The Emotional Side of Moving Out: Coping with Stress and Anxiety Through Cleaning

Moving to a new home can evoke multiple emotions that could vary from enthusiasm about new beginnings to regret about leaving behind memories while moving out of a familiar space. Moving is very chaotic but cleaning can be used as a relaxation method to keep your mind calm and reduce tension. In this post, we will discuss the emotional aspects of moving out and how cleaning may be a helpful coping strategy while things are changing.

1. Acknowledge Feelings of Stress and Anxiety

Any big life-changing moment evokes various emotions, including the more unpleasant ones like anxiety, worry, and tension. The first step to dealing with them is to acknowledge them and seek methods of relieving them. Give some thought to the reasons behind your relocation as well as any worries or anxieties you may have about the change. Seek emotional support from your partner, friends or family members. Why not a close colleague as well? There’s nothing to be ashamed about. It greatly reduces the stress that comes with moving.

2. Embrace Cleaning as a Therapeutic Activity

Cleaning can be an excellent strategy to relieve tension and anxiety because it can have a relaxing effect on the body and mind. Put your attention into tidying and arranging your living area as you get ready to move out. Sorting through possessions and determining what to keep, donate, or throw away should be your first steps. After that, focus on keeping your living space tidy and organised while you tackle cleaning tasks one room at a time. Since cleaning can make one feel in control and accomplished, it can help lessen emotions of overwhelm and worry. Put the proverb “When your hands are working, your mind is resting” to the test. Turn the music up and get to work!

3. Create a Cleaning Ritual

Create a cleaning plan to help you stay focused in the midst of the turmoil of packing and organising by giving the moving process structure and regularity. Dedicate one or a couple of hours every day to cross off some small chore from your list such as sweeping, organising, dusting, wiping, etc. Create a more tranquil environment by lighting candles or turning on calming music to enhance your sensory experience. Include mindfulness exercises like deep breathing or visualisation. Both promote stress release and relaxation and can further boost the therapeutic benefits of cleaning.

4. Tackling End of Tenancy Cleaning

Instead of looking at the big scale end of tenancy cleaning job that needs to be done, divide it into small chores and do a few daily. Make a list of all the cleaning chores you need to do and rank the places that need the most care (kitchen, bathrooms, common areas). Check your cleaning solutions, do you have everything or do you need to get some? Check in with friends or nearby family if they would come to help you with the bigger chores. Remember to pay close attention to locations that are frequently disregarded, such as under furniture, under cupboards, and behind appliances. End of tenancy cleaning should be complete but also stress-free by following a systematic strategy.

5. Moving with kids

As stressful as moving is on its own, adding kids in the mixture can make it harder. However, there are many things that you can do to help your kids transition easily as well. Regardless of how old your children are. For example, you can make the moving easier for them by getting them a gift.

Other things you can do to reduce the stress in kids are:

  • Involve them in deciding which of their stuff they want to take and which to donate.
  • Stick to routines as much as possible.
  • Be empathetic and patient to your children, it’s natural that they would have feelings about the move as well.
  • Pack their favourite food for the moving day.
  • Talk to them and explain to them what is happening.

6. Return of Security Deposit

One important part of moving out is getting your full security deposit back. Knowing how that works might ease your financial concerns. Examine your lease agreement’s terms addressing the refund of the deposit, including any permitted deductions and the timeframe for reimbursement, before leaving the rental property. After you make sure the property is cleaned and back to its initial condition, get your landlord or property manager to access the state and discuss the deposit return policy. If there are any demands for deposit withholding, ask for a formal explanation explaining why they were made, and be ready to discuss or contest them if needed. Be informed and proactive in your moving out process and you’ll easily get your full deposit back. Keep in mind that some landlords specify in their leases that they require an end of tenancy cleaning service in order to give you your deposit back.


Cleaning can be a coping mechanism for worry and stress, and when you’re moving out it’s also useful for getting your deposit back. You can handle the emotional part of moving out with resilience and grace if you accept your emotions, embrace cleaning as a therapeutic activity, establish a cleaning ritual, know the politics of the security deposit process, and look for support and connection. Check out some of our tips on preparing for your move. Just be kind to yourself, rest when you need it, work when you can. After all, moving isn’t only a scary thing but also an exciting new beginning.