The Emotional Stages of Moving: What to Expect and How to Navigate Them

You’re not imagining it: your upcoming move is taking a significant toll on your emotions (and yes, there’s scientific proof that this happens for many people). Why is moving so emotional? Is it normal to be sad about moving or feel stress from moving to a new city you’re excited about? When it comes down to it, yes, it’s normal to go through several different emotional stages of moving. If you’re planning a big move soon, read on to learn how to navigate them. 


The Emotional Stages of Moving


1. Yay, I’m moving!


For many people, the first emotion they experience when they find out they’re moving is excitement, and rightfully so. Everything is about to feel fresh and new for you. The anticipation is thrilling!


2. Oh no! I’m moving!


As the excitement wears off, you might feel sad about moving. How do you switch from excited to sad that quickly? This is normal, too, and you may feel nostalgic about leaving your current home. You’ve had a lot of memories there, after all. During this time, staying connected with friends near and far is essential. Remind yourself that friendships don’t have to end just because you’re moving, and don’t be afraid to talk with friends or a mental health professional about your mixed emotions as they arise.


3. How will I ever get this done?


You might feel overwhelmed when you’re neck-deep in boxes and packing paper. Again, it’s normal. Even if you’re excited about your big move, moving is one of the most stressful life events we can experience. The logistics of packing, coordinating a moving truck, asking for help hauling heavy items, setting up your new home, and tying up all the loose ends can be a HEAVY load. As you enter the manual labor and logistical part of your move, keep tabs on your stress levels. Here are a few ways to manage the stress and overwhelm:

  • Take breaks whenever you need to (and get out of the house and away from the packing scene for those breaks). You won’t be doing your mental health (or your physical health, for that matter) any favors by pushing past your limits.
  • Continue with your daily and weekly routines, like making a cup of tea before bedtime or calling a friend at the same time each week. These little things may not seem like much, but they can give you much-needed familiarity in a time of lots of change.
  • Make a detailed plan for your move with checklists and rough timelines. Having an idea of what you need to accomplish can help you have more peace of mind. 
  • Keep up with self-care activities and hobbies. For many of us, it’s easy to ditch our “playtime” when we have a mounting to-do list. But in reality, stressful times are when we need that playfulness the most! Squeeze in a yoga class when you can, or carve out an hour to read, bake, or do whatever makes you happy. 
  • Look for shortcuts. This doesn’t mean you should cut corners, but you can look for ways to take the pressure off, like renting furniture from CORT or hiring professional movers to help pack and load.


4. Ugh- unpleasant surprises.


Even the best-formulated plans can’t account for some things, especially when moving. Maybe the moving truck got a flat tire, or your new landlord needs to delay your move in. These things happen, but they don’t have to derail your peace. If there’s one thing to keep in mind, it’s this: expect the unexpected. If you can stay in a mindset of rolling with the punches and knowing things won’t go perfectly, you’ll be much less likely to fly off the handle when they inevitably don’t go according to plan. And by the way, all the above tips (like self-care and breaks) apply to this stage, too.


5. Phew, you’re finally in your new home.


You did it – you’ve got the keys and you’re in your new home, and some (if not all) of your overwhelmed feelings can dissolve into sweet relief. You’ve done everything that was time sensitive, and now you have some breathing room. Now is the time to add personal touches and creature comforts (like your fancy espresso maker that has been collecting dust in storage) to your home and make the space yours. Adjusting to your new home may require patience, but the worst of the chaos is over. Have fun with things as you set up your new place!


6. Now what?


As your stress levels come down from the sheer amount of task-mastering you’ve just accomplished, you may feel disappointed. Feeling lonely after moving is common, too, and some people may even feel a wave of relocation depression or anxiety. If that’s you, don’t be too hard on yourself. There’s no way around it: finding community and adjusting to a new city takes time. But you don’t have to be miserable while you build your new life! Keep in touch with friends and family, feel your feelings as they arise, and know that your new home and city will feel more familiar with every passing day.


7. How do I want this new chapter to look?


While it may seem impossible initially, finding a routine you love in a place you’re unfamiliar with is possible. When you hit this stage, let curiosity be your key. Look for ways to meet people in your new city, like networking events or happy hours. Ask a local friend where the best coffee shops are, and get to know the commonly used amenities around you, like grocery stores, restaurants, and local shops. Soon, you’ll find your favorite spots and your go-to friends, and just like that, you’ll be living your best life in a new city. Look at you go!


Minimize Stress from Moving with Help from CORT

As you experience the different emotional stages of moving, CORT is here to support you. From the excitement of planning your furniture package with our team, to cutting the stress of moving the furniture yourself, renting furniture from CORT makes the moving process a breeze. Hear how CORT has helped other customers with their move:

Ready to make your big move a little easier? Maximize your move — and reduce stress — with CORT Furniture Rental. Renting furniture with CORT is an easy way to minimize the stressors of shipping bulky furniture across state lines or waiting for new pieces to arrive. Start building your furniture rental package online or in-store at your local CORT showroom today!

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