, awkwardly shaped furniture or hefty musical equipment, it’s best to step aside and let professional removalists do the job (or look to apps like Airtasker to help find someone to help). Movers have a way of working out exactly what to move first, how to get it through the doorways, and where to put it in the truck. Yes, it’s more expensive than a DIY job, but it’s a small price to pay for a big investment in your own emotional (and physical!) wellbeing.

2. Keep important documents safe

Moving house isn’t just about shifting furniture: it’s a paperwork game, too. Before you start the big move, put together a folder or plastic envelope where you can keep all your important documents (rental agreements or purchase information, insurance policies, utilities suppliers, or your proof of identity). Then, put it somewhere it won’t get lost, like inside a built-in drawer, in your car glove box, or even – don’t laugh – in the bathtub. You’ll be glad when the real estate agent calls for information and you don’t have to say “Give me 15 minutes, I think I saw the form somewhere in here…”

3. Watch out for your furry friends

Moving might be stressful for humans, but it’s a whole different ballgame for pets, who may get spooked by all the activity. Cats in particular love a box to play in, so to avoid the possibility of their being taped up inside a packing crate marked “BATHROOM STUFF”, consider asking a friend if they can look after Pip or Fido during the final few days of your move.

4. Don’t forget to eat

It’s all too easy to find yourself churning through moving house with only a coffee here and a cheeseburger there, which will quickly leave you strung out and run down. Make sure you take regular rest breaks and eat proper meals to keep your energy levels up. You’ll be glad of it when you reach your new home and won’t feel the need to sink onto the bare mattress and sleep for 24 hours!

5. Ask for help!

They don’t have to lug boxes down stairs or help carry wobbling bookshelves into moving trucks, but your friends and fam can help in other ways. Maybe someone you know just moved and has a stack of packing boxes they don’t need anymore; perhaps your aunt has a spare roll of bubble wrap she’ll swap for a nice bottle of wine. Moving house is stressful, but you don’t have to be a martyr about it: it’s okay to reach out when you feel the panic rising.

6. Stay positive

Let’s be real, nobody is trying to tell you that moving house is a dream come true, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare, either.

Take a moment to look on the bright side: maybe you’re finally moving away from that neighbour with the loud stereo, or moving closer to your favourite restaurant, or into a house with a feature you’ve always dreamed of. And if the bright side still seems like a distant horizon, then remember this: moving house doesn’t last forever. After a few days of unpacking boxes, you’ll be relaxing in your home raising a glass and saying “I’m never moving ever again!”

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