Moving anxiety: the top 5 stressors for homebuyers
Moving is a major life event, and as such, it can cause a phenomenon called moving anxiety.
It seems a given that people will undergo lots of stress during the entire experience, so real estate agents need to be aware of that and help do everything in their power to smooth out the moving process. Understanding what makes relocation so stressful can help all parties better prepare for it all, as well as reduce moving anxiety to a minimum.
Whether you’re a property developer or a real estate manager, having these tips on hand can make sure that moving time goes smoothly for your tenants.
Packing is the No. 1 cause of moving anxiety
The number one thing people worry about is how they are going to pack all their belongings.
According to a recent survey conducted by Fantastic Services, about 70% of people are anxious about how they are going to get their entire life into only a handful of boxes. This makes having a clear plan and starting as early as possible the best course of action.
People would feel more in control if they first create an inventory of all their belongings. That is best done about 6-8 weeks before relocating. This involves lots of decisions about what they want to take with them, and what to donate or throw away.
Packing in peace is impossible without only having the items that people absolutely want to take with them. That’s why it’s important to start the process as early as possible and that all correct decisions are made.
It’s best to do a little every day, in order to avoid creating too much stress. To make sure no major disputes erupt between partners, it’s best that both parties are involved in the process, so that everyone is on the same page when the time for moving comes.
Here are some of the best packing tips at this stage:
- Find and prepare all packing supplies ahead of time (boxes, bubble wraps, newspapers);
- Look online for various techniques for safely packing glassware, artwork, etc.;
- Never pack any flammable or dangerous materials;
- Include “fragile” or “this way up” on the boxes whenever is needed;
- Use pads or moving blankets to cover and protect your furniture;
- Use padding to prevent shifting in the boxes.
Fear of damaging belongings during the move
The fear of damaging their belongings is the number two stressor that causes moving anxiety. After all, nobody wants to open a box and see one of their most beloved items in pieces. That’s why proper packing and transportation are so important.
When we have lots of stuff that needs specialized boxes or proper padding, it’s best to delegate the packing process to a moving company. They will handle your fragile items (such as flat-screen TVs, glassware, and computer parts) with the utmost care. All you have to do is to be upfront with the removals specialists and provide them with as much information as possible.
If you intend to do the packing yourself, then you’ve got lots of work and planning ahead of you. Carefully selecting where each item goes and providing proper padding, so there will be no shifting, are all requisites to not getting your stuff damaged.
Some additional tips when moving all your stuff yourself:
- Think about how to best load everything in the truck/vehicle;
- Ensure there are no gaps (or shifting will occur and cause damage to your items);
- Tightly secure large items to the vehicle’s walls;
- Ensure fragile items are not at risk when you load them;
- To prevent the likelihood that boxes slide or tip over, make sure everything fits snug during the transit.
Finding a trust-worthy removals company
People are often anxious about whom to place their trust in when it comes to moving all their possessions. Unprofessional movers and untrusty removals companies can surely cause all kinds of trouble. This means doing some preliminary work to determine whether or not your chosen movers can be trusted.
Knowing you’ve selected a company you can trust will greatly reduce stress, save time, and decrease the likelihood of damaged items during the relocation.
Some tips on what to look for in a moving company:
- Find at least several companies during your initial search
- Ask friends and family for recommendations;
- Assess your chosen companies carefully;
- Look what people have to say about them online;
- Go to their office and meet them in person to see what they’re like;
- Confirm they are both licensed and insured;
- Ask them for an in-home estimate;
- Request a cost breakdown of the estimate.
Fear of damaging their new home (or their old one) during the move
Another factor that causes moving anxiety is the fear of damaging either the new or the old home during relocating. To avoid doing that (and to prevent being liable for damages, if you’ve rented either property), it’s best to ensure both their protection.
Expect lots of traffic on moving day. So, investing in non-slip runners to protect your flooring is a must, especially in high-traffic areas. The next thing you will need to do is to protect door frames against bumps with door jamb protectors.
Remember to also measure big items, door openings and stairwells, in order to prevent any unpleasant surprises.
You can also try the following:
- Measure heavy furniture before you lift them to ensure that they can fit through all the door frames (including your new home’s);
- Cover mirrors and art with corner protectors;
- Keep all the bolts and screws of your disassembled furniture in a zip-lock plastic bag taped to them;
- Consider hiring a moving insurance rider (this will help cover the cost of any damages during the move);
- Take photographs before the movers arrive so that you have evidence of the property’s condition at each stage of the move.
Worrying about the cost of hiring a removals company
Moving to a new place can be costly, so people understandably worry about the cost of hiring a moving company. Still, relocating is stressful enough, so by not delegating some of the hard work, you might risk more.
The pros of hiring a trusted removals company include:
- Having peace of mind;
- Ensures no moving injuries and damages;
- Helps you save time and energy (which can be focused on other important things);
- An organised and effective move provided by experienced movers;
Getting a quote from a removals company is the best way to get an estimate on costs. A removals assessor will come and visit your home if you do a pre-move survey. They will interview you and then provide you with a more accurate estimate and a binding removals quote.
The pricing varies, but is usually dependent on:
- The number of items you want to be moved;
- The travel distance between the two properties;
- The kinds of services you choose (packing, dismantling furniture, etc.)
- The access to both properties (internal and external);
- The number of special care items which need special packing or transport.
How to cut the cost and anxiety of a move
Of course, there are ways to cut the cost of hiring a removals company significantly. Almost everyone charges by the hour, plus the amount of volume and the distance, so by doing some of the work yourself, you can reduce the final price significantly.
Here are some of the best ways to reduce expenses:
- Decrease the amount of stuff you need to move (sell, donate, or throw);
- Get your own packing supplies;
- Pack as much of your belongings yourself;
- Have all items prepared and as close to the front door before moving day;
- Use your own insurance company (instead of the removals company’s);
- Ensure an available parking space as close as possible to your home to save time on moving day;
- Be flexible about when you are going to move (the highest prices are around the beginning and end of the month and during weekends).
Moving stress seems to be a fact of life and closely tied to selling and buying a home. However, there are steps real-estate agents can take so that their clients’ moving stress is reduced to a minimum. Being calm and collected, as well as open and personal with your clients, will reassure them that you are acting in their best interest, as well as reduce their anxiety, and smooth out the transition.
In the end, that will ensure that everything works out for the best for all parties involved.
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