From packing up all your possessions to arranging travel and setting up your new home, moving gets complicated. The logistics of a big move can quickly take over your entire life. But when you have responsibilities like schoolwork or caring for your family, you need a way to find balance.

Whether you have kids in school or you’re in college yourself, it’s important to know how to keep schoolwork a priority during a big move. Here are our five tips to help you prioritize education during the most stressful times of a move.

1. Create a Dedicated Study Time.

When you spend your days packing boxes, booking movers, and helping your family prepare for the challenges of a move, time can slip away quickly. In order to keep your schoolwork a priority, set a specific time every day that you can dedicate to your assignments.

Find a block of time where you know you’ll be able to shut out distractions and focus on school. For you, that might be early in the morning or after the kids go to bed at night. Dedicating time for schoolwork can help you feel less stressed throughout the rest of your day. Make sure your family knows about this time so everyone has the same expectations.

2. Designate a Space for Studying.

Even with the best-laid plans, moving can throw your house into chaos. Rooms may be half-packed and filled with moving supplies. It can be anxiety-inducing to have your home in this kind of state, making it hard to focus on your assignments.

To preserve your focus and avoid misplacing important school items, define a space for your schoolwork, and defend it. If you can create a corner in your home that will remain untouched until the last minute, do so. If this isn’t realistic, reserve a table at a library or head to the coffee shop to get some work done away from the mess of moving. A clean, uncluttered space will help you avoid stress and distraction while doing your schoolwork.

3. Plan Around Important School Dates.

If you have finals or big projects coming up at school, try to plan your moving dates around that. Of course, this isn’t always possible, but keep your academic calendar in mind as you consider your moving date. Even a few days of leeway around due dates or tests can give you room to breathe.

Some universities offer flexible degree programs that let you work at your own pace. These programs can be particularly helpful in busier seasons.

4. Keep Moving Week Free from Schoolwork.

You won’t get much quality studying done immediately before and after the moving truck pulls up. Talk to your professors and try to complete your reading and assignments before the week of the move. If you’re working on group projects, communicate with your classmates to let them know you’ll be busy.

If you get a head start on assignments, you can focus on packing up, moving day, and starting to get unpacked in your new home. After all, you won’t be at your best trying to study or write papers the night before a big move. As soon as you know your moving dates, pull out your calendar and syllabus, and get started.

5. Keep School Materials Nearby.

It’s amazing how things tend to go missing during a move, and you don’t want your schoolwork to be one of those things. Keep your books, computer, notebooks, and essential paperwork in a clearly labeled box or bag so it’s easy to locate in your new home.

Of course, items like laptops are both valuable and fragile, so don’t throw them in the back of a moving van. Keeping your schoolwork with your daily essentials means they are less likely to get lost or damaged.

If you move regularly (or you know you’ll be moving before you complete your degree), consider enrolling in an online university like Western Governors University. Accredited online schools like WGU offer the flexibility of doing your schoolwork from anywhere, at your own pace, while still getting an excellent education. Whether you’re moving across the country or expanding your family, you can still pursue your degree.

Moving is a life-changing event, but it doesn’t have to get in the way of your education. If you make your schoolwork a priority during the hustle and bustle of a move, you’ll have a better chance of staying on track and minimizing moving stress.

Madeleine Low is a content web publisher at Western Governors University. Her experience at WGU has helped her learn about higher education and the college experience for students around the United States. She has been a content writer and SEO analyst for five years for a variety of industries, including higher education, health, software, and automotive. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism

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