Moving house is among the most stressful things that will happen in a person’s lifetime. According to some polls, it’s even more traumatic than a bereavement or a divorce! When we consider that most of us move house around four times over the course of a lifetime, it’s worth thinking about how we can keep this stress to a bare minimum.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how we might do just this by posing ourselves a few questions before we get started with the move.
Many movers find that they underestimate the total cost of moving their possessions from one place to another. If you find during the move that the costs are spiralling way above your budget, then you’ll inevitably become stressed. The best way to counter this stress is to budget well in advance. If you’re moving for work purposes, then your employer might contribute (or even cover) these expenses.
Finding a job in a new and unfamiliar area is among the most stressful things about moving – particularly if the process doesn’t go as well as you’d initially hoped. If you’re moving because of work, then you’ll be at an advantage here, as you won’t have the same amount of uncertainty hanging over your head. You’ll be able to move straight into your new position, and, with any luck, appreciate all of the other qualities of your new home.
If you’re moving to a new a job, then be sure to carefully research your new employer. Do members of the organisation speak highly of it? Are the company’s finances in good health? Is the industry in good health in the area you’ve moving too? The last thing you want is to have to move back after the company goes under – so be sure that you’ve done all you can to anticipate such an outcome.
If you’ve got children, then the decision about where to locate will be still more complex. You’ll need to investigate all of the local schools, and see which have the best reputations. If your budget allows for it, then you might consider private schooling.
Will you be able to adjust?
If you’re migrating from one country to another, then you’ll inevitably run into some friction during the first few months of your stay. You might need to learn a whole new language, and adapt to longer (or shorter) working hours and sleeping patterns. This friction can be limited by researching and planning in advance. Expose yourself to as much of the culture as your new homeland as possible, and be sure that you’re firmly acquainted with the language.
This research will give you the opportunity to prepare for the move – but also to warn you of things you might not like about a particular culture. If you’re a woman, for example, then you might not appreciate the modesty laws of ultra-conservative Gulf States.
The same is true of the climate – if you’re used to living in Scotland, then a move to Nicaragua is almost certain to take some getting used to. Be sure that you expose yourself to the climate of your new home before you commit to the move – as it’ll be far more stressful to pull out later.
Even if you’re moving just a short distance, and you aren’t crossing any national borders, you might find tremendous variation within the same country. Life in Central London is quite different to life in rural Cornwall – so you’ll want to be sure that you really appreciate the change of pace.
If you’re used to plenty of entertainment and culture, new shows to see and new restaurants to visit, then a move to the middle of the countryside might be a bit of a shock. If your passion is quite specific, then you’ll want to look for opportunities to pursue it in your new area – sailing enthusiasts, for example, will likely be more at home in Abersoch than in Milton Keynes.
Of course, this sort of cultural change might be precisely the reason you’re moving in the first place!
Some people are able to make friends more easily than others. If you’ve a member of a close-knit social group, which has been together for years on end, then you might not have had much practice in socialising with strangers in a while.
You’ll want to be sure that you’ve got the opportunity to make new friends in your new area. Where will you meet people outside of work? What chance will you have to meet new people and interact with them? What’s the nightlife like there?
If you’re going to move to a new and faraway home, then you might justifiably be worried about what might go wrong. That being the case, be sure that you aren’t leaping in blind – if you’re aware of the potential problems, you’ll be in a much better to deal with them if (and when) they arise.