July 19, 2023 Posted in Coping with Relocation
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

Unpacking Procrastination: Understanding the Roots and Overcoming It

Ever wondered why we procrastinate and how we can stop? Well, you’re in the right place! We’re digging deep into the psychology behind unpacking procrastination, and, better yet, we’re sharing some great tips to help you kick the habit. Join us as we unravel this common challenge and guide you toward better productivity and efficiency. Happy reading!

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We have all the tips for unpacking after a move to help you battle procrastination

If you are worried about unpacking after the relocation and are procrastinating, the best way to unpack after moving is by starting with uncovering the roots of the problem. To overcome this common issue, you’ll have to embrace different strategies and dedicate time to practicing self-discipline and motivation. Hiring a long-distance moving company can be a part of the solution – it may help you reduce relocation stress and, consequently, reduce the fear of relocating.

What Is Procrastination?

Procrastinating, at its simplest, is the act of delaying or postponing tasks or actions that should be done promptly. This might sound like harmless dilly-dallying, but it’s more than just simple laziness during a difficult time in life, such as relocating to a new state. It’s a complex interplay of cognitive and emotional factors that lead us to put off tasks we perceive as challenging, intimidating, or dull.

Common behaviors linked to procrastinating include persistent avoidance of tasks, a tendency to prioritize less important tasks, and an internal struggle between what should be done and what one feels like doing. Often, procrastinators understand the potential consequences of their delay, but the short-term comfort of avoiding the task usually overpowers this understanding. Some people are chronic procrastinators, habitually postponing actions in various aspects of their lives, while others may only procrastinate in specific areas – like when dealing with tasks related to relocating to a new home.

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How Procrastination Affects Different Areas of Life

Procrastinating, while seemingly harmless in the moment, can have significant impacts on various areas of life. It can cause stress, guilt, and loss of productivity and even affect our health and relationships. By continually pushing tasks to a later time, we not only burden our future selves but also potentially hinder our progress in different life domains. Here are the most common results of procrastination:

  • Missed deadlines, decreased productivity, and potential damage to career or academic progress.
  • Delays in achieving goals like learning a new skill or maintaining a fitness routine.
  • Increased stress and anxiety levels, potential for unhealthy coping mechanisms.
  • Strained relationships due to unreliability or failure to fulfill commitments.
  • Consequences of delaying financial responsibilities, like late fees on bills or missed investment opportunities.
  • Lowered self-esteem and self-confidence due to feelings of guilt and failure associated with not completing tasks.
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Procrastinating can leave you feeling helpless

What Is Unpacking Procrastination?

Unpacking procrastination is a specific form of procrastinating that occurs during the post-moving phase when individuals delay or avoid the task of unpacking their belongings in their new homes. Moving, in itself, is a stressful event, and the subsequent responsibility of unpacking can feel overwhelming, leading to procrastination. This phenomenon can manifest as consistently postponing the unpacking process, doing it haphazardly, or diverting attention to less urgent tasks.

You might find yourself living out of boxes for weeks, if not months, as a result. Procrastinators often think something along the lines of “we don’t have time to unpack all of that” – even though they technically do. Procrastinating can significantly prolong the settling-in period, leading to discomfort, chaos in your living environment, and difficulty adjusting to a new town. It can also increase stress levels and rob you of the excitement and joy that should come with making a fresh start in a new place.

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How to unpack after a move? Keep reading for unpacking tips for procrastinators

What Are the Roots of Procrastination?

The roots of procrastinating are multifaceted, often embedded in a tangle of cognitive, emotional, and environmental factors. Some procrastinate due to fear of failure or criticism, while others may lack motivation or struggle with decision-making. In other cases, procrastination can stem from impulsivity, self-doubt, or perfectionism. It is crucial to remember that procrastinating is not a one-size-fits-all issue and that different people may procrastinate for entirely different reasons. Check out this video about the roots of this issue:

What Are the Psychological Factors Contributing to Procrastination?

Fear of failure and perfectionism are two significant psychological factors that contribute to the habit of procrastinating and depression after moving. Those fearing failure may avoid starting tasks to avoid potential criticism. Simultaneously, perfectionists may postpone tasks because they fear they won’t complete them flawlessly. These fears can be debilitating, causing us to put off tasks indefinitely. It’s easy to see how this can be problematic when moving interstate.

Procrastination often thrives when there’s a lack of motivation or clarity about the task at hand. This may occur when the task seems meaningless or when the pathway to completion is unclear – just like with many tasks related to planning your move. A vague or abstract task can seem insurmountable, leading to deferral until a “better time,” which often never comes.

Impulsivity and poor self-control can also contribute to procrastinating. Some people may struggle with delaying gratification, choosing immediate pleasures over more critical yet less exciting tasks. This impulsiveness, coupled with poor self-control, can foster habitual procrastination.

What Are Environmental Factors That Facilitate Procrastination?

Distractions are an environmental breeding ground for procrastinating. Easy access to time-wasting activities, like social media, television, or even noisy environments, can divert attention from important tasks, encouraging delay. An overwhelming workload or unrealistic expectations can also lead to uncontrolled procrastinating. When tasks seem too daunting or expectations unattainable, it is easier to put things off rather than tackle them head-on.

Lastly, an environment lacking structure or accountability can facilitate procrastination, even when you know all the tips for unpacking after a move. Without set deadlines, clear objectives, or someone to answer to, it becomes all too easy to postpone tasks. Hence, building structures and mechanisms of accountability can be crucial in overcoming this problem, including the one you experience after moving to a new city.

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Many factors can contribute to the procrastinating issue

How to Overcome Unpacking Procrastination?

Overcoming procrastination requires a multifaceted approach. It’s not as simple as just “getting things done.” Instead, it involves understanding why we procrastinate, recognizing when we are doing it, and then deploying effective strategies to break this cycle. Furthermore, building self-discipline and enhancing motivation play a critical role in long-term success.

First, Be Aware That You Are Procrastinating

The first step to overcoming procrastination is to recognize when and how it happens. Pay attention to patterns in your behavior. Do you consistently put off certain tasks? Do you find excuses to delay work until the last minute? Understanding these patterns can help you tackle procrastinating at its roots. Equally important is to understand what triggers it for you. Be aware of these triggers and the typical warning signs that you’re about to procrastinate, like feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

Embrace Different Strategies for Combating This Issue

When a task seems too daunting, break it down into smaller, manageable parts. This reduces the perceived difficulty and makes it easier to start and stay committed to the task. Clear, achievable goals provide direction and motivation. Set specific, realistic deadlines for each task, ensuring that the timeline isn’t too tight or too lax.

Eliminate distractions and create a work environment that promotes focus and efficiency. This could mean decluttering your workspace, using noise-canceling headphones, or setting clear boundaries with those around you. Time-management techniques, such as the Pomodoro Technique or the Eisenhower Matrix, can help structure your time effectively. Prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency.

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Break it down into smaller tasks - take it one step at a time

Dedicate Time to Building Self-Discipline and Motivation

Overcoming procrastination isn’t just about tackling the tasks at hand – it’s about nurturing enduring qualities of self-discipline and motivation to support long-term productivity. Self-discipline involves cultivating the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome weaknesses, while motivation involves finding the drive and enthusiasm to complete tasks.

Cultivating Self-Awareness and Mindfulness

Start by dedicating time to self-reflection to understand your own patterns, triggers, and tendencies. Self-awareness, the conscious knowledge of one’s character and feelings, is a fundamental step in modifying our behaviors. Complement this with mindfulness practices that encourage staying present, not straying into the future with anxieties about tasks or dwelling in the past. Mindfulness helps reduce stress and enhances focus, allowing us to approach tasks calmly and efficiently.

Developing Effective Self-Reward Systems

Building self-discipline and motivation often involves positive reinforcement. Develop a self-reward system to make task completion more appealing. For instance, after finishing a challenging project, reward yourself with a break, a favorite snack, or a short walk. This not only provides an immediate sense of satisfaction but also strengthens the association between hard work and positive outcomes. Be mindful, though, to choose rewards that are conducive to your overall well-being and align with your goals.

Seeking Accountability and Support From Others

Don’t underestimate the power of social support in building self-discipline and motivation. Having someone to share your goals and progress with can add an extra layer of accountability, motivating you to follow through on tasks you might otherwise procrastinate on. This could be a mentor, a peer, or a professional coach. Even digital tools like project management apps and online communities can serve as accountability platforms.

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Focus on self-discipline and motivation for success in the unpacking process

Can Hiring Movers Be a Part of the Solution in Battling the Problem of Procrastinating?

Hiring professional movers can be a practical strategy in combating procrastinating, especially when relocating to another state. Relocating involves multiple tasks that can seem overwhelming – the relocation checklist is always pretty long. This can cause many people to procrastinate, particularly during the unpacking phase.

Firstly, professional movers can help manage the workload, reducing the burden of relocating into an apartment or house. They are skilled in efficient packing, handling, organizing, and shipping items, which saves time and energy. Knowing that a significant part of the process is taken care of can relieve stress and prevent the urge to delay.

Moreover, hiring movers brings a structure that may otherwise be lacking. They work on a schedule, which necessitates that you also work within a certain timeframe. This imposition of a deadline can act as a potent antidote to your procrastinating. Finally, having movers involved brings an element of social accountability. Just the presence of others can serve as a motivation to stay on task and avoid delays.

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Hiring professional movers can drastically reduce the stress of relocating

With a Bit of Effort, It Is Not Impossible to Deal With Unpacking Procrastination

Indeed, overcoming your habit of procrastinating may seem daunting, but with a bit of effort, it’s entirely achievable. Create an environment that encourages focus and productivity, eliminating possible distractions. Remember, self-discipline and motivation are key in this process.

Find ways to stay accountable, and don’t hesitate to seek help, be it from friends, family, or professionals like movers – don’t underestimate the power of cross-country moving services when it comes to battling anxiety about relocating! With consistent effort and perseverance, you can beat the procrastinating monster and smoothly transition into your new state.

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Be persistent - your effort will pay off eventually

Reach Out to Cross Country Moving Company for Help With Your Upcoming Relocation

Moving cross-country can be a daunting process. It involves not just shipping items from one place to another but also meticulous planning, organizing a relocation, packing, and finally, unpacking. To ease this burden and reduce the likelihood of procrastinating, consider hiring reliable long-distance movers like our Cross Country Moving Company.

With our years of experience and trained cross-country movers, we offer stellar long-distance moving services. Our team can expertly pack your belongings – our packing assistance can ensure their safety during transit. Our cross-country moving service can also help manage the logistical aspects of relocations, allowing you to focus on other matters during this complex period of your life. Don’t wait until the last minute to book your movers – contact us and secure assistance from one of the best cross-country moving companies out there!


Is Procrastination Always a Bad Thing?

It is not necessarily a bad thing. While chronic procrastination can hinder productivity and lead to stress, occasional procrastinating isn’t always negative. There’s a concept known as “productive procrastination,” where delaying certain tasks allows for subconscious problem-solving or sparks creativity. Moreover, sometimes what we perceive as procrastinating might be a need for rest, indicating it’s time to take a break.

What Are Some Common Signs That I'm Procrastinating?

Procrastinating manifests in various ways: consistently delaying tasks, finding excuses not to start work, prioritizing less important tasks, feeling overwhelmed at the thought of starting a task, and having a nagging sense of guilt about unfinished work are all common signs.

How Long Does It Take to Overcome Procrastination?

The time it takes to overcome the problem of procrastinating varies widely among individuals and depends on the depth of the habit, personal commitment, and the strategies used. It’s not about completely eliminating procrastinating but learning to manage it effectively. Remember, overcoming procrastination is more of a journey than a destination, with progress measured in small, consistent steps over time.

What if I Keep Falling Back Into Old Procrastination Habits?

Falling back into old habits is not uncommon, especially when trying to overcome deeply ingrained patterns like procrastinating. If this happens, don’t berate yourself. Instead, try to understand what led to the relapse. Was it due to stress, overwhelming tasks on your to-do list, or lack of motivation? Once identified, these triggers can be addressed specifically. If you struggle to make progress, seek support, be it from friends, mentors, or professionals.

Can Procrastination Be a Symptom of Other Underlying Issues?

Yes, procrastinating can sometimes be a symptom of other underlying issues. These might include fear of failure, perfectionism, anxiety, depression, or ADHD. In such cases, procrastinating is a coping mechanism to deal with these deeper, more complex issues. Recognizing this is important, as effective management will involve addressing these root causes. If you suspect your habit of procrastinating is a symptom of an underlying issue, consider seeking professional help to guide your path toward overcoming it.


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