No, I’m not talking about starting a new exercise routine, I am referring to packing up a five bedroom house and moving to another city with a large family. Hmmm, actually that does sound like starting up a new exercise routine except I’m already really tired….
I had conjured up all sorts of inspiring titles for this post; Smooth Moves (nah, sounds like the name of a laxative), Marvelous Moving Tips (snort, is there anyone who would call moving marvelous?), Transformational Moving Tips (what is this, positive thinking for moving? Again, no).
I should have just called this post; Let’s Get ‘Er Done!
We’ve moved fifty plus times in 30 years of marriage. No, we aren’t a military family. Yes, we are slightly crazy. No, our children are not totally insecure messes..by the grace of God.
You would think I would have moving down pat by now but I don’t. That’s because every move has so many different variables that it is impossible to do it the same way every time. However, some approaches apply to all moves:
Packing and moving involves decision making and lots of it! When other people ask if they can help, reserve their help for moving the packed boxes, bringing you boxes, taking care of your children or cleaning the house after it is empty. Only you and your family can make the choice about what you are keeping. This is the hardest part of packing! Be prepared for this!
a) LISTS! I love that List Plan It has a Moving E-Planner for only 7.00! I can print any or all of the following to help me maintain my sanity.
PREPARING FOR A MOVE –
MOVING COMPANY CHECKLIST –
MOVE YOURSELF CHECKLIST –
IMPORTANT CONTACTS DURING A MOVE –
HOUSE HUNTING COMPARISON –
APARTMENT HUNTING COMPARISON –
MOVING COMPANY COMPARISON –
UTILITIES / ACCOUNTS TO CLOSE -UTILITIES / ACCOUNTS TO OPEN –
CHANGE OF ADDRESS LIST –
CHANGE OF ADDRESS CARDS TO SEND –
PLACES TO REGISTER –
BOX CONTENTS –
INVENTORY OF BOXES –
BOX LABELS –
2) Declutter with a vengeance. Do you have to pay for a moving truck, gas and storage? Ask yourself if what you are packing is worth the cost of keeping it. Consider passing it on. If it’s a nice item, bless your friends!
In 30 married years of packing and moving I have rarely missed anything I have left behind. Don’t agonize over every item…waste is inevitable. Do the best you can but (I’m telling you) declutter ruthlessly. Everything in life is replaceable except our people!
3) Keep calm and carry on (to borrow from Sir Winston Churchill), especially for the young children in your family. Children can become fearful and worried when everything in their lives changes. Keep a routine in the midst of all the chaos. Sit down together for a meal, read books at bedtime, take breaks to go for walks. Pray with your family. I love the saying, “My home is in my mother’s eyes.” This especially holds true when a young child no longer has a familiar home.
4) Celebrate the move. Set aside several boxes with crackers, cereal and snacks to be the last thing packed so it will be the first unloaded at the new home. Grab milk, cheese and fruit when you get to your house so you can all sit down together and smile at one another in your new abode.
Moves are memory makers. A new house is full of interest and possibilities for children…even a dump can be fun because it is different! Have fun. Breathe deep and enjoy the process.
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it sure makes the rest of you lonely.” – Charlie Brown