I was in total freak-out mode for an entire week.
Now I’m better. Kinda.
We officially move on the 29th of June, but my bags are packed, and the truck is loaded and on its way to Virginia. For a week and a half, it will just be us four, our mattresses, and several paint brushes.
All of my clean clothes are packed. Whatever is left is in the hamper. This morning, when I was getting ready for work, I realized I was left with several odd items of clothing – a dress without leggings, a shirt without pants, an exotic leafy print skirt with no shoes or shirt. I definitely have a bag-lady vibe going on.
I’ve already warned my coworkers.
If you thought first impressions were difficult, try last impressions. No one ever talks about those.
(And, just because I know someone is thinking I wore dirty clothes to work…I did NOT. I can manage a small quick load before work. I’m pretty much a master of last-minute.)
Tuesday morning my husband woke up, turned to look at me, and said, “I am SO glad you’re going to work today.”
He’s afraid of me right now.
I’m afraid of me right now.
The thing is, I don’t really need to be stressed. We are moving into a gorgeous old home overflowing with character. We have a lovely church family waiting for us, and I’m excited to start this new chapter of my life. So, why I am stressed?
I think I’m a little scared. It’s a lot of change all at once, and I’ve gotten comfortable. I know the people in this town, even the cray-cray people. I don’t know the people in Virginia yet; their culture is still a mystery to me. The thought of starting over is a bit ominous.
These are the times I need to rest in the fact that God has things under control. He’s got a plan and a purpose, sees the beginning from the end, and knows what the future holds.
He’s probably agreeing with my husband. I need to chill-out and eat some chocolate.
So, I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned about moving.
- Don’t do it all at once. Packing your entire house in a weekend may seem like a good idea, until you begin. By the time the tenth box is packed, you’ll be tapping out and crying uncle. Give yourself time. If you’re selling your house, don’t wait until the weekend before your closing to begin packing. Begin packing before you even call a realtor.
- Start with storage. Pack the things you don’t use everyday first. It may seem simpler to begin with the things you use constantly, like the stuff in the kitchen or in your living room, but start with what is in the back of your closet, or better yet, in the attic. Your daily life won’t be interrupted, and you won’t be unpacking freshly packed boxes to get things you need.
- Label your boxes. Labels don’t have to be fancy, but certainly make sure you mark your boxes. “Kid’s Room – Summer Clothes” is a sufficient label. Once you get to your new house, you’ll undoubtedly need something and forget which box it’s in. Labeling will save you from a future headache.
- Don’t pack garbage. I know, DUH! But, you’d be surprised by how hard it is to say goodbye to your child’s broken baby toy, or that old worn-out pair of shoes you’ve had for twenty years. Let your junk rest in peace, in the landfill. Take out the trash.
- Buy lots of tape. Also, collect more boxes and bubble wrap than you ever think you will need. You’ll use it. It always takes more moving supplies than we estimate. If you have too much tape by the end of your move, you can return it. Returns at your convenience are a lot easier than running out when your house is upside down.
- Delegate. Don’t try to do it all yourself, unless you must. If your children are old enough, make them pack their own rooms. If they don’t do a perfect job by your standards, lower your standards. The goal is having a packed house. Do what you must to reach that goal.
- Use out of season clothes to wrap fragile items. That winter coat may be the perfect cushion for your dining room lamp. Make your items do double duty. Thick clothes, extra towels, and guest bedding make perfect cushions, as do couch pillows and throw blankets.
- Prepare a box, bag, or tote with items you’ll need right away – sheets, soap, pillows, etc. If you prepare one box of essentials, you won’t have to rummage through ten boxes in order to find one fitted sheet.
- Use aluminum foil to wrap your jewelery, especially your necklaces. Pull out a sheet of foil, and lay one necklace on the foil, fold and repeat. Your jewelery won’t be in a tangled heap when you arrive at your destination.
- Use plastic wrap to cover filled utensil trays or desk drawer organizers.
- Pack in your baskets, plastic bins, totes, etc. Utilize what you have.
- Don’t forget to breathe. Not everything will go smoothly. There will be hiccups along the way. You will survive (sing it with me – I Will Survive!).
I can’t wait to make the final move and begin unpacking. Last night I ran to Walmart for welcome mats. I don’t know if they are an actual necessity, but having them made me feel a little more settled. I’m weird that way.
I also downloaded a shark tracker app, because if I’m going to live by the ocean, I want to know where the sharks are before they nibble on my leg.
Silvia W. says
This post is a great guide for people that have to move and need a hand. Follow it and your move will be a breeze. Let me add a kitchen packing tip: Place your kitchen items into categories. A few days before the big move, sort and separate the items you will need to move with from those that are not needed. For instance, you are expected to use up all the perishables before the move. Also, products or chemicals used for cleaning purposes should not be among items to pack for move. Usually, canned foods/items are packed using small boxes for convenience if at all you wish to move with them. On the other hand, you need to check every cupboard and drawers in the kitchen to select items necessary to pack for move. You can just as well choose the option of giving out the perishable items to friends and well wishers. For a stress free move you should just follow the tips in the article above – you will be just fine. Thank you for helping on behalf of all the people that need a hand.
~ St John’s Wood Man and Van Ltd.
Sue, a Florida Farm Girl says
I was in packing mode last July. You’ve covered all the bases pretty good but there’s still the grunt work of just doing it. As for delegating, if my friend Debbie hadn’t spent days with us as a packing machine, we’d never have made it. You just have to allow somebody to help “get it done”. We entered contract to sell andpacked up our Florida house, traveled back up here to Georgia to close on this house, then back to Florida to finish up there and were out the door with a loaded truck in just over 3 weeks. It can be done with help, faith and deep breaths. Hang in there and b-r-e-a-t-h-e.
Your new digs look so wonderful! You can survive!
Apple Hill Cottage says
Beautiful new house! All packed! Ready for God’s new adventure for your lives…
But I have to disagree with your point about not moving all at once. We stretched out our moving for a year. And you know what we got? A year’s worth of stress… Better to get it done fast.
Blessings on you, next week. God is in control. (Oh for grace, to trust Him more…)
Jennifer Jo says
Is that the new house? It’s beautiful!
WordPress.com Support says
Jennifer, it is the house. It still blows my mind.
Beth Hendrickson says
Those seasons of transition are so hard! You’re living in flux! Until you can plop those welcome mats down in their final home, it’ll all just be hard. Thanks for sharing your moving survival tips–you’re making it easier to cope through the transitions when the rest of us go through that season.
I hear you! Thanks for the packing tips. One never knows when a move might be in their future–although the thought of one is scary–we’ve lived in this house for nearly 12 years!
May God’s blessings be on you in your move.
You CAN do it! And it already sounds like you and your family are doing all the right things to move. Looking back on our last BIG move our family (same size as yours) bonded even closer due to the fact we only had each other before we met all the new people God would bring into our lives. The most important thing we did was find a good Gospel preaching church, join and become involved. Of course you already know where you will attend church One other thing that helped through the initial move and the sadness of leaving our former friends behind was my husband encouraging me to look up Bible verses on joy. Can’t wait to hear about all your new adventures! So happy for your family! May the Lord richly bless your sweet family!
I wish I was able to help you. I am so going to miss have you only a few hours away. Love you!!