Tips on Easing The Process of a Relocation

I recently shared about how our family packed up our whole life and moved across the country after having just moved 18 short months beforehand in this blog.

Many people would agree that moving house is very stressful, but adding a toddler, late term pregnancy, and pressure from employers to quickly begin work all made our process even more challenging.

Now that we are more than 2 weeks from having closed on our new house, I have three tips on how to make the moving/relocation process as seamless as it can be.

1) Understand that there will be some level of stress during the process & be ok with that

I’ve learned going into a move thinking it will be completely smooth sailing and straightforward is doing yourself a major disservice. Yes there are steps you can take to alleviate some of the stress associated with it, which I will get into, but knowing at its core, moving house is stress inducing.

Simply having to sell your house or break your lease, and then having to find a new place to live is a process in and of itself. You have to navigate the real estate market, which can be unpredictable, or a landlord who may not be very happy to have you move. One thing that helped me during this portion of the process is surrendering my desire to control every variable and accept the things that were out of my control.

The small “going away gathering” we had for my daughter & her friends, one of the things I could control

For example, whereas from list to close it took us roughly 39 days to sell our house in Michigan, it took us roughly 57 days to sell our house in Ohio, just 18 short months later. A contributer to this was the fact that the real estate market shifted drastically during this time, which directly impacted our house sell the second time around.

I get that in the grand scheme of things, these time frames are actually relatively short, and we were fortunate both times. But I went into each home sell understanding we were at the mercy of the market & buyers so I was prepared for the houses to take significantly longer to sell. This understanding did help to relieve some of my stress, and I would take this approach again if we had to repeat the moving process.

As with everything in life, figure out quickly the factors you can control, and accept the ones that you can’t. Then adjust accordingly.

2) Hire help or delegate tasks when possible to free up your time

I know that hiring help for a move may be easier said than done, because we are often limited by funds, access, or time, but I do want to mention how impactful doing so can be on the process. There are a lot of things to consider when moving: decluttering and/or deep cleaning for home viewings, packing up house, transporting cars/belongings, and unpacking once at the destination, amongst others. Delegating some or all of these tasks will free up your time to tackle other necessities thus making it less stressful on you.

For the first move, we hired packers for a partial pack which means they packed up some belongings while we did others. Although having some asistance was helpful, Jeff and I vowed that we would hire packers for a full pack the next time we moved house. And boy did that make a huge difference. They were efficient, and experienced and did in two days what would’ve taken us over three weeks and lots of headaches in between.

Yes hiring help and delegating tasks can get expensive, but oftentimes it’s money well spent due to its convenience and time saving factor. This served as a great reminder to myself that outsourcing tasks when possible can be useful in other aspects of life as well.

Busy man who works at a demanding job with limited time? There’s no shame in hiring a landscaper to mow your lawn weekly so you don’t have to.

Busy mom who dedicates several hours a day to homeschooling her children? It’s more than ok to hire a cleaning service to alleviate the burden from you.

Busy graduate student who is prioritizing classes and other university requirements? It’s fine to hire an affordable meal prep service so you don’t have to spend time cooking throughout the week.

Regardless of what society may suggest, hiring help does not make you lazy or indulgent. Doing so can be wise and incredibly useful to your time management and your mental health.

3) Disregard unrealistic timelines & be patient with the process

The type A, hyper productive go getter in me was quickly humbled by the arduous process of moving. Not to mention the pregnancy that has forced me to slow down naturally.

Where the pre children younger Tiff would be able to stay up until 3am listening to podcasts and unpacking several boxes a day, the Tiff of today is limited by how much I can physically accomplish per day because by 10pm I’m exhausted.

And I have no choice but to be ok with that.

Despite having moved in and still working on getting settled, I had to accept the current state of chaos of our house and trust that eventually things will be in order, even if it takes a little longer than I like.

Real life view of the current state of our chaotic kitchen. We’ve made progress, but have lots of work left to do.

When you move to a new state there are lots of intangibles to consider to make the new location feel like like home. For me this looked like: building a new community of friends, getting a new OB, pediatrician, dentist, Church, extracurriculars for my daughter, coordinating contractors, all while ensuring I’m present for my family, cooking, homeschooling, running a business, and a household. Even if your daily task list looks different than mine, trying to squeeze unpacking into the mix will quickly overwhelm you if you are not careful.

The advice I’d give (that I’m still struggling to take myself) is to be patient with the process, prioritize your day, and ditch the unrealistic timeline that’s often self-imposed.

Yes our recent move from Cincinnati to Kansas City came with uncertainty and a bit of stress but now that we are here and getting settled, I’m happy that we stepped out on faith.

Change is hard.
Leaving your comfort zone is hard.
Taking a leap of faith hard.
Fully trusting the process is hard.

But what’s even harder is dealing with the sense of regret if you let fear stop you from stepping into your full potential.

I fixed my mind to fully embrace this new adventure and meet it with with excitement, despite my inital hesitation. I’ve always strongly believed in the power of the mind, so if you convince yourself that you’re going to like something, the chances of you actually enjoying it are significantly higher.

That’s where I am, and I’d encourage you to consider that as well. Being positive and approaching a situation with a “glass half full” mentality usually has a positive impact on how you view it, and ultimately feel about it in the long run.


One thought on “Tips on Easing The Process of a Relocation

  1. I feel you on this! Sometimes the timelines and our capacity shifts… and we have to be okay with that. That’s what I got from this – being okay with the changes, giving ourselves grace. As always, a great reflective piece. Thanks, Tiff!


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