Have you ever moved… a big move from your mom’s basement or a little cross-country move to take a new direction with your career? Are you making that huge leap to living abroad?

Right now, I am in the middle of a move. It’s a little move for me, but a big move for my soon-to-be husband, as he has lived here for almost 20 years. As you might imagine, there is more than a little stress.

Change is stressful.

Change, regardless of why you are doing it, is stressful. There is always a feeling of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. You feel as though your entire life is being turned upside down. There are a thousand little details that have to be planned, organized, and executed. There is a huge overwhelming feeling. This sense of fear and being overwhelmed comes from our natural desire for comfort and stability. Any time the things around us change and move us out of our comfort zone, it messes with our heads and our emotions.

Moving is a double-dose of stress; you are in the middle of stress and you are leaving your comfort zone behind. Yikes! Doesn’t it make you long for the days that you had a blanket and could take your comfort zone with you? Maybe we can’t do that, but we can make it through with some sense of sanity.

While there is no way to remove all the stress, you can make things so much better by getting a plan together and staying organized. Set up your iPad/iPhone or a simple daily planner to keep you on track. Take the time you need to plan, whether this is 30 minutes or 2 hours. You will benefit tenfold by eliminating all the worry.   You can easily set aside half of your stress by not worrying about what you have forgotten.

Here are some quick tips that will help you stay organized.

Step 1: Write everything down. Get in the habit of writing down all of your thoughts, tasks, and plans. This will help you get out of your head and into action. Many times, we are so worried about getting stuff done that we actually can’t move.

Step 2: Declutter, declutter, declutter.  You know those boxes that are still in the basement, unopened, from the last move? Just take them right out of your house now!  You can choose to drop them at your local charity or throw them out; either way, get rid of the stuff. You do not need to move clutter. Do you really even need all the stuff that you have? Have you thought about living with 100 items or less? Okay, that might be a bit extreme, but think about how much less stuff to move you would have.

Step 3: Keep a notebook: a central location for all of your lists, appointments, and phone numbers that you will need. There are often a lot of little details. Making sure they are all in one place will make a huge difference. Dare I say, break out the spreadsheet and use it to plan each step of your prep, move, and post-move to-do lists.

Step 4: Designate. Whenever you can assign tasks to other family helpers, don’t be afraid to ask for help. A lot of the time, the resource that you are the shortest on is time. Let the teenager next door entertain the kids, or have the kids go to a friend’s or grandma’s house. It is surprising how much you can get done without the distraction.

Step 5: Always take care of yourself. It is very easy to say you have no time for the gym or to eat correctly, but you need these things to keep your energy high and to relieve stress. Connect with a support person: your best friend, your minister, or a life coach.

Whether moving is something you want to do or need to do, it is going to be stressful. You are going to have some good days and some bad, so take each day one at a time. Really focus on staying organized, taking things in bite size pieces, and taking care of yourself. With a little planning and organization, you will make it through with your sanity.

Good luck with your move!

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Featured photo credit: sepia image of machinery under pressure gauge lets out steam via Shutterstock

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