Thursday, July 28, 2011

Moving & Kid's Adjustments: An Idea

One unintended action resulted in helping ease moving stress.

Since I am alone with the kids for the move preparation process, I got overwhelmed with keeping up with the dishwashing, even with a dishwasher. I switched to use plastic utensils that we already owned, and also paper plates. I packed the dishes and got that out of the way.

We are all sick of eating out of paper bowls that get soggy when you are finishing your bowl of cereal. We are tired of weak plastic knives.

Last night my thirteen year old son (the one most resistant to this move) said he can't wait to get to our new home so we can go back to using real dishes and metal utensils.

One of the adjustments to getting used to living in a new home let alone a new state far away from home will be to return to using our regular stuff. I never thought that using our utensils would bring normalcy and happiness to my kids. Maybe the small discomforts in the move process are just as important as having familiar things like their same bed and bedroom wall decorations and their books and their whatever-else stuff that they normally live with. 

I therefore now recommend that families making a long distance move do what I did. Start packing two or more months ahead of the move date, to spread it out so it isn't an insane chaos whirlwind time. Yet, make those last weeks uncomfortable just a bit by packing the stuff away that perhaps you thought you should wait on. Seeing my home change into a more of a generic skeleton house has helped the separation process. The kids and I look forward to the new place that we can start making feel like a home. When we arrive at our new home we will be so fixed on the easier task of unpacking (compared to the difficult task of reducing our possessions and deciding what to keep). We look forward to reuniting with the stuff we need and like since we've not seen it in a while.

This is another example of how one feels gratitude after some deprivation or suffering. Instead of tempting kids as to all the good things in the new place you're moving to, the small inconveniences of the packing and moving process will make them long for the normalcy of your ordinary family life. When they get to where you are going they will focus on the now and the future and will be so busy they hopefully won't obsess about all that they have left behind.


christinethecurious said...


We moved a lot when I was small because my Dad wasn't done with college yet. when we were in the process of moving, it was sort of like camping. Of course, we rented then, so we didn't have to sell our old house, just get it clean enough to please the landlord.

It was a prompt not to collect too much stuff though

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

I had a similar-type experience on the other side of the move. This move has been difficult for me, because I love the we left. And we downsized considerably. So I had left pictures and art that we had on the wall in our bedroom at the old house in boxes here, awaiting a planned addition to give us more room. However, this week while I was gone, the EG unpacked them, and yesterday he insisted on hanging them in our room here, even though it isn't the permanent bedroom. I cannot believe how much more homelike the bedroom now seems, with those pictures on the wall! I feel more like I actually live here now, and am not just camping out!