A Moving Experience
Let’s be honest. The process of moving to a new location is never fun even if you are on your way to the home of your dreams and can afford movers to do everything for you. But with a little careful planning, a move can be accomplished in 8 weeks and find you with energy to set up and feather the new nest. In my new book Rightsize! Right Now! I talk about taking the guesswork out of moving and open the space for you to consciously create your best life yet.
Money Talks and…
The first thing you need is a budget. When I talk to people who are downsizing or moving I always say there is no room for guilt, fear or shame. And nothing fosters those like a move that’s slapped on a credit card and paid off over a decade. Run those numbers and see what kind of move you can afford. You can move yourself with a few reliable (and strong) friends, hire movers to pack and move you or do a combination that finds you tossing unbreakable items like books, linens, paper and clothing into boxes. Let the money be your guide. Never created a budget? Surf on over to Mint.com or Dinkytown.com for help.
The Devil Is in the Details
You’ll have details to manage that include:
- Setting up mover meetings
- Turning off utilities in the current digs and have them turned on in the new location
- Mail Forwarding is of course important although you can cut down on the volume by paying bills on line.
- Purchasing or scrounging boxes for your stuff
- Contacting charities to pick up your donations
Whether you use a real notebook or make notes on your PC or smart phone, do keep the details in one place and have a folder to catch the inevitable paperwork that collects. We want to expunge the phrase: “I know I had that here somewhere!” from your vocabulary.
The Importance of Self-Care
If you work on packing your home by wafting aimlessly from room to room leaving half completed projects in your wake you won’t have a conscious exit. What do I mean by that? Even in a lateral move from one size home to another of the exact same size you will surely find that some items have lived with you past their usefulness. Whether they are gifted to a friend or family member, donated to a charity or tossed will be a series of individual decisions. And make no mistake the engine that runs the organizing train is just that ~ decisions.
Now is the perfect time to remind you that you live in a body and that vehicle needs a tune up before you add the stress and details of a move. Fortunately the things I suggest are lifestyle tips that will hopefully become ingrained habits long after this move is history. Here are my favorites:
- Drink lots of water. A dehydrated body won’t be able to get over the finish line with ease. Not a fan of plain water? Add fun things like a squeeze of fresh lemon, a few sprigs of mint, a slice of cucumber or a twist of lime.
- Get exercise. No, I didn’t say train for a marathon. Walk 10 minutes a day. Take the dog with you! He’s tired of the backyard. There’s an app called Map My Walk that will record how far you traveled, your time and calories burned. It will even record your route. Not a fan of walking? Try swimming, yoga, Pilates or any other type of movement that makes your heart sing when you do it. Exercise is as addictive as the couch. Give it a chance.
- Be sure you get adequate sleep. There isn’t anything like it to restore the body.
- Meditation. The scientific community is buzzing about the recognized benefits of this ancient practice. It clears your mind, lowers blood pressure, slows the heart rate and does a bevy of other wonderful things.
Execute the Plan
Let’s get back to that aimless wafting I want you to avoid. I want you to walk through every major area of your home and make some important decisions. Here’s an overview of what you will need to consider in each room. By the way, I assume you know the size of your new closets, cupboards and drawers. You don’t want to start unpacking your dishes only to discover that the extra-large stove has eaten away at space and your cupboards are two narrow for dinner plates. (Yes, that happened to one of my clients and I had to come up with a solution on the spot). Forewarned is forearmed.
- Will the items in this room work in the new home? For example, is it time to replace the sofa or change the bedroom drapes? You get the idea.
- When you weren’t looking did items like towels, sheets, blankets and duvets become threadbare or stained? Your local animal hospital would love to have them! You don’t get a tax deduction but you leave knowing you’ve helped sick animals have a brighter day.
- Are there items you no longer wish to use? For example would you like your daughter-in-law to take over the big holiday meals? Gift her with the turkey roaster and grandma’s special dishes.
- Have you lost interest in a hobby that comes with a lot of tools? I instantly got an image of skis, boots and special clothing in my mind’s eye. Sell those items on Craigslist and in 5 years if you decide to fire up your interest again you can go to Craigslist and find your replacements.
- Are you overwhelmed with the possessions of a late loved one? If sufficient time has passed why not take the best of the best and let the rest go out into the world. Perhaps she had beautiful winter coats that can be given to a coat drive? New York Cares and The Container Store are two examples of entities that run such programs. Or maybe he loved more books than you can comfortably house but your local library would be grateful to have them? Take photos before items exit if you wish and create a digital album. It can be private or shared with others who remember when they were being used by the person you all loved. The same respectful disbursement is true when it comes to our late animal friends. Never miss an opportunity to do good and help the living.
In closing let me share an idea that may appeal to you. The American Indians used sage to bless and clear living spaces. Walk through the home you’re leaving and thank it for the experiences you’ve had within its walls. Whether we label experiences as good or bad, life enriches us. Release any energy left behind from these experiences so the next occupants can start fresh.
When you arrive at the new home do the same. This time release the energy and experiences of the previous occupants and ask that all who enter this space contribute to your well-being and share your core values. It helps create what I call Sacred Space. It is in this conscious way that our homes become true sanctuaries.
Regina Leeds, the Zen Organizer™ is a professional organizer and author. She has written 10 books – the latest titled Rightsize! Right Now! and it will help anyone live happily with less and get ready for a move in just 8 weeks. To find out more on Regina, visit her website at www.ReginaLeeds.com.