Moving house

Moving house
Moving house is known to be one of the most stressful times of our lives. Why is it so destabilising? How do you adapt to your new environment? Here are answers to your questions.
A source of stress
According to several studies, moving house comes third on the list of the most stressful things we can experience - just behind grief and losing your job. Sorting out those little administrative details can be long, arduous, and time consuming. Moving home can take its toll on your emotional wellbeing.
Whether you're moving regions, to a faraway town or even just down the road, moving home severs links with a way of life, habits and familiar environment. Even if you’re moving to turn over a new leaf and/or because you want to, the loss of friendly neighbours, comfort and environment can still affect you emotionally.
And if moving is not a choice, but is forced upon us because of unemployement, change of job, separation from a partner etc, then it can be traumatic. This can lead to loss of self-esteem and a feeling of failure which results in latent anxiety, stress and depression.
Say goodbye to your old home
It is important to let go of your old home emotionally so that you can adapt well to the change in situation (even if moving is a positive step for you). So say goodbye to your old house, the area and also the people you've known for years. Many people focus on the material aspects of moving so that they don’t get emotionally overwhelmed by the separation. Don’t be afraid of taking one last look around the old place and the area, and say goodbye to your neighbours and shopkeepers.
Adapt to your new home
Moving is an excellent opportunity for a little spring cleaning of your belongings and your life. Throw away anything you don't want and start your new life clutter free. There are two ways of doing this: you can try to make your new home look and feel like the old by placing the furniture and objects in the same places, or, if you want to start afresh, you could give your new home a completely different decor inside and out.
Support the children
Children can experience moving in one of two ways: like adults, they can find moving destabilising with the change of school, teachers and friends, or they can see it as an adventure and find it exciting. It’s important however to think about the children when moving and get them inviovled as much as possible. Once you arrive in your new neighbourhood, help them discover the area, school, cinema, sports facilities etc.
Build relationships with the neighbours
After the move, another hurdle to overcome is getting on with the neighbours. Maybe you miss the nice old couple across the hall who were always willing to lend a hand, or the students who invited you round for drinks. Whatever you feel, it’s now important to get to know your new neighbours. After settling into your new nest you could introduce yourself to the neighbours or even organise a housewarming at yours. Most people respond well to this kind of gesture. Plus you will get an idea of how things work in your new neighbourhood and this will help you settle in much more quickly.
Published by Sarah Horrocks
12 Feb 2008
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