It is summer and many of my family and friends are on the move again! Moving is one of life’s top stressful events. It puts a strain on relationships and your bank balance and can turn even the most kind and gracious people into raving lunatics.
The average American will move 11.7 times in their lifetime. They may be moving because of a job change, desire to upsize their home, downsize their home, find a better neighborhood, live in their dream city, accommodate a new spouse, or our approaching retirement. Life is constantly changing and changing our environment to meet life’s current challenges is easier to do than ever.
Here are some tips I have compiled from my own experience and from other fellow movers to preserve your relationships and successfully move.
Protecting Your Relationships
Expect to live in chaos for a time.
Communicate when you don’t agree.
Make time to talk, schedule it if you have too. You must keep the communication open.
Manage expectations – expect exhaustion, frustration and stress.
Forgive insults and don’t play the blame game. You may have to extend more forgiveness than normal to your family members. Remember stress makes us do and say crazy things.
Physical expectations – you may have your body react to the stress you are feeling. You may feel anxiety, insomnia, headaches and nausea.
Prepare for second guessing – If you have purchased a new house or moved to a new city, one of you, you or your partner could suffer with “buyers regret”. That overwhelming feeling that you have done the wrong thing, you shouldn’t have bought this house or you shouldn’t have moved. This is a normal feeling but don’t trust it. If you truly, took time and made a sound decision this feeling will pass and the anxiety with it.
Expect disorientation – are you still surprised when you wake up that you aren’t in your old room. And where have you put all your things. Can you even find things? It may take a few months before this new place feels like home. It will take all of you a varying amount of time to adjust to the changes in the new environment. Don’t expect everyone to be on your timetable if you are the one to adjust first. I think it takes a year before you feel really settled. Kids seem to settle quicker than adults.
If you need to escape, go to the movies. Movies are very diverting and can let you escape your reality for a short time.
Focus on the positive – new kitchen, additional bathroom, new job, more closet space or a better location. There was a reason to move, repeat it like a mantra if necessary.
Thank each other for the little things and practice gratitude.
Moving Can Strengthen Relationships
A move to a brand new place where you know no one can strengthen a couple’s relationship. You will:
- Rely on one another.
- Be each other’s best friend.
- Learn to work together.
- Share goals and have a shared vision of the future.
- Explore your new surroundings – be a tourist in your new local. Visit a new restaurant each time you go out.
- Focus on the adventure.
Making lists helps and a big overall list with different people assigned to tasks that all in the family can see and check off can keep everyone on track. And keep everyone on board for what if their given responsibility. No one person can do it all. Don’t forget tasks such as post office address changes, turning utilities off, scheduling new utilities to be turned on.
Declutter as you start packing and put things you have not used in a long time in a pile to donate. Do not make my mistake; I waited until I unboxed to decide if something was worth keeping. This cost me time and money.
Let someone else move the boxes. If you can’t or don’t desire to have someone pack for you, do your own packing to save money. This can also save you time on the back end, unpacking, because you can sort like items together making unboxing much easier.
Pack a box with plastic forks, knives, spoons, disposable cups, paper plates and paper towels. This box gets marked with a unique way so that you can open it and have everything you need to eat before you get your plates and cups unboxed.
Similarly make a box of all bathroom essentials, toilet paper, towels, tooth brushes, soap and toothpaste. This box has everything necessary for your bathroom needs.
If you have children – pack their necessary items like favorite blankets or stuffies in well labeled boxes or have them carry these items with them. These huggable comforts will help them feel grounded in the confusion.
Don’t rely too many days on pizza or fast food. Take time out to go to a sit down restaurant and really take a break.
At your new place, the first thing to find is your box with your bedding. Then make your bed before you unpack anything else. Next, get your kids beds made. Your energy is going to run out and you need a place to lay your head. REALLY, do this first! You will over estimate your energy and then when ready to crash have no place prepared.
Don’t underestimate the complications pets can add to the move. Getting them where you are going can be a logistics nightmare. Drugs to make them calm in the car or plane and adjustment time to the new yard or kitty litter box location.
I have no idea how you successfully move a fish to a new state.
Wedding and a Move
Moving in close proximity to marriage, YIKES! Ok, this is the new trend, buying a new place before the “I dos”. These are two of life’s greatest stressful events a wedding and a move simultaneously. There are a multitude of decisions to make and can lead to decision fatigue. You are going to have to deal with both your stuff and the stuff your spouse thinks is wonderful that you can’t begin to understand.
I wonder how many weddings don’t happen because moving made them re-evaluate the partner they chose.
Moving is hard, exciting, frustrating, and exhausting. Moving will be over – there is an end! Hallelujah! Manage your expectations maintain a positive attitude; cherishing the people who mean the most to you can pave the way to a bright new beginning!