Why Moving House Causes Stress And How To Deal With It

August 01, 2021 5 min read

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It is no surprise that moving house causes stress. No matter how many times you have moved before, there's a lot to organize for a move to go smoothly. But it's not just the practical aspect that's stressful. The emotional stress of moving home can be overwhelming. In this blog post, we will discuss why moving house causes stress and give you some actionable tips to deal with it.

Moving house causes stress

We don't even have to move house to feel stressed about changing homes - just the thought of it can be too worrying for some people.

A UK property agent did some research and found that over half of us (60%) put off moving altogether because we think it will be too stressful. And that's despite the fact that just over that amount (62%) believe moving home will make them happier. 

But it doesn't have to be so daunting. There are several steps we can take to minimize the stress of change and build confidence in a successful, stress-free move.

What is the most stressful thing about moving house?

The trauma of moving house is different for each of us.

For someone who has lived in the same house all their life, it can feel like leaving behind a part of themselves.

Moving house can also be especially stressful for people following a marriage breakup. Going it alone in a new place can be scary. It might even mean you don't get to see your loved ones as much as before.

For some people, it involves downsizing, forcing you to say goodbye to things you've loved having around you.

Most of us though, find organizing the practical aspects to be the most stressful.

Why is moving to a new home stressful?

There are many reasons that moving house can cause stress. It's an emotionally and physically draining process. So how does moving house cause stress for most of us? 

First is the process of searching for and finding your new home:

  • it takes time and energy to find a new house where you will feel happy
  • there are sometimes setbacks in the buying process that can be very frustrating
  • sales can fall through and unexpected costs can arise
  • negotiating with the seller can be a point of tension
  • it can be very costly

Then, once you've found your new home, there are the practicalities involved: 

  • packing up all of your belongings into boxes
  • sorting out the removal arrangements
  • organizing your furniture
  • deciding what to do with belongings that won't fit into your new home
  • deciding what to keep and what to toss, especially if you're downsizing

Even when you find your perfect home, until you move in you won't really know what life will be like there. Some common worries about life in a new house include:

  • not knowing how the new neighbors will be. Will they be noisy, friendly, approachable?
  • a change in your routine, perhaps it means more time or a change of route to get work
  • a change in school for the kids can be stressful for your children
  • problems with the new house require costly fixes

It's natural that moving house causes stress, but there are steps you can take to reduce it.

How to deal with the stress of moving house

We can significantly minimize house moving stress by being well-organized and prepared. Even if your moving date is some time in the future, start planning now.

So how do you reduce stress when moving house? What are some things you can do to reduce stress when it comes to moving house? 

Avoid many of the pain points that come with moving to a new home by being well organized, with a plan.

Get started by doing a brain dump: make a list of all the things that are worrying you or that you know you need to organize for the move. Some will be about practicalities, others will be about the emotional aspects.

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Practical considerations when moving house

Just a few of the many common practical issues include:

  • change of school for kids
  • what to pack and what not to pack
  • organize a removal company
  • set up postal redirects
  • change of address notifications
  • final meter readings and switching utility companies

Our comprehensive, printable Moving Binder is perfect for successfully managing a house move from start to finish. Save yourself time and stress by using our ready-made checklists that cover all the practical aspects discussed in this article.

Emotional stress from moving house

Once you have all the practicalities listed, your stress levels will most likely feel more manageable: you know you have everything in hand.

The emotional stress of moving house doesn't only come from the practical preparation for the move though.Even well-planned moves can still cause moving anxiety symptoms. 

What support systems do you have in place - who can you talk to and get support from? Make sure you take time out for self-care.

Will you be able to get friends and family on board before and on the day of the move to lend a hand? Even having someone else take care of the kids and organize take-outs on moving day is incredibly helpful and takes off some of your load. Allocate jobs to different people so you know you have it all covered.

Talk about how you are feeling, and how you are managing, with friends or family members who will be there for support during this difficult time. 

It helps if you get organized as soon as possible so that you know what needs doing on the day. There are also lots of moving day tips that you can use to help make the process less stressful.

Moving home with kids

Moving house stress on relationships is quite common, and if you have kids, there are extra things to consider. Children might find the move to a new house really exciting. On the other hand, it could be an unwelcome change for them, especially if it means a new school. 

Make sure you discuss the move with your kids and give them the chance to talk about their worries. If they seem terrified of moving house, help them understand the aspects of the move and put things in perspective. Visit the new school ahead of the move so it isn't unfamiliar.

Moving home with pets

The emotional stress of moving house doesn't just affect people: pets can be deeply affected too. Keep a close eye on your pets when you move - not just on moving day, but in the packaging and post-move periods too. For some animals, just watching everything get packed up into boxes can be upsetting.


Moving house is a stressful undertaking. It’s not just the physical act of packing and unpacking, but also all the emotional baggage that comes with it. There are many reasons why moving to a new home can be so traumatic for some people. However, you can make your move less stressful by being well organized and by taking care of yourself. You may even want to take advantage of our printable Moving Binder to help you plan a smooth transition into your new home!

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Are you or someone you know moving houses soon? Pin this post to Pinterest to share it with friends or save it for later. 

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