Managing the Stress of Moving

Moving can be an extremely stressful and overwhelming time. Whether that be moving down the block, moving to a new state or moving across the world. Often when people talk about moving, they only talk about the external parts like packing, however, moving can also be an emotionally taxing experience as well. Like any other major transition, both our physical and emotional states need to be taken into account when planning for the shift.  

I recently went through my first major move having relocated to a new state. As a recent graduate fresh out of college, I was in desperate need of a new environment. So I packed up my stuff and moved over 16 hours away from home with no friends, family or a steady income. If I had to describe my feelings around the move, terrified would be an understatement, but I was still optimistic about this much needed transition. 

Regardless of your reason for moving, there are tons of steps you can take to make it as seamless as possible, you just have to know where to start. 

Start Early

Moving will always be a hassle, there’s absolutely no way around that, but it doesn’t have to feel rushed or overly stressful. It’s best to plan as far ahead as possible, especially if you’re a procrastinator (like me). This will make the move much more manageable in the long run. Set aside time to start deep cleaning and going through your things to either sell, donate or throw away. This step alone will save you tons of time and will help to avoid any additional stress.


Parting with possessions can be tough, but downsizing can save a lot of time, space and money. Throw out anything that no longer serves you. Trust me, I know how difficult it is. I hold on to almost anything that has any type of sentimental value or anything that I think might be of use to me at some point in life (even though I never end up using it). Downsizing was probably the biggest challenge I had when preparing for my move because I could literally only take what would fit in my small car. Although it was difficult, it gave me a new perspective on what things are actually considered valuable.



Regardless of where you’re moving, always be aware of your surroundings. Do your research beforehand to figure out what your new area will be like. Important local places to consider include police stations, grocery stores, libraries, clinics/hospitals, post offices, etc. Look up free and affordable leisurely activities like parks, restaurants, movie theaters, and even malls to give you something to look forward to after you get settled in. One important thing that I wish I had known ahead of time was to research the requirements for updating your license and registration in a new state. Each state is different and each process is different, but this can help save a lot of time if you can get an early start on this process.


Saying goodbye to your friends, loved ones and your home can be difficult. Depending on where you’re moving, you may not see these people for a while, so it’s super important to spend time with them before you leave. Celebrate, reminisce, have a party, go out for dinner.

Psychological Stressors

Moving is more than just packing boxes, it also requires a great deal of mental energy. Stress and anxiety are often felt when dealing with a move despite you having a general sense of where you’re going. Let’s not forget the fact that whatever is motivating your reason for moving, more than likely has some type of emotion attached. Stress and anxiety can manifest in many ways and can look like feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, experiencing impaired judgment or even having a lack of focus. It is imperative to prioritize both your physical and emotional well-being throughout this entire process.

Embrace Your Move

So basically, yes, moving can be very demanding, but not if you plan for it and give yourself ample time to get things done. I know that it’s easier said than done but don’t become consumed by worry. Moving can actually be a really positive and fulfilling experience if you approach it with the right attitude. Even if you do happen to feel overwhelmed, remind yourself that this change is happening for a reason. The only thing constant in life is change. So embrace your new journey and all that’s next to come. That’s what I plan to do!

Jalayna Lockhart