Is moving more stressful than spending a week in jail? These people think so…

Recent research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Life Storage found how the average American feels about the stress of moving.

Between navigating the moving truck, fitting furniture through small doorways and arguing over room layouts — it’s no secret that moving stresses Americans out. But the extent to which it does might surprise you.

In fact, about one in five Americans (23 percent) think that moving is more stressful than planning a wedding, according to new research. Twenty-seven percent think it’s more stressful than a job interview, and more than one in 10 (13 percent) even go as far as to say it’s more stressful than a week in jail.

Of course, moving day stress is only half the battle. The new study of 2,000 Americans’ thoughts on moving found that by the numbers, American movers can expect approximately two nights of lost sleep, four hours of hard labor, three hours of procrastinating, two arguments with a roommate or partner, and two frustrated cries during their next move.

The new survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Life Storage, found that it takes the average American nearly four and a half months to completely unpack all of their items after moving. It takes about two and a half months to pack things up in the first place.

If you’re in the process of moving, you may want to keep a thorough list of your belongings — there’s a good chance your partner is going to try to throw some away.

Nearly half (44 percent) of Americans who have moved in with a partner admit to having tossed out some of their significant other’s less-agreeable things. Seventy-seven percent of Americans declutter while moving.

“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,” said Ryan DiMillo, a spokesperson for Life Storage. “That’s where self storage comes in handy for many Americans. We’ve learned from our customers that moving is the №1 reason most people rent a storage unit, followed by decluttering.”

Americans help someone move as a favor about two times a year. Unsurprisingly, 39 percent find it extremely annoying.

More than one in three Americans (35 percent) expect something in return when they help someone move. Fifty-four percent would be happy with a free meal, and 41 percent think a return favor of moving help in the future would be reasonable.

That being said, be wary of who you ask for help. A majority of Americans feel it’s unacceptable to ask co-workers, neighbors or roommates for help — instead choosing to lean on family, best friends and spouses.

While 80 percent of Americans have helped a friend or family member move, there’s some question about what exactly constitutes help.

More than half of those surveyed (51 percent) admit to carrying the lightest boxes and items they can when helping someone move.

“Moving and relocating is a part of life,” said DiMillo. “It might be overwhelming at the time, but once it’s all over and you’re settled, suddenly, it’s all worth it.”


  1. Clothes 46%
  2. Books 36%
  3. Movies (DVDs, etc) 34%
  4. Photos 33%
  5. Posters/art 31%
  6. Records and CDs 30%
  7. Pots and pans 28%
  8. Bedding 27%
  9. Rugs/carpets 26%
  10. Lamps 25%


  • Two and a half months of packing prior to move
  • Two nights of lost sleep
  • Four hours of hard labor
  • Three hours of planning the layout
  • Two cries
  • Three hours procrastinating
  • Three hours building furniture
  • Two arguments with partner/roommate
  • Two lost items
  • Four and a half months to unpack all boxes

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.

SWNS is a UK and US-based news and media content agency with a proud 40-year history.

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