Trash & Stash Virtual Roundup: Expert Tips to Reduce Moving Stress
Massage therapist Rod Greene would rather get teeth pulled than go through the rigamarole of moving.
Yet, he and his family are building a new house, so a move is imminent.
*UPDATE* We’re no longer doing full, household moves. Large scale moving was never part of our business plan but people asked for it. So we did it. And we did it well. We’re just not really set up for it though & have decided to focus on junk removal, moving help and microstorage. We’re still a very valuable resource for your move in these ways.
Besides the physical rigors of packing up a lifetime of belongings and moving them to a new home, there’s another part of the equation: the emotional, bodily and mental stressors of moving.
“Moving is stressful because it’s time-consuming. And as you get older, there’s a risk of injury. It’s also stressful to leave the comfort of what you’re used to. Whether you’re moving in town or across the country, focusing on the positives and what you have to look forward to makes it easier,” said Charlotte-area personal trainer Mackenzie Morrow.
Trash & Stash can help you with the heavy lifting. But we’re all about the holistic moving experience and what we’ve seen has shown us that you’ll have a better moving experience if your mind and body is as prepared as your stuff.
We touched on this topic in the inaugural Virtual Roundtable discussion, but we thought it deserved more attention. We’ve gathered four Charlotte/Fort Mill-area wellness experts (including the aforementioned Greene and Morrow) to dive deeper into ways to reduce moving stress.
Let's Meet The Experts
Nicole Reina, Mindset Coaching for Heroes
Fort Mill-based life coach Nicole Reina is a John Maxwell-certified trainer, speaker and coach. She’s successfully mentored executives as well as helped everyday people realize their own potential. Orally deaf with two percent hearing, she relies on hearing aids and lip reading to communicate, and she is a disability advocate, spiritual entrepreneur and business owner.
Dr. Parker Ward, Weddington Chiropractic Wellness Center at Blakeney
Chiropractor Parker Ward is 2015 graduate of Life University in Georgia and is a recent transplant to the South Charlotte area. Also certified in sports rehabilitation, he takes a holistic and integrated approach to healing.
Mackenzie Morrow, Mackenzie Muscle, LLC
Fitness trainer Mackenzie Morrow’s mission is to empower women through exercise and inspire them to take care of and love their bodies through hard work, not social media photo filters. She guides her clients in making small, actionable changes that help them build upon their successes one at a time, like building blocks.
Rod Greene, The Perfect Touch Mobile Massage
Certified Medical Massage Practitioner Rod Greene brings the massage table – or chair – to wherever his clients are with his Waxhaw, N.C.-based mobile massage business. He can transform your living room, or office, into a mini-spa.
Let’s get the discussion started…
Trash & Stash: Why is moving so stressful, in your opinion?
Reina: Moving is stressful because of the attachments we have on our home and the memories we’ve created. Usually, we move because of a major life change. New job, new marriage. Divorce or loss of a loved one. These sorts of changes are major stressors without a move. This has a major impact on our mindset. Then add the uncertainty of a move. As humans, we love to be comfortable, and when our comfort is disrupted by a major life change, stress kicks in. Add to this the never-ending to-do list of organizing, packing, scheduling, and planning, and now your mind is in overload. Additionally, most people have trouble taking large projects and breaking it down into smaller pieces, which makes the process feel daunting. Procrastination usually supersedes overwhelm, which adds to the mental stress. Then, because of the procrastination and avoidance, our minds become preoccupied with worries, which creates more of what we do not want – stress.
Ward: Moving is stressful because of all the moving parts. From organizing your things, trying to get rid of stuff, and you’re trying to make sure you don’t forget where anything is.
Greene: The excitement of moving into a brand-new house and starting a new life in a new space is, exciting. That excitement though, can be overshadowed by the daunting task of the moving process. The grueling hours of slowly deciding which things to throw away or donate (amazingly more of my stuff being thrown away than my wife’s- imagine that) can be overwhelming.
Trash & Stash: Has moving gotten more complicated in our modern world, therefore more stressful?
Morrow: I would say it’s gotten more complicated in that we acquire more things nowadays, but it can be a lot simpler by hiring Trash & Stash.
Reina: Because we live in a digital age with stressors everywhere competing for our attention, the moving process has most definitely gotten more complicated. When there were few options before, now there are hundreds. The sheer task of making decisions alone is enough to send the mind in a tailspin of negativity. The fear of making the wrong decision is often paramount on an unconscious level, which is why consciously thinking positive thoughts is so important.
Ward: I don’t know if it’s gotten more complicated and stressful in general but with more stuff then likely comes more stress.
Trash & Stash: What are some general tips for relieving stress, or reducing stress, for people that are preparing to move?
Reina: When you first make the decision to move, it’s important to center yourself and avoid the fear mindset. Stay positive, calm, and relaxed. Fear is one of the strongest negative emotions we have and leads to more negative emotions such as guilt, apathy, anger, frustration, and overwhelm. All these cause stress and impairs our ability to receive solutions. Your mindset is a choice, and when you choose thoughts that are positive, like hope, you access solutions that otherwise would be invisible. Repeating affirmations, such as “everything is always working out for me” helps to relax the mind and alleviate stress, but again, it is a choice. You must choose.
Remember – it is never because you can’t do anything, it is because you won’t.
Greene: The more organized and ready you are before the move, the less stress you’ll be under on the move day.
Ward: Create a plan. Start with decluttering and getting rid of the stuff you know you won’t want via garage sale or donation. Then when it comes to packing, take pictures or create a detailed list to tape on the box. Labeling the box by room will also help the unloading portion of the move and unpacking. Lastly, start early because no matter what you’ll be packing the night before.
Morrow: Physical and mental health are strongly related. By being in good physical health, you’ll have more energy, you won’t be more stressed out by worrying about being in bad health, which will result in more mental clarity. Endorphins that are released during exercise are also a great stress-reliever. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself and relax, whether that’s exercising, getting your nails done, taking a bubble bath, or whatever it may be.
Trash & Stash: Getting organized – that was mentioned by more than one of you – how will this reduce moving-related stress?
Morrow: Okay, I am totally hypocritical by saying this, but although I am organized business-wise, I don’t have great organizational skills when it comes to belongings, and that can definitely be a stressor. Something I’m working on. Labeling boxes will be super helpful because you won’t be scrambling trying to find something, only to look in 20 boxes before you find it.
Reina: Unless you are already someone that enjoys organizing, I highly recommend seeking the help of a professional. The benefits of delegation outweigh the costs. Besides, that’s the beauty of the world we live in – to be able to choose to receive the help that allows for more peace. Instead of thinking about the cost, think of how great it feels to have it done for you, and watch how easily the process unfolds. The money takes care of itself if you choose to believe.
Greene: If you want to have as stress-free a move as possible:
Get organized; in each room: create a keep pile, a trash pile & a donate pile.
Clearly mark your boxes so that you (or the movers) can easily know what room each box will go into.
Trash & Stash: What about just accepting the fact that moving is stressful – is that helpful and if so, why?
Ward: Absolutely, you’re moving your things that are most important to you. If you weren’t stressed, then they likely don’t mean that much to you.
Accepting it can also give you a head start on trying to resolve it.
Reina: Believe it or not, it is better to avoid using the word “stress” and eliminate it from your vocabulary. While moving is certainly a big task, it has the potential to be a pleasant experience, if you choose it to be. Everything is about focus, which shapes your perception. If you choose to focus on moving as being a stressful task, then you are creating that experience. By accepting something as stressful you are inviting more stress. Instead, accept it for what it is, which is a big project that requires planning and delegation, both of which are simple tasks that only require a little time and thought.
A helpful habit is to visualize what a so-called “perfect move” looks like. Picture the process unfolding with ease and imagine what this feels like. When you practice this method, you attract more solutions that resonate with this experience. It is important to remember that you create what you think about, whether you want it or not, so it is in your favor to think positive.
Morrow: Accepting that moving is stressful can help you be more prepared, both mentally and physically, for the situation. It can also allow you to get the help that you need.
Trash & Stash: How about removing junk and clutter as you gear up for a move – do you think it’s important to let go of stuff and not drag it to your new home?
Ward: Everyone needs to go through a good seasonal cleaning from time to time and there’s no better time than packing for a move. You shouldn’t keep something just to keep it, it must have some type of purpose.
Reina: Yes, yes and one more resounding yes. You want your new home to be full of new and pleasant memories. Carrying junk and clutter into a new life just invites chaos. Let it go and start fresh. Unless it is something of truly sentimental value that brings actual feelings of happiness, it has got to go. Otherwise, you are carrying negative energies that create stress into your new life. Trim the fat and eliminate the waste.
Morrow: I won’t lie – I’m an overly sentimental person, so I have a lot of clutter. It has been a huge stressor in my life, so I’m in the process of learning to let go. I think I take back what I said earlier – it’s not really that I’m horrible at organization, I just have too many things to realistically organize it. So yes, I think keeping what you can to a minimum would be great. Keeping a few especially important items from loved ones is a great idea but finding a reason to keep every item is not.
Trash & Stash: Do you think hiring moving help is an effective way to relieve stress?
Reina: Absolutely, 100 percent.
I believe that letting others manage the actual heavy lifting brings peace of mind, which in turn, brings more wanted experiences and less stress. Go with the pros and save yourself the hassle. Allow yourself to experience a relaxing move and watch how everything unfolds in your favor. Never underestimate the power of positive thought and visualization. Use your imagination to think positive, and watch the magic. It is all a choice. Thinking “What if” thoughts create fear. Choose instead to think “Wouldn’t it be nice if.” Even money solutions will show up if you allow it to!
Morrow: I would say save yourself the back strain so you can stay in the gym instead of risking injury by lifting awkward objects. And remember, no matter what you lift – lift with the legs, not with the back!
Greene: Being ready and organized is only half the battle; If you can hire someone to do the heavy lifting (AKA: Trash & Stash) then it’ll be smooth sailing getting you into your new place. They can move you, take your old stuff you (or your wife) don’t want, to be donated and throw away your junk and clutter for you afterwards.
Ward: Definitely, I think most people grow up in their early 20s and recruit their friends with some soda and pizza to help them move. As we get older, we accumulate more items of importance, but we also understand the value of having trusted professionals take care of the heavy lifting that could complete the job in a fraction of the time.