The Many Emotions of Moving and How to Manage Them

Moving to a new home is definitely a significant event in life. Whether you are moving because it is time to upsize or downsize, because of a career change or due to another reason, you can expect to experience a wide range of emotions. Some of these emotions may even catch you by surprise. 


Excitement is often the first emotion that people experience with the prospect of moving to a new home. Thinking about a fresh start with new opportunities and experiences can be fun. Making plans to decorate and furnish a new home can get creative juices flowing and add to the anticipation. If you are moving to a new city, there are even more reasons to be excited with so many things to explore and learn about and new relationships to establish.

Overwhelmed and Confused

It is easy to imagine how someone could feel overwhelmed and confused during the monumental process of moving. There are so many things to consider, to organize, to manage. Moving is a monumental task that requires a lot of time, energy and attention. It is sometimes difficult to know where to begin and how to stay organized with a process that has so many “moving parts.” These feelings can cause you to question whether or not you can manage the move, if the move was a good idea, or if you can get everything done in a timely and efficient manner. Creating a detailed “to do” list and a timeline for completing the to do list may be a helpful way to approach the project. 


Stress is a close cousin to feeling overwhelmed, and moving can absolutely be stressful. In fact, it is often considered one of the top stressful events in life. There are many stressful factors thrown into the mix of moving including:  finding time to pack and prepare for the move, making sure all details are arranged, feeling concerned about paying for the move, and making sure all belongings are securely packed and will arrive safely. 

Sadness and Grief

It is difficult to pull up roots and leave your comfort zone and friend base, especially if you have lived in a home for a long time. Saying goodbye to a home where you created many memories can be harder than you may think. Even if you are looking forward to the move, you may experience a feeling of nostalgia for the old life and friends you are leaving behind, and the place where you felt comfortable with your familiar routines. Sadness and grief may be emotions that catch you off guard and play more of a role than you may have imagined. Try to head off this emotion by having a plan to stay connected to friends and family members. If you are moving a long distance away, make plans to meet at a fun destination for a long weekend on at least a semi-annual basis. For children, make a plan to help them stay connected to their friends. Letter writing, email, texts (if they are older) and frequent FaceTime “visits” can help ease the pain of separation and keep them in touch with one another. 


Sometimes feelings of fear come up for people during a move. They can experience the fear of not being prepared, fear of possessions being damaged in the move and of people involved in the move knowing too much about you. Your personal space may feel “invaded” at times. There is also fear around adjusting to another home and knowing that you will need to find a “new normal” in your new community.  


After experiencing all the many emotions that accompany moving, it is not surprising to have a strong sense of relief once the move is complete. It’s as though you have been given permission to let go of all the stress, tension, sadness and related feelings you have been harboring since you first made the decision to move. This sense of relief is definitely a welcomed outcome.

Managing Your Emotions

Be Prepared

There are ways to help manage these emotions. First, make sure you are fully prepared for the move. Do your homework, make detailed lists, create a timeline, gather your resources and have all contact information at hand. A great idea is to reach out to a reputable move management company like Careful With The China to help you with planning and preparing for your move. 

Make Your Move Fun

Make your move fun! If you are moving out of town, invite friends over for a “moving party” and supply refreshments as well as boxes, taking breaks to share stories of times spent together. Another idea is to have a “free sale” and invite friends over so you can share items you no longer want or don’t want to move. Sometimes knowing your things have a new home with a friend can be a nice way to stay connected while clearing out clutter.

Special Way to Say Goodbye

Another idea is to find a way to say goodbye to your home in a way that fits your family. Decide if your preferred approach is more sentimental and reflective, or celebratory with a big, farewell party for friends and neighbors. Consider finding a special way to welcome your family into your new home. Ideas include hosting a housewarming party or an open house, or just enjoying a favorite family meal together. 

Most of all, try to keep in mind the positive aspects of your move and all the exciting things to look forward to in your new home. Remember, the experts at Careful With The China are a wonderful resource to assist with all your moving needs. Their compassionate, white glove approach will help alleviate many of the challenging emotions that come along with this process, and give you great piece of mind so you can relax and focus on enjoying life in your new home.

Laura Melvin