With all seriousness and respect, they say that moving to a new house can be as traumatic as going through a divorce. Without removing from anybody’s struggles or suffering, there is some truth to this statement. But the more accurate statement is that moving to a new house CAN BE a distressing event, while it does not have to be.

Moving homes is one of those momentous events in life where we are fortunate enough to have a degree of foresight in anticipating it. It is not like being diagnosed with a serious illness or losing your job which can spring upon you without warning. You will generally have at least a month (as we assume you will give your landlord that much notice before absconding) and it will usually be to a place of your choosing.

This means two things: you know exactly how long you have before you go, and you have a basic idea of what you can expect on the other side. This is more so true for moving somewhere within the same country, or better yet in the same city, so, for now, we will exclude what logistics are involved in immigrating to a new country.

These two factors are the basis on which we will develop a plan of attack for the impending move. You need to give yourself every reason to succeed, and for this reason, we have a process that we would like to suggest to you. You also must try your level best to remove as much stress from the equation as possible. There will undoubtedly be aspects of moving that clash with how you generally approach life as there are so many factors that you just cannot account for them all.

So, we are dissecting the moving process into four “classifications” for you to consider. Some of the things mentioned below will have been the first considerations you made while pondering the move, but others might not have even crossed your mind. We refer to this as learning to think with your whole brain, but we will get back to that later.

1)    Planning and Process

You cannot plan enough. And if ever there were a time for your logistical genius to shine, it is now! Start by collecting boxes. Stop at every convenience store you pass and venture around to the back where they do their deliveries. Ask for any used boxes in decent shape and don’t be afraid to accept all shapes and sizes.

Next, you need to start packing those boxes well in advance. There is nothing worse on a moving day where you suddenly realize how many odds and ends you have stashed in the drawers or on counters around your house and you have to quickly make a plan to stuff them somewhere. This is how sentimental things get damaged or lost. Look at how long you have before the move and start by packing just one box a day. This initial step will make the move seem much less daunting further down the line. Start with the non-essential items like sports equipment and linen that you won’t be using, keeping out those things that you cannot live without. Yes, you can pack the TV Box and WIFI router last.

Secondly, if it takes up physical space, let it rather take up that space within the tidy confines of a box. If it means putting underwear in pots, so be it! Just remember that it is infinitely easier (and quicker) to stack 50 boxes on move day than it is to find holes for 300 goodies.

Then, very importantly, take the time to label your boxes. Buy little labels used on books or cut pieces of paper and stick them on the boxes with sticky tape. Include the following in the label: where the items in the box CAME FROM (for example: passageway cupboard), a basic idea of what is inside (example: TV Room Cables, remotes and some linen, or FRAGILE), and to which room you want that box to go to on the other side (example: KITCHEN). Remember, it is not just about getting to the new place, you also want to take the strain off of yourself once you get there. This one little sticker will mean that you know exactly where to take that box in your new abode (decluttering the new living space while you are reorganizing) and will save you needing to open 10 boxes to find the spatula for the first morning’s eggs.

Besides the boxes, there will be plenty of things for you to think about and no two moves are the same. Give yourself as much time as possible to anticipate things so do not neglect to regularly engage in little team meetings to brainstorm what needs to happen. You may have furniture that needs to be dismantled, for example, and so you will have to incorporate these many small things into your scheduling.

Consider some of the following as points of discussion:

  • Do you have any utilities that need to be canceled or shifted, such as internet or garden services?
  • Are you going to use a moving service, or will you be hiring a trailer?
    • Remember to contact both services in advance to book their services or to secure a trailer as you do not want to be disappointed!
    • Also, give yourself time to find quotes online as some companies differ in price depending on the day of the week or month you will be using their services on.
  • Do you need to take leave from work for the move day?
  • Have I got extra old blankets to protect my belongings on move day?
  • What about finding newspapers to wrap my glass things?

These are some very general questions, but they are there as a start for your team huddles.

In the end, how you plan out the process of moving is up to you. You can draw mind maps, make lists, or leave sticky notes all over the place! But when it comes down to it: the more you plan, the less there is to surprise you, and the more sanity you will be saving!

2)    Focus and Purpose

Moving is a fantastic opportunity to get to the core of what you need in your life. When packing your boxes, consider whether you really need the rollerblades you are packing or if that phase has passed. You can really see this as a time of refinement in where you see yourself going in the future, clutter-free!

It is also prudent to budget effectively. Think about the nitty-gritties as there can be many unforeseen expenses:

  • You have to take out a new WIFI contract and pay for it pro-rata;
  • Pay the deposit of the new place;
  • “When last did I need airtime” …when last did you need to get all these quotes…
  • Get a cleaning team to clean up once you have vacated your current home;
  • Get a cleaning team for the new place because others were not so kind;
  • “Globes! Did these people live in the dark!?” Who knows why only the kitchen and bathroom in your new home have a working globe, but what does it matter when you need to shed some light on your new situation? This is one such example to show that your monthly budget will spike a little because of the unexpected things.
  • , etc.

With so much going on, it will undoubtedly help to make certain allowances in your budgeting for small nuances. So, try to overestimate your projected costs.

3)    Allow for Plans to Change

See yourself as a surfer at this time and the shift to a new house is an afternoon of catching waves. Can you plan when to start paddling to catch the wave? Yes, you can. Can you account for the surfer who loses control to your left and comes crashing into you? Unlikely. You will most probably come up gasping for air with some salty disgruntlement in your stomach, but you need to get back on that board.

It is better to catch that wave with the forethought that you might not get to ride to the end of it, as this will help curb some of your disappointment if this turns out to be the case. But think of the move as your entire surf session for the day, as opposed to that single wave. A single wave missed does not mean you will not find a good ride for the day, the same way some hiccups will not necessarily throw the whole move into disarray.

As Robert Burns so aptly put it in his poem To a Mouse in 1785:

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,

Uh, no, I don’t quite see it either until it is translated from old Scottish English into modern English:

The best-laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew

In this poem, the poet is lamenting at the loss a poor little mouse has just experienced when a farmer accidentally destroys the mouse’s tiny nest with a plow. Something for which the little mouse could never have accounted for in a million years. But there it is: a ginormous unidentified plowing object comes crashing down from above and usurps the little mouse’s foresight.

Helmuth von Moltke also wisely said when discussing war:

No battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy.

Try to see this time as a fluid thing where there will be things you did not foresee. Which you then casually (at least until you have a little cry later) take in your stride.

4)    No Person is an Island

Account for the people factor. You will need to involve others in the processor, or, at least, strongly consider doing so. You may not want to, but this is a time for all hands on deck. Conversely, you may want to but do not know anyone who will be available. Either way, do not be afraid to ask for assistance or advice. Ask for a recommendation on Facebook or call up a friend who has recently moved for their inputs. When you start talking to the people around you, you may be surprised at how helpful it can be.

You might find that someone you went to school with owns a moving company, or that your long-lost cousin offers their assistance out of the blue. You never know! But to neglect involving your community is to isolate yourself and your family.

It is very likely that you will have acquired help on move day. Whether it be volunteers, such as family and friends, or a hired crew, how do you intend to win them over? Remember that although you see value in your belongings, others may not. Be thoughtful of their needs and consider putting together food parcels for each helper with some delicious goodies as a means of “buying” their investment into making the move successful. Moving is a long process, and people get sloppy when they’re hungry. You don’t want non-committal hands handling your fragile boxes and furniture. This is not expected from you, but that makes it worth so much more on the day!

It is also important to express your desires to those helping you. Think of this as an informal team huddle where you get to express your gratitude (even to those you have paid to be there) before the hard work begins. Share the value of your belongings with them and how much it will mean to you for everything to go smoothly. This will act as a bit of an ice breaker and you can even use this moment to help the strangers get better acquainted with each other. Communication is key during the actual move and you will want everybody to be on the same page.

Unleash your inner leader, set the pace for the day, and show the others that their work ethic matters to you.


Although we have not given these four steps any scientific explanation until now, these concepts are all connected to what we term whole-brain thinking. Each of the four headings above are connected to a different quadrant of thinking that people generally have stronger or lesser preferences for in various degrees. If you want to find out more about what these thinking preferences are, please read this blog here: https: //kninstitute.com/the-8-dimensions-explained/

These preferences are measurable and understandable. You can contact an NBI Practitioner to find out what you and your families are. Please go to our practitioner locator to find one close to you, or for an online consultation.