Stress Management Techniques for Moving with a Family

Ah, moving house with the fam—it’s like being on a roller coaster that someone swears will be “fun” but leaves you wondering why you got on in the first place. It’s famously one of those hair-graying, “why do I have so much stuff?” moments in life. But hey, isn’t it also the perfect chance to start fresh and grow? With a bit of elbow grease and some smart planning, navigating the choppy waters of a house move can actually bond your family tighter than ever. So, let’s dive into some real-talk tips to make this adventure as smooth as peanut butter, keeping your squad cool, collected, and maybe even a bit excited about the new place.

1. Planning and preparation

Start early

Give yourself and your family plenty of time to prepare for the move. Starting early reduces last-minute pressures and gives children time to adjust to the idea of moving.  This also allows for more time to sort through belongings and make decisions about what to keep, donate or throw away.

Detailed checklist

A comprehensive moving checklist is invaluable. It ensures tasks are completed in a timely manner and helps avoid the stress of forgotten errands.  This can also be a fun activity for the whole family to participate in, assigning tasks and checking them off as they are completed.

Involving the whole family

Involving everyone in the moving process not only helps share the workload but also promotes a sense of unity and shared purpose. By delegating responsibilities based on age and ability, even the youngest family members can help by packing their toys or helping to sort through their clothes. Create a rewards system to motivate and acknowledge contributions, no matter how small. Planning a special family outing or a movie night after reaching certain milestones can keep spirits high. By involving the entire family, it will bring a sense of unity and can even build a stronger bond.

2. Communication

Delegating tasks

Don’t try to do everything on your own. Delegate tasks to other family members, such as packing their own belongings or taking care of small errands. This not only lightens the load but also gives each family member a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. If you have younger children, set them a simple task of sorting their toys or books, allowing them to feel involved in the process.

Family meetings

Encourage open communication within the family, allowing everyone to express their feelings about the move. This can help alleviate any pent-up emotions and create a sense of unity in tackling this challenge together. Having regular updates and reassurances about the moving process can mitigate anxiety. Use these meetings to bond and address any concerns as a unit. Discuss the progress, address concerns, and adjust plans as needed. Being clear of what tasks are getting delegated to who. This keeps communication open and ensures that everyone feels heard and valued.

Choosing the right moving company

Having the time to go through and compare moving services will help alleviate stress levels. Set aside time to select a reliable moving company by assessing their credibility, reading customer reviews, and understanding their insurance options when something goes south. Knowing you have the right company locked in can significantly reduce the physical and mental strain on moving day.

Shipping your car

If you’re considering shipping your car, select a reputable service. Prepare your car adequately and call your insurance company to find out what’s covered when moving a car with a professional this can relieve concerns during the move. Communication with the vehicle transport company is key, ensuring they have all necessary information and updates on your move.

3. Managing stress


Moving can be extremely stressful, so it’s important to prioritise self-care during this time. Take breaks when needed, eat well, stay hydrated and get enough rest. Meditation can also be a helpful tool for managing stress and staying grounded. Meditating as a family can bring a sense of calm and unity to the moving process. This will help you maintain your energy levels and mental well-being throughout the move.

Taking breaks

Short breaks away from moving tasks can help parents recharge and maintain patience and clarity. Encourage your family to take breaks as well and do activities they enjoy. This will help keep stress levels in check and prevent burnout.

Support networks

Lean on friends, family, or professionals for help managing moving-related tasks or for emotional support.  Having a strong support system can ease the burden of moving and provide much-needed emotional relief. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or vent your frustrations, as keeping it all bottled up will only add to the stress.

Regulate energy levels

Be mindful of how your family is feeling and their current energy levels, if the mood is down try and regulate the levels by doing something fun . Take the afternoon off to have a picnic in your soon-to-be new neighbourhood or explore a nearby park. This will give everyone a break from the chaos of packing and bring some positivity into the moving experience.

Keep an open mind

As much as we plan and prepare, unexpected things can happen during a move. Keeping an open mind and being flexible can help reduce stress.  Embrace the adventure and see it as an opportunity for growth and new experiences. Remember, a positive attitude is contagious and can make all the difference in how your family tackles moving day.

4. Making it fun

Packing games

Packing can be a tedious task, but what about setting a fun game with your family and seeing who can empty their closet and pack them in the neatest boxes of clothes by midday? Or by having the three boxes of keep, donate, and discard and see who can declutter their whole wardrobe before supper time. Not only does this make packing more enjoyable, but it also adds a competitive element to keep everyone motivated.

Exploring things as you’re packing

Every now and then while packing you will find an old board game or some old family photos, it is a good chance to bring the family together and explore memories that have been long forgotten. This not only adds a fun element to packing, but it also brings the family closer together and creates new memories before moving to a new place.

5. Maintaining routine

Keeping routines

Where possible, maintain normalcy with daily routines for meals and bedtime. This stability is comforting, especially to children amidst change. Continue bedtime routines to ensure everyone is well-rested for the move.

Leisure time

Continuing with regular leisure activities helps keep everyone’s stress levels low and fosters family bonding. Whether it’s kicking the football at the park, unleashing some energy at the playground or going for a run. It’s a great way to release endorphins and decreases stress levels, making the moving process more manageable for everyone.

6. Practical stress-relief strategies

Breathing exercises

Teach your family deep breathing techniques, such as the 4-7-8 method, to use during moments of high stress or tension. The 4-7-8 method is a breathing technique that involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. This pattern aims to reduce anxiety, help people fall asleep faster, and manage stress more effectively.


Physical activity is a proven stress-reliever. Encourage your family to engage in regular exercise, whether it’s going for walks together or joining a local sports team. Not only does exercise help reduce stress levels, but it also promotes overall physical and mental well-being.

Physical Activity

Incorporate physical activity into your routine to combat stress, whether it’s a family walk or a yoga session together. A board game like twister can even be a spur of the moment fun.

7. Preparing for moving day

Coordinating with movers

Make sure the lines of communication are open with local or long distance moving company to understand precisely how moving day will unfold, including timelines and handling of special items. Knowing exactly what will take place and when will help alleviate stress and allow for proper preparation.

Kids’ survival kit

Have the time to prepare a bag for each child with snacks, games, and favourite items to keep them comforted throughout the day can help them 

Role play

For younger children, role-playing the moving day can help prepare them for what to expect, reducing anxiety.  Have them pack a small bag of toys or clothes and “move” it to another room, explaining that this is what will happen on the real moving day.

Keeping essentials handy

Pack an “essentials box” with items like toiletries, medications, phone chargers, and important documents. By ensuring you have everything you need readily available, you can avoid the frustration of searching for items precisely when they are needed most.

8. Settling into the new home

First night fun

Making the first night in your new home memorable is an excellent way to start this new chapter on a high note. Consider planning a “camp in” adventure where the whole family sleeps in one bedroom, making the room as comfortable and homely as possible. You can set up sleeping bags on the living room floor, make a fort out of boxes and blankets, and have a picnic dinner with easy-to-eat foods and treats. Break out some board games or tell stories by flashlight to create a sense of adventure. This not only makes the first night feel like a special event but also keeps spirits high and distracts from the stress and disarray that can accompany moving day. It’s a unique way to bond and enjoy the first of many nights in your new home.

Exploring the new area

Taking the time as a family to explore your new neighbourhood is crucial for making the area start to feel like home. Embark on walks together to discover local parks, shops, and eateries. This not only helps familiarise everyone with their new surroundings but also presents opportunities to meet neighbours and find favourite spots that will become part of your routine. Joining local community groups or clubs can also provide a sense of belonging and help integrate your family into the community. Making these early efforts to connect with your new area can significantly ease the transition and build excitement about this new chapter in your lives.


As we wrap up our exploration of stress management techniques for moving with a family, let’s remember that moving is not just about relocating to a new home—it’s about embarking on a new chapter in your family’s story. Yes, it involves packing boxes and coordinating logistics, but more importantly, it’s a chance to grow together and create new memories. By incorporating these stress-management strategies, you can transform what might seem like a daunting ordeal into an adventure that strengthens your family bond.

From engaging everyone in the planning process to maintaining open communication and ensuring self-care, each step is designed to minimise stress and maximise harmony. Embrace the chaos with a smile, knowing that each packed box, each shared laughter, and even the occasional hiccups are paving the way for a fresh start.

So, take a deep breath, gather your loved ones, and step forward with confidence and excitement. As you settle into your new home, remember that the true foundation of your house is the love and unity within your family. Here’s to new beginnings, cherished memories, and a home filled with laughter and joy!

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