Moving can be a complicated and stressful process that requires a tremendous amount of planning, organization, and, oftentimes, no small amount of physical effort. But before you find the strength to start packing and lifting boxes, you should take the time to mentally prepare because doing so will make the upcoming moving process easier, more efficient, and even more enjoyable.

In this article, we have listed our top four steps to mentally prepare to move. Whether you are moving down the street, to another state, or even to a different country, these steps will help you slowly transition to this new chapter of your life.

Create a Packing and Planning Schedule

If there is one step on this guide that we recommend you utilize most, it’s this one. Moving is an intricate process filled with mini to moderate to significant tasks that need to get done. The best way to ensure these tasks don’t overwhelm you is to create a schedule.

Once you’ve decided you’re going to move, create a schedule for planning and packing. This can either be in a notebook, on a calendar, using an online planning program or whatever you are most comfortable with.

Events you should plan for include:

  • Move out date
  • Move in date
  • Finding new dentists, doctors, schools, and other necessary services in your new area
  • Transferring and/or acquiring records (ex., driver’s license and registration for new state, medical records, etc.)
  • Hiring moving services
  • Rent moving equipment
  • Contacting utilities for new and current home
  • Contacting insurance companies

Of course, in addition to these steps are countless little tasks you’ll need to get done, but having them down will help you keep track of what you need to do and what’s already been taken care of. This will help significantly reduce stress and keep you organized.

Having a packing schedule can aid this as well. The last thing you want to do is cram all your packing into the day or two before you leave. Not only is this usually a large and physically demanding task, but procrastinating on it also ensures some of your belongings might arrive at the new home after you and leaves little room for last-minute emergencies.

Instead, make a schedule that spans several weeks or even months where you slowly pack things away. Start with what you need least, and then leave the items you need most for the day or two before you leave. You might also want to give yourself an extra week when making this schedule in case life gets hectic (as it so often does) and you have to skip a day or two of packing and planning for the sake of your mental sanity.

Make the Big Changes Before You Leave

Going along with the previous tip on planning is one we’d like to make regarding how you prioritize some of these changes.

It is highly recommended that you make the big changes before you leave, such as forwarding your mail to the new address, making sure the utilities are ready to use before you arrive, changing your address ahead of time, and so on.

Some of these you won’t want to do until a week or a few days before you move, but even so, knowing that a lot of the technicalities will ease the process. Having some of your items professionally moved in before you and having the utilities already set up will also help this process feel more comfortable. After all, who wants to arrive after a long day of moving and find their new place doesn’t have heat yet?

Get Excited for the Future Without Sacrificing the Present

A big part of mentally preparing to move is coming to terms with the fact that you are relocating and getting excited for this while also appreciating the past and the memories your current location gave you by taking advantage of the present.

Instead of seeing the moving process as a sad or even worrisome event, try to get excited about your future home by researching the area. Look for things you’d like to do when you arrive and get familiar with the area, as this will help you feel more comfortable and less out of place once you get there.

While you’re doing that, don’t forget the friends, family, and opportunities you still have at your current location.

You don’t want to have your eyes so far on the horizon that you forget to embrace the moment. Instead, make a conscious effort to visit your favorite locations one last time, say goodbye to your local friends and family, and come to peace with what you are leaving behind.

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help

For some, the moving process is a piece of cake, especially if they’re used to the nomadic lifestyle and have few belongings to pack up in the first place. For others, they have built their lives around where they currently live, and the process of relocating is either too much stress and planning or takes more time than they have. Luckily, you don’t have to do everything alone.

Sometimes, one of the best things you can do to ease the weight of moving that resides solely on your shoulders is to ask for help. The most common way to do this is to hire professional planners, movers, and other companies that are dedicated to making processes like this easier and getting everything done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

While professionals are rarely a bad way to go, if they simply aren’t in your budget, friends, and family can be a fantastic resource for help. If you have people in your life who excel at planning or a willing to come over and help you pack, don’t hesitate to ask them. Sweetening the deal with a gift card or treating them to a meal could help if you’d feel uncomfortable asking without providing compensation.

Final Thoughts

This is not, by any means, a comprehensive list of tips that can help you mentally prepare you to move, but it is an excellent place to start. If we had one parting tip, it would be to allow yourself to truly feel all the emotions that this process incites.

Moving is emotional, and bottling up those emotions will only lead to missed opportunities and make things harder. If you’re stressed, take the time to relax; if you’re sad about leaving, embrace and come to terms with it. This will promote better mental health during and even after the move and, hopefully, allow you to enjoy the overall process.