Uprooting and Moving––Helpful Suggestions
By Georgia Smith-Lyle, MA
Moving your household can be a bitter sweet change, depending on your situation and reasons for moving. Whether you are single, married, married with children, young or old, uprooting your life by moving households can be very difficult even when the change is exciting and positive.
One of the major stressors in life is moving to another home. Our basic nature is to nest and be stable in our surroundings, find community and thrive where we are at home. When our home is disrupted by having to move, whether invited or not, there are definite emotional and physical impacts upon our psyche. The physical impact alone can be tiring which will have an adverse effect upon our emotions. I have moved several times in my life, and each move was a little different depending on how much planning ahead I did, how organized I tried to be, how much help I had, and to what degree I wanted to move. As a counselor, I can apply all the helpful insights and psychological preparation for moving, but the truth is to some degree, a major move will be stressful. Again, depending on your level of preparation emotionally and physically will depend on your stress level.
Up to this point of reading, you may have guessed that I just recently moved! And you are correct! I so enjoy writing from my heart as a counselor and I believe some of the best counsel you get is when a “counselor” goes through what you are going through. Counseling is my job but also my passion to help others, so I want to provide a few helpful and basic suggestions for those of you getting ready to move. Summer is one of the major seasons when families are moving before the beginning of a new school year.
Hopefully, the following suggestions will make your move and transition go as smoothly as possible with minimal hiccups. I’m speaking from past experience but also from my recent move. It is amazing to me we never stop learning from major changes like “moving” in our lives. Here are a few things I’ve learned and would suggest:
First, if you are using a moving company be sure to get three or four quotes from several. Ask friends and co-workers who they have used or recommend.
Second and most important, begin packing as far enough in advance as you can possibly tolerate and still function normally in your present home. Most of the “stuff” we think we need, we don’t use. This is also a great opportunity to begin cleaning out. When you begin taking on one area at a time, packing one box at a time, there is a sense of reward and you feel emotionally energized by the progress of even one box!
Third, get plenty of help from family and friends. Schedule out days and time frames a friend or family member can come and help you. It’s helpful to have in mind what you would like for them to pack. But be flexible because some people are more comfortable and better at packing up a kitchen as opposed to a closet. You can never get too much help, but remember to have designated areas you want help packing. This way your time and their time is utilized.
Fourth, take time out to rest. This is extremely important when packing and moving. Remember you may not be able to do as many things as you had been doing socially because you need the time to pack and rest. Remove temporarily those things that are not absolutely necessary. Those things that bring rest, emotional, physical and spiritual support continue as needed.
I hope you find these basic suggestions helpful. Enjoy the change as much as possible and have a happy, safe landing in the new place!
Georgia Smith is in private practice as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas providing counseling for children, adolescents, adults, and marriage and family. She is also an author of two books and a public speaker. Georgia may be reached at 469-855-0256 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. www.counselingbygeorgia.com.