Moving house can be counted among the most stressful necessities of modern living. Most people in Victoria experience moving a number of times throughout their lifetime but, despite this, it can be difficult to ever feel really in control of the moving process, as moving house is a skill that we rarely — if we’re lucky — have to opportunity to practice. Add to this the mental and emotional tax of uprooting and moving to a place where you have no history, no sentimental attachment, and it’s no wonder the process can be overwhelming.

The following are a few tips you can use to make the process a little less daunting and, hopefully, more fulfilling.

Nobody Works Best Alone

The essential requisite for moving is manpower. Most towns and cities have a number of local removalists. Specifically looking for removalists in Melbourne, for example, can take a huge load off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on getting yourself and/or your family settled into your new home with minimal fuss.

However, that sort of help is not always an option. Getting friends involved in the process has a number of benefits, even outside the obvious advantage of manual labor. Offering to get pizza delivered to the new house for everyone who helps means you’re more likely to get help in the first place, but it also means that early on you can establish your new home as an intimate space for friends and family. It makes a house instantly feel like a home.

Ease Yourself In

Get your utilities hooked up before the actual moving date wherever possible. Then, if you can manage it, try to spend a day — or even an afternoon/evening — in the new place before all the furniture and boxes and chaos fills it up. It sounds arbitrary, but the fact is that familiarising yourself thoroughly with space when it is empty establishes a sense of autonomy and ownership once it starts to fill up. It is a wonderful feeling to walk into a room, once it has been set up and unpacked, and be able to tell yourself that you did this, made the space what it is.

Highlight Sentimentality

Minimalism is a completely valid lifestyle choice, but regardless of your approach to miscellaneous “stuff,” it is important to have a few things whose purpose is strictly aesthetic or warming. Bric-a-brac, statues or art prints are a way to make the new home resonate with you and what you like.

The challenge here lies in separating the things that fit your last place, and the things that truly reflect you and who you are. The coffee table that you bought because it matched the floorboards of your last place will add nothing of the “home” to the new one. Family heirlooms, or that print in the cracked frame that you’ve had with you since your first share-house is going to make you feel like you belong, even if it doesn’t match the curtains.

The main thing to keep in mind when moving is that we, as humans, develop a relationship with the spaces we inhabit. We impress upon them feelings of duty, or anxiety, or relaxation, and in turn, they reflect those back at us. We shape our environments even if we know they are temporary. Be mindful of this, act with deliberation and care, and your new house will feel like a home for as long as you are there.