I read a study that said the top three most stressful life experiences are, in order: 1) death of a loved one, 2) divorce, and 3) moving.
After finally getting settled into our first home, I can definitely understand why #3 makes the list.
No matter how prepared you are, I think moving will always be stressful. It’s a big life change. Especially when you move into your first home. BUT I think there are some things you can do to minimize stress and enjoy the process.
In this article, I want to share some things we did that worked… as well as a few things that didn’t go so well.
Things We’d Do Again:
Communicate expectations around the move, furniture, Who has what jobs, and anything else you can think of. Unmet expectations are the quickest way to conflict. Our home search process took about eight months, and I would recommend talking about expectations as soon as you possibly can, before they become sources of tension.
Ask for help. Moving into your first home is super exciting, and there’s a natural temptation to want to handle everything as a couple. We were fortunate to have family close by who were able to help us pack and unload. It made the process way easier.
Create and write out your moving game plan. This kind of goes back to communicating your expectations, but it’s important to create a game plan around the move. This game plan should talk about what days things are happening, where are you are buying anything from a budget for expenses, and anything else that might need to be referenced later. Do more than just talk about this though, be sure to write your game plan down for an easy move.
Takeoff some time from work. If you’re relocating because of a job, you can disregard this advice, but for those of us moving across town or across the street, I would highly recommend taking a few days off of work to handle everything that goes into buying and moving into your first home. Having the mental and physical capacity to take care of what is needed will make your move a lot smoother. Plus you’re able to enjoy the house while you’re there and not just in the evenings when you’re tired from work.
Things We’d Do Differently:
Over-communicate expectations as much as possible. I thought we had done a good job and we’re totally on the same page, but the second day in our house, we had a bit of an argument because of unmet and undiscussed expectations. Seriously, communicating about expectations will make or break your move. If you’re on the same page, the move will go well, if you’re not on the same page, the move will be stressful.
Plan around mealtimes, don’t just try to squeeze them in. It sounds weird but in the excitement and hard work of a move, you kind of just… Forget to eat. For most people, especially my wife, you’re not able to function or really focus on much of anything if your hungry. Be sure to plan around meal times and don’t just try to squeeze them in. Schedule pickups and unpacking around when you’ll eat and not the other way around.