Everybody Hates Moving – Here’s How to Make It LESS Stressful

Did you know that moving can be so stressful, some researchers rank it as the most stressful life event1?!

For most of us, moving leads to new chapters and new beginnings. It’s a time for celebration and looking forward to brighter days ahead. 

But to get to that point, you’ve got a LOT of preparation to do for the moving process. (And yes, part of this involves creating a shift in your mindset.

To help you get through this process unscathed, let’s dive into the causes of move-related stress, plus our best tips to relieve the common anxiety around moving.

Table of Contents

Why is Moving Stressful?

The cost. 


Shoving the entire contents of your life into boxes and dropping said boxes off with a stranger who will haul them across the country in a truck.

Picking up and moving your family across the country where you know no one — the list of why moving is so incredibly stressful goes on and on.

A survey by the American Psychiatric Association found that Americans are the most anxious about finances, safety, and health. Moving can trigger anxiety because it impacts your finances and safety.

Here are the top causes for move-related stress:

Moving Stress Trigger #1: Money

Money plays a significant role in moving stress. 

Moving is expensive. There are deposits, down payments, the cost of the movers and moving supplies, new furniture, and so on. 

This can lead to many sleepless nights worrying about whether you can realistically afford all the mounting costs.

Moving Stress Trigger #2: Planning

There’s a lot of planning to do when you’re prepping for a move… Including everything from finding a reputable company, coordinating the move day and other contractors, to finding new schools, doctors, and more.

Plus, you have to squeeze in all the planning between your daily routine of work, school, and your relationships! (Sometimes all three.)

Moving Stress Trigger #3: Packing

Packing up your entire life is one of the most dreaded parts of moving. 

It’s time-consuming and exhausting. But it’s also stressful. 

What if your great-grandmother’s tea set gets damaged? How are you going to live without all of your belongings until they arrive at your new place?

Moving Stress Trigger #4: Pets

Your pets need to accompany you on the move, but it doesn’t mean they’ll enjoy it. 

It can be stressful to coordinate their care. Once you arrive, you have the added stress of an unfamiliar location for your fur baby. You may spend more time soothing your pet than you expected.

Moving Stress Trigger #5: Fear of the Unknown

Another major moving stress trigger, and the one that’s most likely to have your thoughts racing at all hours of the night, is the unknown.

You’re likely moving to an unfamiliar place, and the list of fears that come with the unknown is endless.

This anxiety becomes magnified if you have children who must also adapt to a new place, new school, and curriculum, finding new sports teams and friends, and so on.

Stress and Moving—What the Science Says

Let’s dig deeper into some moving and stress-related stats and studies:

  • 34% of movers report feeling anxious during the move.
  • 40% of movers reported depression and physical illness during the move.
  • 60% of survey respondents have put off looking for a new home because of moving-related stress.  

The Impact of Moving

Change, even when it’s expected, planned for, and for a great purpose, is HARD.

As humans, we adapt to our routines and find comfort in familiarity.

When that changes as drastically as it does during a move, it can be a recipe for an emotional rollercoaster.

Helping Kids Cope with Moving Anxiety

Moving can be especially difficult for children who have to adapt to a new schedule and curriculum. They also have to adjust to new teachers, coaches, other authority figures, and find new friends.

These disruptions may even cause children to misbehave and act out when the stress and anxiety feel overwhelming. 

Here are a few ways to alleviate the stress and anxiety of moving for your kids:

  1. Explain why the move is necessary.
  2. Try to familiarize your kids with the new area as much as possible. You can use maps, photos, social media, and books if/when physical visits aren’t possible.
  3. Talk frequently about the “pros” the new location offers that your kids will appreciate, such as a state-of-the-art water park or a beach.
  4. If your child is a senior in high school, consider letting them stay with a close family member or friend until they graduate.
  5. Get the kids involved with designing and picking out furniture for their new room.
  6. Make sure your kids know they can stay in touch with their friends from their old neighborhood.

How Does Moving Effect Your Pets?

Effects of Moving Stress on Cats

Cats get stressed in unfamiliar locations. It’s important that you keep the same routine as at the old house as your cat adjusts, try to bring as many of their favorite toys or items with the smell of the old house on them with you, and when all else fails: catnip. 

Effects of Moving Stress on Dogs

Does moving stress out dogs? It definitely can!

Dogs are more stressed with unfamiliar noises and items in the house. So, get your pets used to these disturbances beforehand. 

Start acclimating your pets to the sound of tape and stacks of boxes a couple of weeks before you start the process. 

Stick to your routine and give them extra play and walk time. A new toy or bone at the new house doesn’t hurt either!

3 Expert Tips for Relieving Move-Day Stress

If you’re already feeling the stress of moving, here are a few tips that can help:

1. Keep Your Stress in Check

It’s important to take a step back and breathe every once in a while during the moving process.

Remember that, while it may be sad to leave the place where you made so many memories, you’re only leaving the physical location. You can take the memories with you.

Focus on self-care to keep your stress in check and make time to go on walks, take a bubble bath, or watch an episode of your favorite show.

These small serene moments will do wonders for keeping stress at bay.

2. Moving During a Difficult Time

Unfortunately, not all moves are under happy circumstances. 

Moving because of a job or family member loss can aggravate the already stressful situation. During these times, lean on your support system as much as you can. 

That may mean asking your friends to help lift boxes, storing some things in a family member’s garage, and looking for short-term housing solutions.

It’s important to take the moving process—like everything else—day by day if you’re moving during a difficult time.

3. Make a Long-Distance Move Less Stressful

The farther you’re moving, the more stress you’ll inevitably feel. 

However, there are some things you can do to relieve long-distance move stress, including:

  • Prepare early. Don’t expect to pick up and move across the country in two weeks. Coordinating a move in a faraway place requires much more time and planning. As soon as you know you are moving, start the planning process. Map out each stage of your move in writing so you can see what needs to be done and when. Move backward from your moving date and note what needs to be accomplished in order of priority.
  • Lighten your load. When you’re making a long-distance move, it’s best not to keep everything. You’ll be more stressed trying to cram everything on the moving truck, and your moving costs will escalate. Plus, the time spent packing and unpacking will only add to your anxiety and frustration.
  • Do a home inventory. Take inventory of your house and figure out which items are worth keeping (items with sentimental value, the kids’ favorite toys, items you love, etc.), and which items you should sell or donate. 
  • Get professional moving & packing help. One surefire way to make your long-distance (and local) move a lot less stressful is by leaning on an expert team of professional movers. Movers will handle the logistics of the physical move as well as the heavy lifting. Entrust an experienced moving company to get your goods safely from point A to point B for your own peace of mind.

Wrapping Up

Moving doesn’t have to be a stressful, dreaded experience.

If you give yourself enough time to prepare, get organized, and rely on a team of moving experts, you can safely move your belongings to your new home without the added chaos.

Ready to get started on a stress-free move? Choose trustworthy movers with superb training and thousands of great reviews! 

Like or Share This Page With Friends!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email


  1. “Moving Is More Stressful than Getting Divorce, Becoming a Parent, Survey Finds.” Study Finds, Oct. 2020, www.studyfinds.org/moving-more-stressful-than-divorce-having-kids. Accessed 28 Apr 2021.
  2. “APA Public Opinion Poll – Annual Meeting 2018.” Psychiatry.org, 2018, www.psychiatry.org/newsroom/apa-public-opinion-poll-annual-meeting-2018. Accessed 28 Apr 2021.

Moving with Pets & Keeping Them Zen

Whether you've had weeks or months to plan your move, you're probably stressed about the process.

Now imagine if you had no time to prepare, and were told you were moving to a new home only as you were squished into a car filled with boxes.

Talk about stress!

And that's exactly how your pets will probably feel on moving day--unless you make some preparations ahead of time.

So, if you want to relieve some of the stress of moving, consider these tips on keeping your pets relaxed, happy and safe while you wait for the movers to arrive.

Keep the Environment Relaxed

We all know moving is stressful, but you don't need to broadcast that to your pets in the months before the move. They can easily sense your anxiety and will start to feel anxious themselves if they frequently see you yelling, crying, or hurriedly tossing your belongings into boxes. So it's important to stay calm for the sake of your pets--and your belongings!

You can reduce your odds of feeling extra stressed by leaving yourself plenty of time to pack and clean. Don't wait until the days leading up to your move. You should start decluttering and packing soon after you call local moving companies for quotes. But don't do it suddenly and frantically. Instead, work methodically so your house gets packed up gradually enough that your pets barely notice the change. This way, there's no sudden shift in their environment, allowing them to continue to feel safe and relaxed.

Prepare Your Pets to Travel

Another way to relax your pets before the movers show up is to make travel arrangements ahead of time. Will you be driving your car to your new home, with your pets next to you, or will you be taking them on a plane? Either way, you'll probably need to use a kennel, which means you should spend some time getting your pets used to it if they're not kennel trained.

If you'll be driving to your new home, remember that you'll need to stop often so your pets can go potty. Be sure to bring some snacks and their water bowl, plus some bottled water you can fill it with. If your pets have comfort items or favorite toys, bring those for them to cuddle with during the road trip to your new home.

If your pets will be flying with you, check with the airline for the rules regarding pets on the plane. You'll want to know where they'll be for the flight and what you need to bring, such as a kennel and any extra fees you have to pay for your pet to travel. Doing all this ahead of time can reduce the stress on you and your pets on the day the movers arrive.

Give Your Pets Time to Explore the New Home

Maybe you already did a few walk-throughs of your new home and know exactly who is getting what bedroom. But your pets probably missed out on all the fun and will feel lost for a bit when they arrive. So give them some time to explore their new digs! They're going to need some time to sniff around the house and find their favorite spot.

To help your pets feel right at home, unpack a few of their favorite things and place them in whatever space will be theirs. Once they've had some time to look around, consider going on a walk around the neighborhood. And give them some extra attention once the movers leave and you've started settling in as a family. They're going to be confused for a while, but they trust you. So as long as you seem happy and relaxed, they will, too!

Part of moving with pets and keeping them calm is preparing ahead of time, and you can get started by contacting moving companies for quotes as soon as you know you're moving. At 3 Men Movers, we'll gladly give you a free quote for our moving services, so contact us today!

Moving With Pets 101

If move day is around the corner, you’ve probably made arrangements for movers to come, and started compiling a list of things that you need to get done to complete the process. So, make sure your pet’s needs make the list too!

Sometimes our pets are so much a part of our family that we forget they require special treatment on move day.

That’s where we can help!

The last thing that you want on move day is an anxious or scared pet.

Like children, pets thrive on stability. So, having the whole house packed and moved is scary! They want to know that they are going with you.

Here are a few tips and tricks that can help your pets remain comfortable and calm throughout the process of moving.

Scenario #1 Have someone else care for your pet the day of the move

In most situations, the best thing that you can do for your pet is to remove them from the home on move day. Have a friend or family watch them if you can, or take your pet to daycare until you wrap up the move. If you are planning to go the daycare route remember that most daycare centers require that your pet's shots are to date.

Scenario #2 If your pet stays with you on move day be very attentive

If your furry friend stays with you on move day you need to be extremely attentive. Make sure your moving crew knows where they are so that they don’t prop open the door to the area that the pet is in and allow them to escape. Even if you don’t have a pet who runs you should never let the pet roam around the movers. If they are lifting heavy items and unable to see their feet they could accidentally step on the pet or lose their footing and hurt themselves. Crate your pets during the move and make sure your movers know that you have a pet in the home.

Scenario #3 If you are doing a long-distance move make sure you’re prepped

If your pet is going to move with you across cities or states, make sure that you do plenty of prep work.

For extremely anxious pets, you may be able to get a sedative from the vet to help ease the transition.

If you are going via plane make sure you check all of your airline's requirements when it comes to pet travel. If you are traveling via car ensure that your pet has things to make them comfortable in the car, like a blanket, toy, or your shirt (they usually feel at home with your scent).

In Conclusion

If you are a pet parent you probably think of your animal as a child.

Like kids, pets need to be eased into the transition of moving. Ideally, you would have them somewhere else while the move is taking place. But, if they do stay at the home use our tips to ensure that your pets don’t escape or find themselves in a dangerous situation.

Finally, make sure that you have all of your pet's essentials in a box that is easy to locate at your new place so that they can feel right at home!