Many people view leaving their current home and moving into a new residence as one of their most dreaded activities. This is not a surprise because moving is such a stress-inducing endeavor. Both the thought and act of moving leave people feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. Here are six ways that can help you to remain calm and free of stress during a move.

1. Plan ahead and give yourself time

If you are able, give yourself at least two months to prepare and plan for your move. Three months to prepare is ideal. Doing things at the last minute is a huge stress producer. So doing your best to plan will help in relieving stress.

  • Purchase, or better yet, look for free moving boxes to collect. Sometimes, people who have just moved themselves will advertise gently used moving boxes for free. As long as you can pick the boxes up, you could save a pretty penny by not having to purchase them.
  • In the eventuality that you do need to make some purchases, budget expenses ahead of time. Put aside money for supplies. You may decide that professional packers and movers are in your budget, and their help would reduce stress.
  • Another strategy is to set aside specific time during your day and week dedicated to doing only moving-related tasks. You’ll find it helpful to designate a clearly defined number of hours to your upcoming move.

2. Clear out your clutter

Whether you are moving from a childhood home after many years, or from a place in which you lived for only a short while, you’ll be amazed at the number of things you’ve accumulated. Things that ended up in the back of closets or at the bottom of drawers. Things in the basement or garage that you don’t even remember buying. These items will slow you down and cause stress on your moving day.

Set aside time and get in the zone to do some clearing out. Donating items that you no longer want could be tax deductible. A friend or family member could use something that you no longer need. When you end up with less to pack, getting rid of your clutter will have been very worthwhile.

3. Visit your new area and home

If you’re able, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with your new neighborhood and surroundings. Find out where the essential stores and offices are in your new city or town. You’ll feel more comfortable when you do move into the area. You can also set up your new home ahead of time. Decide where the furniture will go, set up a staging area for moving boxes, make any minor repairs, and clean. Having a well established home that is ready for move-in day will cut down on your stress.

4. Stay organized

The days leading up to and the day of moving can be very chaotic. It will help you to stay calm if you have a good organization system.

  • Create a document box. Put all of your important paperwork and documents, like passports and certificates, into this box. Keep track of the box so that you can easily find them when you need to.
  • Create a box for essentials like toiletries, phone chargers, and bottled water and snacks for moving day. Ensure that this box is easy to get to because you’ll need access to it on the day of your move.
  • Color code boxes and labels. Buy or create different colored labels for your moving boxes. Label boxes that are for different rooms and areas of your new residence. Write clearly on each box so that you’ll have an easier time locating items when you are unpacking. This will definitely reduce your stress level.

5. Take time to practice self-care

Acknowledge that moving is a stressful endeavor and take time to have periods where you are not thinking about the move. Give yourself permission to still have normal plans and activities to refresh yourself. When you need to, don’t be afraid to ask for support. Seek out a friend or other trusted person to talk to about your upcoming move.

6. Give yourself closure

It may sound morbid, but relocating has been referred to as a kind of death. You are leaving things and people behind and starting something completely new and unfamiliar to you. Make sure that you have proper goodbyes and tie up loose ends. When you gain closure, remind yourself that it’s not only an ending but a new beginning.Moving can be very stressful. Try these suggestions, and above all, have a positive mental attitude and your stress levels will be low.