Moving is more stressful than getting divorce, becoming a parent, survey finds

NEW YORK — One might think that getting divorced, raising a child, or starting over in an entirely different career would sit atop the hierarchy of stressful events. As it turns out though, none of those hold a candle to the hassle of moving, according to a recent survey.

A total of 1,000 Americans who had recently moved were asked about the most stressful events in their life. Researchers say moving was selected most often by respondents (45%).

Following close behind is getting divorced or going through a breakup (44%). Other top stressors include getting married (33%), having children (31%), starting one’s first ever job (28%), and switching careers (27%). Rounding out the top ten: sending a child to college (26%), starting college themselves (22%), dating someone new (10%), and getting a pet (7%).

This survey, commissioned by North American Van Lines, also notes that 64% of respondents consider their most recent big move to be one of the most stressful experiences they’ve ever had. Moreover, among Americans who went through their last move all on their own, 43% say they’ll never do that again.

The maddening moments when moving

So what makes packing up and heading to a new home so awful? Respondents agree fitting furniture through narrow doorways and carrying them up and down staircases is the worst part. To that end, 94% of Americans who used a moving company for their last big move say it “was worth every penny.”

Still moving company or not, respondents say that packing up their belongings (48%) is the most stressful aspect of moving. After that, figuring out which stuff to keep or throw out/donate is a close stressful second (47%). Other frustrating facets include making a down payment on a new house/mortgage (28%), finding a mover (24%), finding money to pay movers (23%), saving enough money to sign a lease (14%), and budgeting enough money to rent a moving truck (7%).

Packing up can be costly, too

How much does it cost the typical American to move? On average, $1,500 — plus an extra $211 to cover inevitable, unexpected extra costs.

Of course, no move would be complete without at least one cherished item accidentally breaking. On average, four items will be lost or broken during a move. Interestingly, 35% of Americans admit that they’ve broken an item that belonged to their partner on purpose during a move – just because they didn’t like it!

So, if moving is so awful, why do people still pack up and uproot their lives? Many (19%) did so for a new job, while others (16%) had to for a job relocation. Another 13% say they were motivated to move so they would be closer to their family.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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