It’s been said that moving, after death and divorce, is one of the most stressful milestones in life. Add in managing the complicated day-to-day of your family while changing households, and you have a ticking time bomb of stress, competing priorities, and unrealistic expectations.
When we relocated our family to a new city for my husband’s new job, I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. I did not anticipate the never ending list of decisions we would have to make, how our kids would react to our move, or how challenging it would be to find a new home.
With moving season right around the corner, here are six things I wish I knew before my family’s move:
1. You have to kiss a lot of frogs.
I had no idea about the amount of undesirable spit swapping we would encounter. From landing a new job to locking in buyers for our house to finding a new home to hiring a moving company: our move involved a lot of people. And not all of them were princes. But that’s just part of the process. Knowing what you want, the areas that you are willing to compromise, and where you want to hold firm will make it easier. But all that kissing and hoping it’s the right one was more stressful than I would have anticipated.
2. Don’t get too attached to a plan.
You have to be nimble. If you get stuck on one track you might be so hyper-focused that you miss out on other opportunities. When we couldn’t line up housing that fit our needs in our new city, we had to adjust our timeline. Having the extra time turned out to be a blessing in disguise, but letting go of that original plan was not easy.
3. There’s a thing called moving fraud.
When we booked our moving company, I had never heard of moving fraud. I just thought movers in matching t-shirts would show up and load our household into a truck, whistling while they worked. It turns out there are a lot of scammers out there and unfortunately we were on the victim end costing us a pretty big chunk of change. Take the time to really vet any company you hire and ask a lot of questions. There are some shady people out there.
4. Buckle up for transition.
From the moment we decided to move until we were settled into our new home, we were in a period of transition. During this time, we felt stuck in some areas of our life and in constant motion in others. To help ease our family through the transition we tried to focus on what was staying the same, remember what was really important when things got bumpy, and accept that there were some things simply out of our control.
5. Moving drains your wallet.
We did a good job accounting for the big things: home repairs, real estate agents, moving company, and travel expenses. But we didn’t budget for all of the eating out, packing materials, and little things that added up over the months it took us to relocate. Once we moved, things like fees for new driver’s licenses or car registration and inspections drained us even more. Having a more realistic budget would have helped us reduce stress around how much we were spending.
6. The kids will be fine.
We spent more time than necessary worrying about our kids and how they would react to the move. Yes, our children’s emotional state should have been on our radar but the deep, can’t-sleep-at-night anxiety was probably overboard. Through our move, our kids showed a lot of resilience. Looking back, I’m glad we’ve been able to give them that life experience.
Have you recently moved your family to a new home or area? What do you wish you would have known or someone would have told you?