Revealed: The 5 Biggest Regrets People Have About Moving

These are the most common regrets to consider before a big move.
Updated April 11, 2024
Fact checked
girl moving to new place sitting crying exhausted

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As if the home-buying process wasn’t difficult enough — especially with record-breaking home prices and the highest interest rates we’ve seen in years — if you do find a house you can actually afford, you have another ordeal on your hands. Moving is stressful. It’s physically demanding, emotionally taxing, and an additional financial burden that many just can’t afford.

To learn the impetus behind people’s relocations, Home Bay and Allied Van Lines polled 2,000 people who moved last year. But in addition to understanding their motivations, the survey brought insight into something else — why respondents regretted their move. Though many respondents moved to improve their quality of life, 86% regretted moving and wished they’d handled at least a few aspects quite differently.

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Regret #1 - Not getting rid of more stuff frustrated woman moving out of house

Almost a quarter of those surveyed, 24%, said they wished they’d gotten rid of more stuff before moving. Whether you do the heavy lifting yourself or hire movers to take care of it for you, less is always better.

Moving companies generally charge by the pound, meaning more stuff is more expensive. And moving all your possessions yourself can be physically and mentally draining, especially large furniture items.

Regret #2 - They miss their old home

twinsterphoto/Adobe senior couple standing outside new house

Also high on the list were the respondents who were nostalgic for their old homes. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed said they missed their previous residences.

Interestingly, the survey found that only 19% of those who moved crossed state lines, 29% moved to a different city in their state, 27% moved to a different neighborhood in the same city, and 12% moved to a different home in the same neighborhood.

Regret #3 - Moving was too expensive

Wayhome Studio/Adobe african american family reviewing bills together

Twenty percent of survey respondents said moving was just too expensive — a common refrain today about everything from eggs to insurance.

The increased cost of living has hit most consumer industries hard, and moving is no exception. Like most other things, moving costs increased significantly in 2022, according to a study by Hire A Helper, and have continued to climb. Fifty percent of people who moved in 2023 said it cost them at least $2,000, up from 46% in 2022.

Those who choose to move themselves deal with high gas prices and increased prices on moving supplies like boxes, tape, and packing materials, while people who use professional movers contend with increased transport fees.

Regret #4 - Moving was too much of a hassle

BalanceFormCreative/Adobe couple moving into new house while holding moving boxes together

A significant proportion of respondents, 19%, just thought moving was too much of a hassle. That's not surprising between sorting, packing, lifting, carrying, unpacking, and arranging, all while getting comfortable in a new environment.

But more than just being a hassle, moving is commonly listed as one of the most stressful life experiences a person can face. The study team found that 66% percent of movers said it was stressful in some way, 46% of survey respondents said their move brought them to tears at least once, and 42% said it caused problems in their personal relationships.

Regret #5 - Moving took too long

lucky business/Adobe moving house

Moving, especially long-distance moves, takes planning, sometimes months in advance, and almost one-fifth of survey respondents wished their moving experience had been quicker from start to finish. The team also found that long-distance movers experienced more stress than those who moved locally, and one significant contributing factor was the time involved.

Bottom line

lordn/Adobe Packing boxes

Moving is one of the most stressful experiences a person can face, and many people have regrets after a move that goes beyond just the impact it will have on the money in their bank account. Despite the regrets though, 75% of people who moved within the last year are pleased with their decision, and 73% say it was worth the inconvenience.

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