Moving is often cited as one of the most stressful life events. Packing up your home, saying goodbye to your community, and starting in a new place can be emotionally taxing. Here are the six stages of grief that you may experience when moving. Recognizing these emotions can help you cope and make your transition smoother.  


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Stages of Grief

  1. Denial – At first, it can be hard to accept that you are actually moving and may feel like it’s not real. 
  2. Frustration – As the move gets closer, you may experience frustration with all the details of packing up your home and preparing for the transition. 
  3. Bargaining – You might start bargaining with yourself or others to delay or avoid having to move at all. 
  4. Sadness – Saying goodbye to friends and a familiar place can bring on feelings of sadness as you prepare for your new life elsewhere. 
  5. Realization – Once everything is packed up, reality sets in that this is really happening, and things will never be the same again after this move has taken place. 
  6. Acceptance – After going through these stages of grief, eventually you will come full circle back around to acceptance of your new situation and begin looking forward to starting in a new and different location. 


Any of the above stages are part of the moving process, because moving is a process of letting go and becoming acclimated to something completely new. It can be both exciting and overwhelming, as one anticipates what could possibly come next in their lives. 


Emotions of Moving

Regardless of the reason, we can find ourselves at different times, experiencing deep emotions associated with the process of moving. All people experience a period of disruption and change when preparing for a move and it is important to acknowledge these feelings.  


Every item in the home has a memory associated with it. Be it a family heirloom passed down through generations, a piece of furniture that was once purchased on a special occasion, or simply an everyday item that has been with you through thick and thin. The kitchen is often the heart of the home, and in our old house it was no different. This is where we cooked many of our first family meals, from spaghetti to lasagna and roasted chicken, and celebrated birthdays and special occasions. 


More Than A Home

Our home is not just a place we have financially invested in to get a good return. It is the shelter that has allowed us to feel safe and secure despite the uncertainties of the outside world. When it comes to moving, we often invite the most important people in our lives to visit our new home. It is a way for us to share what we’ve been through and the struggles that come with transitioning from one place to another. 


Even the most mundane items can bring about a plethora of emotions, as we remember the occasions on which they were acquired or presented to us. These memories can range from joyous moments spent with loved ones to bitter times of personal struggles. So, yes, we grieve the loss of a well-built life, even if we are choosing to leave for a new opportunity. 


Emotions & The Five Senses

It’s important to point out that the emotions we experience in the context of moving are not linear. We may feel sadness and acceptance at the same time, or nostalgia and excitement simultaneously. Moving away from our beloved home is not easy. We experience complex emotions depending on many factors like what we hear or don’t hear, what we see or do not see, what we feel or do not feel and even what we taste or no longer taste.  


Our five senses: sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch are all instrumental in how we perceive the world around us. When moving away from a beloved home, the sight of familiar places may bring sadness while the sound of new surroundings can bring excitement and curiosity. This is because when we move away from our homes, we take with us memories and pictures of what was once familiar and comforting, but now must be let go of.  


It is important for us to acknowledge our feelings about leaving our beloved home, in order to move forward. The bright side of this is that we are resilient. Regardless of the emotional rollercoaster we experience when moving away from a beloved home, we are able to adjust and adapt to our new living environment in time. Moving away doesn’t have to be seen as failure or something negative, but rather an opportunity for growth and a fresh start. If we deny ourselves the emotions of moving, we will never find happiness in our new setting. 


Take A Breath

Finally, no matter how challenging the move may seem, it is possible to find some sort of peace in saying goodbye and embracing the future ahead of us. We take with us the memories and lessons learned from our beloved home, as well as the love of our family, friends, and co-workers who have supported us through it all. Use the moving experience as an opportunity to create new memories, explore the unknown, and discover what life has to offer in our new home. With the right mindset and appreciation for all that has been, we can make this move a successful and rewarding experience.  


WayForth can help you or a family member with our comprehensive moving solutions including downsizing, space planning, packing and moving, unpacking and settling in your new home. Contact our moving professionals today at 1.844.WAYFORTH.     

About the Author: WayForth

WayForth is the definitive provider of comprehensive and personalized moving solutions for life and business. Since 2016, WayForth has led the way in move management, providing solutions to over 15,000 individuals and families. How you move matters and no matter the destination, WayForth serves as a guide making life’s transitions easier to navigate. Call 1.844.WAYFORTH today to learn how we can help with your next move!
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