NEW YORK — We all know that moving is stressful. From packing all of our worldly possessions into boxes to planning out our new home’s layout, moving is almost always a difficult job that leads to some extra stress. However, a new survey of 2,000 Americans has revealed that many people consider moving to be among the most stressful situations they can imagine — even more so than spending a week in jail!
The survey, commissioned by the storage company Life Storage, asked participants to compare the stress of moving with other, highly stressful situations. Surprisingly, 13% of survey respondents — about one in eight — said that moving is more stressful than a week in jail. Another 27% said it’s more stressful than a job interview, and 23% said it is more stressful than planning a wedding.
All of that stress doesn’t just occur on moving day either. During the process of planning and executing a move, survey participants said they expect to lose two nights of sleep, put in four hours of hard labor, procrastinate for three hours, have two arguments with a roommate or romantic partner, and cry out of frustration twice.
The survey also showed that moving is often a long, drawn-out process. The average survey participant said it takes about four-and-a-half months to unpack all of their items after a move. On the other hand, it takes about two and a half months to pack before a big move.
It’s common for people to lose items in the process of moving, and the survey may have uncovered a major reason why: almost half of all respondents who have moved in with a partner (44%) admitted to purposely throwing out one or more disagreeable items that belonged to their significant other. Additionally, 77% of respondents said they make a habit of decluttering during a move.
“As you take inventory of your items, it’s fairly common to come across some things you can’t bear to throw away but don’t have the room for in your new home,” says Ryan DiMillo, a spokesperson for Life Storage, in a statement.
Surprisingly, despite all of that moving-related stress, the average respondent said they still help a friend or relative move about two times per year. Although, 39% said they found it extremely annoying. All of that help doesn’t come for free, though; 35% of respondents said they expect something back in return whenever they help someone else move. Of that group, 45% prefer a free meal in return for their help, and 41% said they expect that person to return the favor when the times come for them to move.
But, who exactly are Americans typically asking for help when it’s time to move? Interestingly, according to the survey, the majority of Americans feel it is inappropriate to ask co-workers, roommates, or neighbors for help — most choose to rely on close friends, family, and significant others.
Helping someone else move is a very common act among Americans, according to the survey 80% of respondents have helped a friend or family member move in the past, but just how much are they really helping? An astonishing 41% of respondents said they strategically only pick up the lightest and smallest of boxes or items while helping someone move.
“Moving and relocating is a part of life,” DiMillo concludes. “It might be overwhelming at the time, but once it’s all over and you’re settled, suddenly, it’s all worth it.”