On February 4, 2018, Forth published some research on stress factors – the most common causes of stress amongst participants were money, work, health concerns, lack of sleep and the pressure of everyday household chores. Over a third of Brits admitted unhealthy stress in their daily lives.
Four years later, with a Pandemic having created massive disruption, we’re certain that some of those will have been exacerbated.
A house move inevitably adds pressure in all of those areas, as we have to do more with our time and money, and find the extra personal resources to cope with packing and the logistics of a move.
But with a little planning, it’s possible to create time to enjoy the excitement of a new life rather than focussing on the impossibility of shifting things from one place to the next.
Most people will have at least a month to prepare for a move, so taking time out to create a plan from the outset is not only doable, but will save both time and stress later, and at least you can do it in front of the fire or in the garden, depending on the season, and even with a favourite drink in hand. (Who doesn’t find a hot chocolate soothing in the winter?)
So let’s look at those everyday stresses in the context of a move:
Your current home will not be perfect during a move. It can’t be. Scheduling in time for the basics, like vacuuming, dusting, cooking, shopping and even washing up is going to make your life easier, but so is giving yourself permission, for just one month of your life, to have things less than perfect and dust free. Tell family members that the house won’t clean itself and to clean up behind themselves. It takes them a few moments to clean up bathroom sinks and showers behind themselves, but will take you longer if you need to deep clean.
A good declutter to start things off will certainly help, as will getting things out of the way.
We recently blogged on a couple of things that might help:
· Ways to make the move easier: Ten Tips to Towards Taking the Pain out of Moving Home.
· Declutter to Destress by specialist ‘declutterer’, Chloe Jessamy
Book time off to move! Really. Work will still be there when you get back. Knowing that you planned the break and have either arranged cover or someone else is sorting it will allow you to relax.So take the time off. Try not to think about work in the midst of a move. You work hard to earn your holidays so take a complete break. There is very little that genuinely cannot wait.
Be realistic with yourself. Whilst you are still packing and sorting, don’t plan on more than an hour or two after work daily to get packed. You’ll burn out and become ineffective. You will be doing no-one any favours!
And you can put off decisions by using some self storage for items that you don’t want to part with but are unsure you should keep. Give yourself a fighting chance of being out (and in) on time.
Self employed? A 1998 poll of 200 small businesses conducted by NOP for BT made clear just how hard it is for the self employed to relax and take time out: a third of small business owners had not taken a holiday for more than two years; 11 percent had not taken a proper break in more than five years; 55 percent claimed they had no one to take care of business while they were away; and most were worried about being out of touch, missing new leads or being unreachable in a crisis. All understandable, but you aren’t asking for the World and already know you need to plan this break.
Hire a virtual PA for a week. Train someone up in the basics to hold the fort. Find a competent freelancer. However you manage it, clear your mind to focus on the job in hand. Sometimes saying ‘no’ will make others want your services even more. Half the time we break our backs to get things to people who won’t even look at our work for two weeks after delivery. It never hurts for your customers to see you as human, trust me on this one!
You are not asking for the world, just a few days off. You’ll do everything more effectively by taking the time off to focus. Still not convinced? I found this fabulous little article on why you MUST! Why you should take holiday if you’re self employed.
If you’re self employed, arrange cover. You have time to prepare, so do it now!
Planning well for a move means you can schedule in time for food shopping, healthy eating and exercise, for doctors’ appointments and for anything else you need to do to stay healthy. (A word to the wise, though: the middle of a move is a bad time to start a health kick or give up smoking!)
Make sure that you know how to lift and move things properly If you don’t have a professional removal firm to help you move, make sure you rope in help. Keep yourself safe!
Your mental health is as important as your physical health – the two often go hand in hand.
If you are feeling excessive stress levels, or are slipping into depression, speak to your doctor soonest. You’ll be glad you did.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll burn out. Moving house is a marathon not a sprint.
Staying up late to pack or move things around will do you no favours. Tiredness will mean you make more mistakes and be more time consuming long term. So don’t feel guilty about sleeping, or about the good food and exercise that will help you sleep well.
And rope in as much help as you can, knowing that some of that help may not show. Plan who can do what in advance so that you’re not making up jobs on the spot. You’ll underutilise people and they’ll lose interest if they feel they’re being a nuisance rather than a help.
Having a budget for moving, including cash flow, will help you sleep easier. By planning you can see if you perhaps need a short term overdraft until money arrives. (Think mortgage money, returned deposits, solicitors fees, deposits, bank holidays and any notice needed by banks for withdrawals.)
And if you do decide to use storage, easyStorage can prove to be as much as half the price of traditional self-storage. You can get a no obligation online quote for storage, 24/7, or simply call on 0333 016 4276 during normal working hours.
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Our storage packages have the added benefit of free removal of your items, saving you up to £1,000. All you need to do is pack your items (or we can pack for you, supplying boxes and packing material) and we’ll pick-up your items and store them in our safe and secure easyStorage facility. Then when you are ready, we’ll deliver them wherever you need us to. You just need to give us two working days’ notice. Perfect if you are moving house, running out of space, or just need somewhere to store your stuff.
Our storage plans provide you with a cost-effective alternative to renting your own lock-up storage space as we’ll only charge you for the storage space you need, making it cheaper for you.