7 Ways To Make Moving Suck Less, From Someone Who Has Done It Too Many Times

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Research has shown that moving is more stressful than divorce. Personally, as someone who has moved 17 times in 15 years, I can agree with this 100 percent. Studies have consistently reported that moving is one of the most stressful life events because the amount of tiny details involved in moving to a new home makes a lot of people feel hella bajiggity. British energy company E.ON conducted a survey of 2,000 people, and six out of 10 people cited moving as the most stressful life event with divorce or a break up coming in second. What's more, if you're moving because of a break up, the stress can become overwhelming.

"Extensive research has demonstrated that accumulating a high number of life change units within a brief period of time (one or two years) is related to a wide range of physical illnesses (even accidents and athletic injuries) and mental health problems," Lumen Learning noted on its website. While you probably fully intend to prepare for you big move, the stress and anxiety that comes with finding a new home, putting things in boxes, deciding what to keep or toss, and organizing the actual move is enough to make even the most organized person want to take a nap. Here's why moving is so overwhelming, along with a few ways to make it suck less.


Forward Your Mail Earlier

Aside from actually moving, there are a ton of small details that go into settling into a new pad. First and foremost, you have to change your address so you're not chasing your mail all over town. While you should definitely do this with the post office, don't forget about your credit cards, your student loans, and car insurance.

Failing to change your address on everything with your name on it could lead to you standing at the gas pump trying to figure out which zip code to enter when you swipe your credit card. Most of your mail should forward, but E.ON suggests leaving some stamped envelopes with your new address on them when you vacate so the new tenants can easily forward any mail that still shows up at your old place.


How To Not Forget How Your Furniture Is Assembled

OK, I'd rather stick a pen in my eye than put anything together. There are always leftover parts that seem to serve no purpose, and the thing usually doesn't work as well as it did before. However, if you're moving and you want to fit everything in the truck, or up a narrow flight of stairs, you're probably going to have to take some things apart. Unfortunately this means you also have to reassemble them at your new pad.

If you're storing you stuff for a few months, remembering how to put your furniture together later is like trying to remember how to do seventh grade math. If you're hiring movers, they can take your stuff apart and put it back together for you. If you're opting for a DIY move, take pictures or video of how to reassemble your stuff. Additionally, make sure to put all of the parts in a bag and tape them to the items they go with.


Turning On The Utilities

Maybe you can get by for a few days without electricity, but WiFi is a must. So, remembering to contact all of the utility companies in advance of your move is pretty important, especially because it can take a few days for your new accounts to get set up. Luckily, making sure you have WiFi ASAP is relatively easy. A lot of internet companies will let your transfer your service and router to your new place. If you need to switch companies, you can usually get your service turned on and the equipment delivered so you can set it up as soon as you arrive.


Hire Some Help

I can't tell you the number of times I've tried to save money by moving everything myself and throwing out my back and neck in the process. Once you pay for the massage or physical therapy to relieve your moving-related injuries, you might not be saving any money at all. Hiring movers is totally worth it. If you can't afford to get a profesh crew, ask your friends to help and rent some moving dollies so no one has to lift a box of books that weighs eleventy-million pounds. There are also tons of moving apps where you can hire helpers for a pretty reasonable price.


Donate Your Unused Items

It makes sense to go through all of your stuff and get rid of anything that doesn't bring you joy per Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. While this is a great idea, and it means there's less stuff to haul, a lot of people skip this step. Because, who has the time with all of the other things you have to do? According to a survey from moving company Duck Brand, it takes 182 days for the average person to unpack every box, and some boxes never get unpacked at all. If you can live that long without something, you probably don't need it.


Organize Your Boxes By Necessity

Most of us aren't Rory Gilmore level organized, which means you're probably not going to be able to find stuff that you need. Like the wine opener, or your toothbrush. E.ON cited not being able to find essential items as one of the biggest moving headaches. If you know there's a few things you're going to need right away, don't pack them. Put them in a box or tote bag in your car so you can open that bottle of wine ASAP. Because, priorities.


Take Photos To Remember How Your Electronics Are Assembled

If you're super high-tech (I'm not), you're going to have to hook up all of your electronics at your new place. While Alexa is helpful with a lot of things, she can't do this one for you because she's a disembodied voice and not an actual robot. This is another instance where it's a good idea to take a video of how everything hooks together in order to cut down on the swearing when you're trying to reassemble it.

There's no way around it — moving sucks. Even the most organized person is going to experience a few hiccups and frustrations. Set yourself up for success as much as possible by making a list of everything that needs to happen before, during, and after your move. Surrender to the fact that it's going to be hard. To make it suck less, I suggest rewarding yourself with some takeout as soon as you get to your new place to make unpacking more bearable.