Move Wisely – More Than Boxes of Stuff

Today I want to talk to you about moving. After a dozen moves, I still don’t pretend to know the best organizational plan, or the perfect color coding chart for the seamless transfer of your belongings. But I have learned two lessons rather well.

Travel lightly. It’s seems to be an obvious caveat, but the real truth runs much deeper. Moving is a great time to make a final decision on that broken lamp – but what about that project you never finished? The expectations you didn’t meet? The baggage, physical and emotional, that hides in the spare room closet?

BoxesSo often, the physical clutter in our lives is tied to emotional clutter. We drag along that unfinished project, those jeans we keep hoping to fit into – each and every time we move. We find a new corner to hide them in, telling ourselves that we’ll have more resolve, more discipline in this new location. Meanwhile, the guilt lies in wait, stalking us in the shadow of looming dust bunnies.

Let it go. As frequent movers, we have the gift of change. A move is a great opportunity to set aside those missed expectations, and literally – move on. Your good intentions don’t have to haunt you.

Take the time to clean your “house.” Reflect on what to keep, and what to leave from your experiences in this place. What did you learn here? What should remain here?

And who should go with you? My second lesson learned –

Take your friends with you. As a kid, I hardly kept up with anyone as we moved from coast to coast. There were one or two short-lived exceptions – but who has time to keep up with friends from four moves ago?

But you should. Because in a sea of exciting possibilities and new horizons, we need the warmth of a friendly voice to ground us. When the seas turn rough, and they always will, it’s invaluable to have a net of solid friends to keep you in place.

[quote_right]”A move is a great opportunity to set aside those missed expectations, and literally – move on.”[/quote_right]Don’t take all of your friends with you. Talk about unrealistic expectations! You’ll need space in your life for new friends and new experiences. As you reflect on your time here, who were the anchors in your life? Which friend was slow to judge and quick to listen? Which friend just “got” you? Take these with you.

Write notes. Use a stamp! Take advantage of Skype and Facebook. Do what you can to maintain those relationships, and you’ll be glad you did. When you hit rough patches, it’s good to have an old friend who knows the exact pitch of your ugly cry.

You’ll figure out how to physically move your stuff. It will be boxed up and hauled over the river and through the woods. But take the time to choose what and who to move with.

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Jen Schwab

Jen Schwab was born into active duty as a kid, became a soldier herself, and has experienced deployments from both sides of the fence, now as a military spouse with two small kids. When not working or wiping snotty noses, she writes at to fight for well-being in military families.
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