We have all had to do it at some point in our lives. It is not fun. In fact, it can be downright awful. That’s right, we are talking about the dreaded act of moving. There is a reason that they say it is one of the most stressful things you can endure in life – because it is! But, it doesn’t have to be.
I have moved quite a few times in my life. Sometimes it has just been down the street, other times it was to a different state, and one time even to a different country. While I wouldn’t say that any of the moves have been easy, some have certainly been smoother than others. There is always the chance of an unexpected curveball, but I have devised a few steps that hopefully will help ease the transition if you have a move coming up. I call them the four P’s.
Step 1: Plan
This may seem like an obvious one to you, but it took me a couple of moves before I realized that leaving anything to the last-minute results in a tornado of stress that can escalate quickly. Start by evaluating everything you need to do in your current home, and then switch over to what you need for your new home. My best friend became my checklist. I even print it and put it on a good ol’ clipboard. That makes it easier to find when things get hectic. Write everything down. Your mind will be moving faster than your body can possibly move to accomplish everything.
Step 2: Prepare
This one actually has two parts. The first part is to prepare your home. This means packing everything in an organized fashion. Believe me, you will be thankful when you start unpacking if everything is labeled and packed as neatly as possible. Start with all non-essential items, and work towards your must haves and daily used ones. The second part is to prepare yourself mentally. This one is often overlooked, but it is essential. Moving is hard, and can be emotional. Prepare yourself, and your family, for the changes that are about to take place. Know that this is temporary, and will be over quicker than you think.
Step 3: Protect
Your belongings are important. It is easy to be in a rush and not pay attention to how you are packing things. Make sure that you have plenty of protective materials for not only your breakable items, but anything that might get scratched or damaged. The last thing you want to do once you are starting to settle into your new place is to be repairing furniture. Use old clothes or sheets to cover your valuable pieces.
Step 4: Process
One great advantage I have found with moving, is it gives me a chance to purge my belongings that accumulate so quickly. When I talk about process, I mean this both figuratively and literally. There is the emotional process and the physical process of actually moving. And then there is the act of processing the items once you get to your new dwelling. This process may be how you arrange furniture, or how you organize your kitchen. Take the time to make choices that you will be happy with in the long term.
Life is full of stresses, and moving certainly tops the list. It can feel impossible to fit everything that moving entails into our busy schedule. But as with most things in life, it is all about perspective. Instead of dreading your upcoming move, focus on the excitement of a new place and a fresh start. This four P approach has helped me over the years, and hopefully it will assist you should you find yourself embarking on this journey.