Moving Stress Free: How To Feel Better When Relocating

I would almost certainly wish the act of moving on my worst enemy, which sounds cruel but when you think about the idea of worst enemies, the best thing to wish on them is an incredible inconvenience that involves no violence nor true emotional trauma. Just a ton of stress, frustrating phone calls, and annoying tasks. That, my friends, is what a true worst enemy deserves. Which makes me wonder if somebody wished it on me and I’m secretly a stranger’s worst enemy, but I digress.

Rewind: I’m currently in the process of moving from the Lower East Side of Manhattan to Bushwick. (I know, I know.) Distance-wise, this is a very small move; I’ll be approximately four miles from my LES apartment. Within less than a year, I relocated across the country back and forth three times, so this should be a cinch, right? Not even close. I’m grumpy, miserable, and not even a $41 miracle product can save my under eyes. It’s been totally stressful, but I have learned more in this move than most. Here are the things that my past few weeks have taught me to do for the future.

1. Inform others of your upcoming move.

Telling people you’re moving is actually a really good way to make yourself more accountable for your actions. For example, on Monday night, I was so upset about not being able to find movers (see #5) that I wound up going to a bar and drinking for two hours. I wound up getting a call from a moving company after three beers, thank goodness, but when I informed a couple of friends of what I had been up to that night, they exclaimed a shock, “SAM!” It made me feel irresponsible–which is good because I had been behaving irresponsibly. Instead of accomplishing the things that could be done, I was pitying myself for not being able to achieve a task that was, at that point, out of my hands.

2. Treat yourself within reason.

Do not buy yourself several $80 meals unless that is somehow within your financial means–in which case, I have a feeling you are not all that stressed about moving regardless because your servants are doing it for you. If it’s not within your budget, you’ll only wind up feeling worse about it later when you realize you dropped a ton of money in the midst of an already expensive process.

However, do give yourself a few treats throughout the week or two leading up to your move. Get a quick manicuredo a face mask, go visit your local shelter and pet some animals (if you’re in the East Village, you can even check out the one I volunteer at!). Occasionally giving yourself exactly what you want without going overboard will make this all much more tolerable.

3. Don’t make plans with people under any circumstance.

Even if you feel really guilty about this because your friend/partner/uncle’s girlfriend’s cousin really wants you to come out on a specific night, do. not. do it. If you have to move in the next couple of days, don’t make plans with people! While I am not too guilty of this on this particular move, I have had other times when I promise twenty people I’ll see them before I go and–tada! No time to do any moving or sleeping! If you’re moving far away, by all means, have a going away party, but try your hardest not to make tons of individual dates. If people want to see you–the one who’s leaving–they will make time.

4. Ask for help early.

The fact of the matter is that nobody likes to help other people move. And who would? It sucks. But waiting until the last moment when you’re dreading people’s answers won’t do you any good, either, so ask a couple of friends early on if they’re willing to assist. Offer them drinks, food, and tons of gratitude.

5. Schedule movers far in advance, even if you have no clue where you’re moving.

These apartment move in tips apply primarily to people moving apartments within the same city, as relocating to an entirely different state will require different moving companies, rates, planning, and so forth.

Since I have primarily had to move via shipping, I did not realize that when it comes to actually scheduling movers, you can reserve a time slot with a company as long as you know approximately where you’ll be going. I assumed that you absolutely need to know the exact address, and since I wasn’t confirmed on the apartment until about a week ago (I’m moving today), I didn’t reserve movers until this Monday. I called 40 places and all were booked until–thank goodness-one had an opening, but one of the companies at least informed me that in the future, I just need to know the date, time, and general destination. Perhaps this is common knowledge, but for those who may have not moved within cities often like myself, now you know! It will ease your mind so much to have that set.

6. Get rid of stuff the moment you know you’re moving.

Seriously, even if it’s just a box or two, you will feel so much better! Your apartment will look less daunting to pack and, in the event you’re hiring movers, will cost less to move. Give first dibs on your stuff to whoever has offered to help you.

7. Give yourself stuff to look forward to.

My best friend sent me a letter recently that I received in the mail on Wednesday. As much as I want to open its pretty pink envelope and put it in a frame (I am quite certain it will be a lovely letter), I am putting it off until tomorrow when I’m finally done with all of this. That way, I have a wonderful thing to look forward to after my move is complete.

I’m also scheduling beauty services from PRIV (which is kind of like Seamless or GrubHub, except instead of sushi specials, manicurists and hairstylists can come to your apartment to treat you). Since I will almost certainly not feel like leaving the house during the day tomorrow, I figure this is the best time ever to pamper myself a bit.

8. Talk to people, but do not lash out.

Venting is fine! But if you catch yourself getting irritable with those around you, stop yourself from saying anything more and go take a few breaths elsewhere. I’m as guilty as anybody in unintentionally coming off as angry or upset when, in fact, I’m just really stressed out, but if I can help it, I have been trying to just listen to a fun song or talk to a buddy whom I know gives good advice and a good shoulder to lean on. If you get in a fight with your partner, friend, or future roommate, you’ll only feel infinitely worse later on.

9. Cuddle with someone (or something).

I still sleep with a teddy bear. There! I said it. I still sleep with a teddy bear, even when I’m dating somebody, so I cuddle with Chloe Evelyn (that is her name) when I’m really sad, stressed, anxious, or just kind of unable to sleep. It’s also wonderful to snuggle up with a significant other, buddy, or one-night stand (hey, I don’t know your life), but honestly? Teddy bears are where it’s at, man.

What are your best tips for moving? Help, I still need ‘em, so tell me them in the comments!


1 Comment

  1. It made a lot of sense when you stated that you should reserve and book moving services much further in advance. I can easily see so many things going wrong if you decide to do everything on the last three days of your move. I’ll make sure that I hire a moving and shipping service weeks ahead so I won’t experience these problems.

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