How to Unpack Your Bad Habits the Next Time You Move
Assess your tendencies and make a plan for a less stressful moving day
As someone who’s moved four times in the past four years, I tend to agree with the expression “Change your place, change your luck.” To me, moving always feels like a new beginning, an opportunity to shed the past and start fresh. But even as I’ve left cities, homes, and furniture behind, I’ve found that it’s not as easy to say goodbye to old habits.
We all have different moving styles — some people spend hours planning and organizing, while others might haphazardly throw everything in boxes — but almost all moves have one thing in common: They’re stressful. And often, moving feels like a vicious cycle of aggravation. The stress stirs up those latent bad habits, which, in turn, just make everything worse. Still, regardless of your moving style or the old patterns you fall back on in challenging situations, there are ways to offset some of the stress and tension that moving brings.
Recognize your habits
When most people hear the word “habit,” they think of something like smoking or nail-biting — a behavior that’s easy to spot, even if it’s not so easy to quit. But we all have habits that we’re unaware of, even as we carry them with us throughout the day. A habit could be as discreet as leaning more on one leg while walking or subconsciously holding tension in your jaw.
Over the years, I’ve come to recognize one of my own moving-specific habits: I put everything off until the last minute, then let myself get incredibly stressed. So when it came time for my most recent move two months ago, I was finally ready to address it. Rather than fall back into my typical procrastination, I got started early. For someone concerned with making efficient use of time, it felt counterintuitive to be spending so many hours on the moving process so far in advance, but I knew that doing so would help me stay calm and avoid my other stress-induced tendencies.
Divide and conquer
I have a history of taking on too much at once, which often sets me back in whatever I’m trying to do — moving included. I can get overwhelmed when I have too many things going on, and…