Anyone who knows me, I am not one for change. I loath it, actually. Reality hit this past week when I saw this moving truck park itself right outside of my home. It knocked on my door of routine and it’s initial first impression wasn’t pretty. I knew it was coming, for weeks actually. Guess it’s physical presence was what it took to unleash all the emotions that come with moving.
After a few anxious hours, I took a big breath and reminded myself of all we’ve done to prepare for a smooth move. I set aside all the unforeseen grieving I felt and felt a shift towards simplicity. It turns out this change, or physical move has been just what I’ve needed. Call it a little crisis, or a feeling of being lost, but I’ve just felt lately that something is missing. Hence this branch out to the unknown world of blogging. I know starting something brand new, right in the middle of physical chaos can in some aspect, contradict any simplified approach. Take it as you will, but if this fresh start wipes any emotional chaos clean, I am all in.
That all said, let’s redirect and talk the physical part of moving. It is NOT my cup of tea. As much as the military lifestyle has brought us to travel and live in all parts of the country, I am not a fan of all that comes with. Doing it every two years? Not advised. Tho I am not a fan, I’ve found and learned a few things along the way that have helped reduce a little stress, making your move bearable and even fun!
1. Make a list
I know, I know – maybe you aren’t a list maker. But there really is something about crossing off tasks that leaves us feeling like super woman (or man). Ever make a list, realize you accomplished a task that wasn’t on the list, then added it to just cross it off? It’s that feeling of satisfaction that hands you an ‘I’ve got this’ mentality. Make a list of all that’s needed to get done BEFORE you move. ie: minor house repairs, utility shut offs, obtaining health records, schedule movers. Stick with the tasks at hand – you can worry about the latter, later.
It’s time to throw away (or donate) all that stuff. If you haven’t used it in the past year, it goes in the purge pile. Clothing, books, medicines, make up, TOYS.. they’ve gotta go. Go thru each room and purge all things unnecessary. Because at the end, when you are stuck with the joyous amount of boxes left to unpack (don’t worry, we’ll get to that), you don’t want to open one and wonder why you kept an expired half bottle of cough syrup to sit, yet again, in your ‘just in case’ remedy box. True story. Purge it, Momma.
3. Get some bins
I am known as the queen of bins in this household. Bins for papers, toys, clothes…but it works and has good reason. When it comes to packing, with or without hired movers, having it all in a bin will make a whirl of difference when you un-pack. I’ve found sterilite or hefty bins work best – ones that stack are a win.
For those that haven’t ever had movers come and pack for you, the process can be frustrating. It may sound nice, but there are draw backs. The idea that someone is coming and touching YOUR things always leaves me sitting uneasy. But it’s their process that drives this OCD Momma nuts. They come in and pack each room, with all it’s contents. No matter dad’s sock, last night’s doritos chip bag, or your dogs chewed up bone. It’s in the box. That does NOT leave for an easy, organized unpack. So..get the bins. It doesn’t have to be for everything. It can be for toys, or silverware, or pantry items. I’ll add I have a bin for important papers needed during the move. It’s set aside from what’s on the mover’s truck and comes with us to access when needed. Bins? Check that off the list.
4. Remember your kids
Now I know that sounds silly, but amongst all the chaos that is happening – movers, boxes, bills, canceling and setting up utilities, remember they are all going thru it too. The worries of leaving friends and starting at a new school are fresh in their minds, just as much as the worry you hold regarding your place in a new town. So, take a break amongst the packing or unpacking. Get out and go to the park, or out for ice cream. Let them have your undivided attention for a while and way of escape. Remind them they aren’t alone and whatever the reason for the move is, it’s happening with the best intentions. I’ve found letting them in on the moving process alleviates any thought of your disregard. It also helps them understand your reason for wanting to tackle the next moving task.
5. Make a vacation out of it!
Our last two moves have been across country and state, so it’s left us with the task of driving to our new destination. On our way out to GA, my kids were both 3 and 6 at the time. I knew they’d get bored, REAL quick. Contrary to what one may think, Kindles and iPads can only hold attention spans so long before you start to hear ‘how much longer, Dad?!’ every 10 minutes. I made activity kits to keep them occupied when such was the case and planned to stop somewhere fun each day while driving out. Tho it took an extra few days to arrive in our new city, it was worth the scenic route and memories made at monuments and attractions they most likely wont have a chance to see for a while, if ever. Turn your move into an excuse for a vacay – you may need the calm before the storm anyway.
I know it’s a simple solution that I often forget. But really, breathe. I’ve found that the process of moving is a roller coaster. There are highs and lows, periods of waiting and rush. You’ve packed, seen your belongings on truck, made memories along the way, and the stress level is right back up there when that moving truck arrives to your new place. Breathe. Take one room at a time, one box at a time. And I am solely typing this as MY reminder – It doesn’t have to be unpacked all at once. Taking time for yourself and family is top priority. As long as you have the essentials unpacked: toiletries, beds, food – that superwoman moving queen title is all yours.
Have any more tips? I’d love to hear them! Praying we wont move for a while, but if we do, I am open to hearing what has worked best for you! Anything that makes this loathed life task less anxiety driven, is a key note in my book.