What Causes The Stress Of Moving House And How Do We Manage Them?


When we read about moving house, we are constantly told how difficult and stressful it can be. Some of us even know that it affects both our physical and mental health. However, despite the countless claims of moving house being stressful, the reason a house move is so stressful and anxiety-inducing isn’t always apparent to everyone.

To help with this, we will explore some of the things that make a house move so stressful. We’ll also include some tips and discuss dealing with these factors to avoid stress and anxiety when moving into your new house. Additionally, ensuring the property you’re leaving is spotless is crucial. For a comprehensive guide on end of tenancy cleaning, you can check out our End of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist.

To help with this, we will explore some of the things that make a house move so stressful. We’ll also include some tips and discuss dealing with these factors to avoid stress and anxiety when moving into your new house.

The Most Common Causes Of Stress When Moving Home

Here are some of the most common causes of stress when one is planning a house move:

Budget Concerns

When moving house, you are expected to spend a good chunk of money on various fees and charges. If you are not aware of how much money you will need to spend, it can be challenging to prepare for this expense in advance.

The cost of moving house can also be highly stress-inducing, especially when working with a tight budget. After all, it is not uncommon for the cost of moving house to be up to three times as high as you might expect.

Most of the time, there are various hidden or surprise expenses as well! These can include things like buying new furniture and other decorations for your new place, having some of your possessions go missing or damaged during the move process, paying extra fees because you don’t have a car big enough to transport your possessions, and more.

It is, therefore, no surprise that many people find the financial aspect of the budgeting process to be one of the most stressful factors when moving home.

Lack Of Time/Scheduling Conflicts

Another common cause of stress when moving house is the lack of time or scheduling conflicts.

Many people looking to move house feel that they have very little spare time on their hands, making it difficult to get everything done on time. This often means taking some days off work and earning less, which can be stressful for some people.

Some have to schedule their move around the needs of others (for example, if you’re a parent and your children need to finish school before moving). This can make the process more time-consuming as well as challenging.

The stress of this is exacerbated when there are scheduling conflicts with your landlord or other tenants, leaving you temporarily homeless or dealing with overlapping leases.

An Impossible Amount Of Moving-Related Work

Some people find that they are left with an impossible amount of work when planning a move. This can include filling out the various forms and paperwork, packing up all your belongings, finding moving quotes from different companies, figuring out how to transport everything, and looking for new accommodation.

Moreover, moving house is also very physically demanding. That means that you need to pack and carry many heavy items, which can be difficult. Obviously, this all adds up to an incredible amount of stress! Thankfully, there are ways that people have found to make this process easier on themselves without sacrificing too much time or money.


Another common cause of stress when moving house is under-preparation. Many people don’t do their research, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed once the time for moving house arrives. This often leads them to make a lot of mistakes or not complete things in advance when they should have been done months ago.

In some cases, people might even find themselves paying higher fees because they didn’t do their research earlier on – for example, if they had to rent a truck on the day of their move because they didn’t book one in advance.

Pressure To Have A Successful Move

Next, many people feel pressure to make a successful move. This is because social expectations and assumptions are often at play when moving house. For example, that you’ll be able to afford it or even want to do such a thing in the first place!

This can lead people going through difficult personal circumstances (for example, if they’re in the middle of a divorce or recovering from something traumatic) to feel even more stress and pressure. Moving house is simply not an option for them right now, as they need time to heal mentally before moving on with their lives.

Moving house is difficult no matter what situation you happen to be in at any given time, but these situations can make it even more challenging.

Overwhelming Amount Of Change

Some people find that moving house is stressful because they are experiencing a significant amount of change all at once.

This can include things like starting over in terms of their social circle and other relationships (for example, if you’re leaving your hometown), making new friends again after many years with the same ones, adjusting to a completely different job and lifestyle, starting a new school or university before the move with your child (or children), and more.

Some people also find that moving house is difficult because they are dealing with their emotions and memories. This can include, for example, thoughts of a home you were forced to leave or an old job.  Others also deal with loss and grief for what has been lost or changed, fear about starting over, and uncertainty about the future.

You Have Kids Or Pets To Worry About

One final thing that many people find stressful about moving house is that they have kids or pets to worry about. This can mean things like:

  • Finding a new school for your child (or children) before you move
  • Making sure their social circle isn’t disrupted and has time to recover from being uprooted so suddenly
  • Having to explain to your child that they will be saying goodbye to their friends and other family members before the move
  • Finding a new home with enough space for everyone in it 

Pets are no different. After all, many domestic animals like dogs and cats are often considered family members in many households. They can also experience a lot of stress when they move house, especially if you have to travel long distances with them or uproot their routine too suddenly with the change in scenery.

Here are some more tips on moving with kids and moving with pets.

Tips For Managing The Stress Of Moving House

Here are some things you can do to manage better the stresses that come with moving to a new house:

Create A Moving Checklist

The first thing you should do is create a moving checklist. This will allow you to ensure that all the things you need for your move are well organised and ready before it becomes too difficult, stressful, or expensive.

Moreover, with a moving checklist at your disposal, you will find that the move itself goes a lot more smoothly and doesn’t take as long since you’ll have all the things that need to be moved already prepared.

This also helps you ensure that all the tasks and errands you need to accomplish before the move are on your radar and easier to keep track of.

Hire A Removals Company To Help

Male movers carrying armchair in new house

The next thing you can do is hire a removal company to help.

This will make the move much easier for everyone involved, as it’s often brutal and stressful enough just moving house without also having to worry about carrying heavy furniture around on your own.

Moreover, with a removals company by your side, you don’t have to worry about the safety of your possessions during the move. That means you and your family can put your mind at rest and focus on less stressful tasks.

You may even opt to let them take the reins and handle every aspect of your move, from packing to unpacking everything at your new place. This is all made possible by what removal companies call an all-inclusive service, meaning they will take care of everything for you.

Considering hiring a removals company? Check out our partner removals companies here

Compare Removal Companies Quotes

Get quotes quickly and easily from a removals near you.

Start Early But Pace Yourself

There’s no need to create a stressful situation for yourself by trying to finish everything at the last minute or even cramming it all into one day before your move. If you take things slowly over time and work on them gradually, there will be less stress involved in the process.

If this is your first time moving house and working on a packing list, then start sorting through what items are important enough to take with you before deciding where everything else should go (or whether or not it needs to be donated).

Do Some Research

Researching the area you’re moving to will help ease some of the stress too. You’ll know more about what’s in your new neighbourhood, who lives there, and what facilities are nearby before you move so that you can plan accordingly.

This is also a good idea if it’s your first time taking on a long-distance move or moving to a new country, as it will give you much-needed peace of mind.

Researching the area also ensures that your move goes smoothly and there are fewer surprises along the way when you arrive at your destination. You’ll be able to plan out what time is best to travel so that any traffic issues won’t interfere with getting to your new house, and you’ll know what’s in the area to do when you first arrive.


If you have too much stuff to take with you, it’s better to get rid of some before moving. This will make things a lot easier and less stressful for everyone involved in your family when they arrive at their new home. Plus, if any last-minute tasks need doing, like painting or decorating walls, then it will be a lot easier to fit them in.

Don’t Be Afraid To Reach Out For Help

Aside from hiring a removals company to help you out with the move, it’s also a good idea to ask for help from your family and friends. They will be more than happy to assist with the process of packing up all their favourite memories and belongings in preparation for the new adventure ahead.

Also, if you’re moving to a brand new place, then the kids must be in on the process too. You’ll be able to keep them occupied with tasks, and they will feel like an active part of things rather than just being left out.

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

If you’re feeling a little bit lost and overwhelmed, then it’s time to take a break. You can’t do everything at once, and there will always be things that need doing in the future, so don’t put pressure on yourself by trying to get them all done today.

You may also find that working with someone else like your partner, family or friends to divide the tasks will make things go a lot more smoothly.

The most important thing is not to settle for anything less than what you want, and don’t forget that there are many ways of getting it done: change your mindset and adjust your approach so that things feel easier.

Moreover, if things do not go as planned, remember to relax and enjoy the journey.


If you’re feeling stressed and exhausted, then a short meditation session will help to calm your mind and give you clarity. Meditation is an excellent way of practising mindfulness. It helps with staying present in the moment rather than worrying about what’s going on around us or dwelling too much on thoughts plaguing us.

Find Ways To Make Moving Fun

Moving is not always fun, but there are ways of making it seem a little less daunting. Doing puzzles or playing games with the kids will help keep them busy and occupied, which means you’re free to continue packing without having any distractions.

Especially if you have children who might feel overlooked and worried about their new life ahead, consider some fun activities to get them excited for the big change.

If you’re not sure what games or puzzles to play with your kids, then try looking online at some of their favourite things (think game apps). Family-friendly YouTube channels are also an excellent place to start if they love playing games on screens and watching videos from people they recognise. You’ll have no problem finding some great ideas there.

You can also make a game out of different moving activities such as packing, cleaning up, and even loading items into the moving vehicles. If all else fails, collaborate on a moving playlist featuring music from everybody’s personal playlists.

Should I Postpone The Move Because Of COVID-19?

Contracting COVID is no doubt a stressful and frustrating feat. Even more so when you’ve already made plans regarding your upcoming move. However, it is crucial that you put your safety, and the safety of others, first. Hence, here’s when you should postpone your move until further notice:

If Anyone In The Home Is Showing Symptoms Of/Has Been Diagnosed With COVID-19

Remember that while COVID-19 may manifest mildly in some, it can be fatal in others. Therefore, it is crucial to err on the side of caution and postpone the move if somebody in your household has tested positive for COVID-19 or is showing signs that they could be developing it.

The last thing you would want is to expose somebody to a potentially fatal illness while moving house during the pandemic. It is better to postpone your move until things have died down and it has passed than risk somebody getting sick who might not be strong enough to survive COVID-19 anyway.

Someone In The Household Has Been Advised To Self Isolate By The NHS Test and Trace Service

If somebody in your household has been self-isolating, you will want to postpone the move until they have completed their quarantine. Whether they are showing symptoms or not, possible exposure to COVID-19 could still be a risk.

If The New House Is Far Away From Essential Services And Facilities

If the new house is a considerable distance from hospitals, schools, kindergartens and other essential facilities – including public transport – you will want to postpone your move until COVID-19 has passed.

There are going to be a lot of people potentially moving during this time because it might not be safe for them to continue living in their current home. Therefore, it is likely that hospitals and other vital services will be flooded with patients looking for help – especially if the pandemic gets worse.

There Is A Spike In The Number Of COVID-19 Cases In Your New Neighbourhood

Finally, if COVID-19 is making headlines in your new neighbourhood – especially regarding the number of cases reported there recently – you will want to postpone moving until things calm down.

Remember that it only takes one person who has not received their vaccine yet or does not know they are infected to spread COVID-19 around. If this is the case in your new neighbourhood, you could be putting yourself and others at risk by moving during COVID-19 – even if it doesn’t affect you directly.

What Do I Do If I Think I’ve Been Exposed To COVID-19 During The Moving Process?

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 during the move, you should immediately contact your GP and seek medical advice. They might refer you for testing at a specialised facility where they can tell if you are infected with COVID-19 or not.

To be on the safe side, it is also best to self-isolate until you can be tested. This means that you should not go to work or leave the house after your GP has given you the all-clear post-exposure.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what to expect, it’s time to prepare for the moving process. It will be a lot less stressful, and you’ll have an easier journey if you plan ahead of time and don’t take on too much at once.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for more moving tips, check out the WhatRemovals blog page

Compare Removal Companies Quotes

Get quotes quickly and easily from a removals near you.