I am writing this article from our personal experience having to move unexpectedly. There are times in life when you plan to move and times when it’s thrown on you by life. This raises your stress level right off the charts, if you don’t watch it. You need to get control of the move, or it will set you off the edge. That control includes stabilizing your mental, physical, and emotional state.
Our Moving Story: We are having to move because of a landlord who made many promises but kept none of them. We were expecting to move in June but instead were given great pressure to move by the end of this month. The new company who wanted the whole property including our house, gave us financial incentive to move now rather than in June. It only covered the U-Hall expenses. We had just recently depleted our savings with medical bills and so it was a very bad time. We had moved to this property with the dream of starting a small nursery and business. It was all that we had hoped for including well water. The only part not included in the dream, was a man who does not keep to his promises. So two weeks ago, we learned we would have to move. We could have fought it legally but no one wins except the lawyers. So all of a sudden we are required to move within a month. I have a whole yard of young trees, plants, and stock plants grown for cuttings this year. We either had to give it all up the dream or try to find somewhere we could afford that would allow our business. After contacting friends, Craigs list and our options, we came up with one solution only. We had friends in Nevada with property and a trailer to meet our needs. So we agreed. That meant leaving our church, friends, and family here. The shock set in painfully. As I write this, I can finally say that I have accepted the move without breaking down in tears when I discuss it. If you don’t watch it, moving will tear up your gut so that you can’t function. So here are some tips that is helping us to cope with this move.
Look at Options: The first step is to really examine your options. You must be honest and brutal in your evaluation. Where and what you can afford has to be realistic and doable. You must look at your present area, your income, savings to pay for the moving costs, and other factors. Do you have friends or family to help you load the truck or who will loan you their truck to move? These factors all need to be considered in your first decision. We had a great deal on this house, so there were no advertised rents that even came close. We did not want to give up the business and all my plant stock. We had talked on and off about leaving California with its high rents, high water bills, and pages of business regulations. Our friends had a place in Nevada that solved our needs. So we made the decision to leave San Diego.
Let The Pain Out: It takes a few days for the reality you are moving in a month to sink in. As that reality sets in, your stress level and the pain in your heart rises quickly. This is especially so, if you really didn’t want to move. I am pretty tough at taking things but it hit hard. I try to keep my chin up and move forward but stuffing the pain down in not good for your health. The second week as we were beginning to pack, I broke down. I could not stop crying. I spent several days crying as I packed the boxes. My stomach was a mess and so was I. I was having a difficult time trying to keep up my writing assignments as well for AC. Its funny but my sister called about that time, to see how I was doing. She gave me her shoulder for awhile on the phone. She was really comforting. Even though my husband is a supportive man, her shoulder helped a lot. Women need the support of mothers, daughters, sisters, or girl friends at times. It helps to soothe the pain in your soul. So it is important to let out your pain and grief so it doesn’t fester. Talk to whoever you are closest too for comfort.
Uplift Your Attitude: This move is rough. I finally sat down and put down all the good reasons for moving. I put down the possible positive future in our new home. I listed possibilities for recreating our dream in the new area. By researching, I found a town not so far away that has a thriving farmer’s market and a population that may give me some business as an herbalist. There are two nurseries where I may be able to sell the plants I wanted to grow. There is realistic hope to get a business going again in this new home. You have a choice to envision doom and gloom or hope. After a week of crying, I chose to envision hope and a new positive life. I will adapt to this new place with hope not fear. You have to get your heart and head around the changes when you move. You have to focus on what your future is, not what you are leaving.
Make A Plan: The first thing you need to do is set a time line of what moving steps have to be done and when.
If you are married outline out the steps that each of you need to accomplish.This includes what can be packed first, what closets or sheds must be cleaned out; utilities turned on and turned off, the costs of the move, and all resources available. If it’s on short notice, you need to work keeping out distractions.
Be Brutal with Throwing Out Unneeded Items. This is especially true when you have to make the move with one load only. Sell or give away furniture that is not needed or is too old. Go through boxes, throwing out junk paperwork and stuff that does not matter. This is the hard part but once you get into it, it is liberating. My husband found that out. You feel good throwing out baggage from the past years.
Don’t Put Off Packing To The Last Week. Take one corner, one closet, or one room and box up everything that is not used on a regular basis. If you have three weeks to move, pack x amount of rooms each week. Divide it up as you necessary to get the job done.
Dealing with Being Overwhelmed: There are days when stacked finished boxes and the ones still unfinished, really begin to overwhelm you emotionally. Hopefully, you and your spouse are not overwhelmed on the same days. When one of you is overwhelmed, try to lovingly help clear up the clutter. Take the accumulating trash out of the way and items to the goodwill. Get the clutter organized so you can move forward. If there are closets or drawers that are easier for one of you to repack or reorganize, give that area to them to do. Try to use teamwork to get work done.
Be Loving and Patient: If you are moving by yourself, give yourself a break. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you are married, understand that some days your voice will be too tense, too irritated, and too emotional. You may pick at each other or lose your temper. Remember, it’s the move not your relationship. Try to breathe deep when that happens and say you are sorry. Give each other extra hugs and support.
Take Your Vitamins Especially During A Move. Take a good multivitamin with extra calcium and magnesium for nerves. Drink water and try not to overdo the caffeine. Try to rest and not work yourself into exhaustion. Take time to laugh and to cry together. Keep making love, it keeps the tension down. Talk to friends often for support and go to church.
What Won’t Fit In: In our move, we don’t know how many of my plants will fit in the truck. We moved them down in a load by themselves. There is furniture we are not taking this time and plants we are, so it is an emotional problem. Try to have a plan for plants or furniture that won’t fit in. Can you leave them with friends? Which ones could go to whom? I am taking my least favorite plants to my friends ahead of time. I have stock plants that were expensive and not easily replaceable. Those will go in first after the household stuff. I will not know until the end about my stock plants. That is the reality of this move. I hate not knowing that fact. What gives me comfort is the Serenity Prayer. God grant me the serenity to change the things I can change, to accept the things I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference. Life and moving is just that way at times. For any of you moving to a new place, have courage that good will come out of the move. Know that the lessons and trials will make you stronger.