Moving is challenging but every challenge is an opportunity to develop Christlike character. It your character remains intact only when not tried, it is not truly intact. Pray and govern your spirit as you walk through change. When you fail, apologize, get back on mission, and keep going. Every temptation is not just an opportunity to make a wrong choice. It is also an opportunity to make a right choice.
Moving is stressful. When you have small children, they will pick up on the stress you are feeling and become fretful. If we can govern our spirit and remain calm, our children will be more relaxed. Talk to your little ones about what you are doing, even if you think they are too young to understand. Children may like some surprises but this is not one of them. I mentioned some ideas yesterday.
- Choose some well-loved caregivers—like grandma to help care for your children at the busiest times.
- Pack your children’s favorite items for early unpacking so they will have familiar items around them.
- Consider arranging their new room in the same way their old room was arranged and then make a gradual change to something new. If you want to make a major change immediately, consider having your child be a part of putting it together—choosing colors, and room layout.
- Make sure food and snacks are readily available for your child during the move.
If you have pets, don’t forget their food, as well as their bowls, toys, leashes and other pet paraphernalia. You may also want to consider making safe arrangements for them on moving day. Looking for lost pets will definitely add stress. Try to maintain your pet’s regular schedule for exercise, feeding, and potty breaks.
Clean your new home before you move in and your old home after or as you move out. Empty rooms are easier to clean than full rooms. You will have to touch up after unpacking but if the windows are clean before the drapes go up, and the floors are clean before the rugs go down, those are fewer tasks to worry about.
Rent or buy a dolly or hand truck to help move larger items. We bought one and have loaned and used it for years.
Pack your toiletries and clothes as if you were going on a weekend trip so you will have your pajamas, clothes to wear the next day and your toothbrush.
Make sure there is toilet paper in all the bathrooms.
Make sure there are drinks and snacks in the kitchen
Make the beds as early as possible or have a first night campout in your new living room.
Have a meal plan. Friends, providing meals for a family that is moving locally is definitely a gift of love.
Take breaks. When you become overtired you will begin stashing stuff instead of putting it away where it is best kept. When you stash, you then need to go back and do it over. Again, take a break—go for a walk around your new neighborhood or at least sit down with a bottle of water and plan your next step.
As with other tasks, put on lively music. Music can encourage you and keep your heart light as you work.
Use your timer—either on your phone or whatever other timer you use. Racing a timer can help you stay focused.
Unpack one box at a time, opening the “Open me first” boxes first.
Break down the boxes as you empty them. Keep some of the best and recycle or toss the rest.
If you are moving things back into your home from storage, put away the boxes of things you currently use before adding them to the mix. Then unpack the boxes of stored stuff and be prepared to ask, “Why did I pack this??!!”
Valuables, Medications, and Important Document
Move these yourself. If packed in boxes, take those boxes to your trunk. Lockboxes of documents, jewelry, and family memorabilia like scrapbooks that can’t be replaced are best kept in your possession. Label in a way that you understand, but not so someone will be tempted to walk off with the box—NOT—coin or stamp collection, or jewelry but mementoes or office supplies for closet.
You can’t be everywhere at once so let paper do the talking:
- Take sheets of paper and tape them with blue painter’s tape to the place each piece of furniture is to be placed. (Bed, Dresser, Blue Chair, China Cabinet, Tall Bookshelf)
- Label the doors to each room in the colors and names you used to label the packing boxes—Bathroom 1, Master Bedroom, Baby’s Room, Basement, Attic.
- Put post-it notes on cabinets labeling them so your friends know where you want you dishes, plates, pots and pans, flatware and other items, in the kitchen. Use this idea in your bathroom(s) too.
Plan your work, work your plan. And do the best to make it fun!