Saturday, November 6, 2010

Moving . . .

Jon and B greeting our movers with coffee (no shame in schmoozing them to take good care of our stuff, ha!)

Jon keeps encouraging me to write a blog about moving. Moving tips, what we wished we did, how to manage the transition, what it's like to move cross country, something along those lines. But see, I'm not a moving guru. Ask a military wife, not me!! But after thinking a little bit about it, I did come up with some tips/thoughts on moving based on our experiences.

1. Moving is hard whether your moving 2 hours away or 27. When we moved from Grand Rapids to Lansing in 2004, we were totally unprepared for how HARD it was going to be. It was only one hour away, but life was totally different. The hardest part was how unprepared we were to start our life without any friends nearby. We didn't think it'd be a big deal, but it was. Short or long distance, moving is hard.

2.Give yourself time. Prepare your self mentally, spiritually, and emotionally to go through a time of loneliness. Even if you meet friends right away, it takes time to build a relationship and to truly get to know one another deep down.

3. If it sucks (we speak from experience here), don't turn around and run back. Again, give it some time. Maybe things wont turn around and you'll move again soon. But maybe they will. And just maybe, God needs to soften up your heart a little bit so He can use you more in this new season of life.

4. Jump in with both feet. We didn't do everything the right way when we moved to Houston last year. But the one thing I think we did pretty well was engaging ourselves in activities and people. I joined MOPS and a women's bible study the second week we were here. We later joined a small group which has been a life saver to us. I also started volunteering in the baby nursery at The Met. We met our neighbors, explored the city and volunteered. Don't hesitate to start your new life where you are. I still find myself trying to push the thoughts of "we aren't going to be here forever and I don't want to get invested" away.

5. Don't live in the past. Do your best to not idealize the past but to live for today.

6. Put your stake in the ground. I'm not sure if this one is going to make sense. But this is where we went awry. Once you (and your spouse if applicable) have made the decision to move, mark that down in your hearts and when you face times of doubt, remember that moment in time when you made that decision. Be at peace knowing you made it with clear minds and full hearts (Friday Night Lights, anyone??). If things truly are horrible, then humble yourselves and perhaps you need to move again or make new decisions or whatever. But make sure there is a point when both of you 100% agree to the move and take full responsibility in the decision. If one of you is still wavering a bit, don't (I repeat, don't) make the decision yet. The job, house, school, etc. will still be there if it's the right one once you are both on the same page 100%.

7. Buy a GPS. Seriously, life saver.

Ok, that's all I got. I thought I could make it all the way to 10 but apparently not. Maybe one of you dear, faithful readers are facing a move and maybe this will help?



Katie said...

Oh my gosh, when I first saw this post, I was like "WHATTTT?? They're moving again?? Why didn't I know about this!!!!" Hehehe.

Erin said...

Chaeli - These are great items. Totally things that I did right (and wrong) in my last two moves. One other suggestion I'd have for LONG DISTANCE MOVES... If you can afford it, hire a moving company to come pack and ship and unpack your belongings. With a long distance move, there is so much to think about (especially if you have kids) and trying to find boxes and find the time to pack of your things, can take A LONG TIME. Our 3 bedroom home, took one full day to pack up, by four men working a full 8 hour day. Then took another day for three men to load it all into a truck. To estimate, to pack, ship and unpack, it costs about $1.00 per pound to move from Seattle to DC. Our 3b, 2.5 bath home (with 2 adults & 2 kids belongings) was about 7500 lbs.

Chaeli said...

You're so right! We hired a moving company but we did the packing and unpacking. I wanted to unpack our own stuff but having someone pack it would have been awesome. AND I should have added, make sure to hire a reputable insured moving company, too many horror stories out there!

Meaghan said...

haha, i'm totally with Katie! and yes, we lived in DC for 2 years without a GPS - i believe 99% of our fights were in the car, because of this ridiculous city layout. love you sis!

Chaeli said...

Katie and Meaghan, rest assured. . . if we ever move again, you will not find out via my blog! Silly girls.

jayfersgirl said...

Yeah, make sure you do research on moving companies; we got totally scammed on our move from TX to CA. Awful. They loaded all our stuff and then told Jay he had to pay them $2500 more over what we'd already paid; he paid it and then called me at work going "What did I just do?" But after we did some research, we realized he actually did the right thing; companies that scam you will drive off with your stuff and literally hold it hostage until you pay more.

Then it took FOREVER to arrive in CA. We were in our apartment with no furniture other than an air mattress...and I was 7 months pregnant. Good times:)
Then only half our stuff showed up...and a ton of it was broken.
Then the rest finally came...also a ton of it broken.
Unbelievable. So stressful at the time.
So research, research! We thought we were getting a good company and had such a wonderful experience moving from MI to TX, but these days more companies are scams than are not unfortunately:(
And they will scam you on inter-state moves, because there is absolutely nothing to regulate those moves; we complained to the company and all the organizations they belong to, but then companies will just shut down and start anew with a new name and no one's the wiser. And as far as big companies to (the ones we all know the names of), they can have franchises that are unreputable as well.
Okay, I'm getting stressed just thinking about again...I'm done!
Great tips, Chaeli, especially about getting involved quickly. The best thing I've ever done is meet up with my moms' group here...amazing friends for life, for sure.
And not living with the "we're only here for a short time" is something I struggled with in TX at first, since Jay's ThM program was only 3 years. But eventually I put down roots there and I'm so glad I did.
Here, I feel like we're here "long-term" since it's the longest we've ever been anywhere, at 6-7 years:)