How to Stay Sane While Selling Your House

Selling a home can be an incredibly stressful and overwhelming experience, even more so than planning a wedding, becoming a parent, or getting fired. Some claim moving is more stressful than divorce (though I hope I’ll never be able to confirm that) and one in three adults admit to crying during the process. Moving can be particularly challenging if you are trying to juggle simultaneous buying and selling, and/or relying on the proceeds from one house to purchase another. Fear of the unknown and a lack of control over the results is enough to send most people into a stressed frenzy — nevermind all of the repairs, cleaning, and packing.

So how do we survive this super stressful time? During my own experience selling our house, I’ve found the following to be critical to my sanity.

Use a Trello Board or some kind of organizational program to keep you on track. I would be lost without my Trello board. It contains all of our to-do list items (tickets), and within each item are options for comments, checklists, deadlines, and relevant attachments. Having everything related to the move organized in one place both my partner and I can access has been hugely helpful. All important documents, contact information, and deadlines are stored there. If Trello isn’t for you, try to find another program or app that helps keep you organized.

Ask for help. My partner is the kind of person who likes to do everything himself. But when it comes to selling a house, sometimes you need to get help from other people in order to hit deadlines and get the job done right. We’ve hired contractors to help with renovations and window-washers to clean awkward, tricky spots. We also had a friend over to help us paint. Whether you are seeking help professionally or personally, contractors, family, and friends can be good resources. Remember, you don’t have to do this all on your own.

Find outlets to process your emotions. Moving is inherently stressful, as noted above. And it’s not like other daily stressors disappear just because you’re selling your home. Life goes on, and we have to find ways to process it all. My methods of choice are journaling and taking long walks, sometimes in silence. Other outlets include meditation, yoga, running, music, art, sharing with a friend, or talking to a therapist — pick what works best for you. Make sure you prioritize self-care during your move, because your sanity is important!

Build in time for fun. This is crucial, in my opinion. My partner and I realized all of our activities and conversations were centered around the move, so we began making an effort to set aside time just for fun. No move talk allowed. Even with a long to-do list, you can still dedicate one night a week to something you enjoy that helps you escape and relax.

These tips will not completely eliminate the stress of a move — nothing can. But I do hope with some organization, help, outlets, and fun, you won’t be one of the 33% of adults who cry during the process.

Good luck!



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Britney Chapman

INFJ in love with the power of words. Black coffee, atmospheric music, and baggy sweaters.