Moving away from home and family is always hard, especially if it is the first time you’ve made a significant move. There is no easy way around it, leaving the comfort and familiarity of your home behind is difficult. But there are several things you can do to make it easier.
Remember, there were reasons you decided to move in the first place. The transition between your old home and your new one is always the most difficult part. Eventually, it will get better. You’ll find new favorite places, new friends, and ways to stay in contact with old friends and family.
At some point, your new home will really feel like home. Here’s how you get there.
Making Moving Easier
One of the things you should consider before you move cross country is how you are going to make that move. Think about your options, and try to choose the one that is most comfortable and easy, even if it means spending a little more.
One of the biggest recommendations we have is to hire a professional moving company for most of your stuff. Hiring professional movers is even more important if you’re moving more than an hour or two away from your home.
There are a few reasons this is easier. For one thing, professional movers will be able to pack your furniture and stuff into a smaller truck, and they’re more likely to be comfortable behind the wheel of that truck.
Professional movers also tend to be easier to organize and direct than your friends and family. That makes it easier to stick to a schedule, and much less stressful.
You’re also less likely to need to spend days or weeks making multiple trips back and forth from your old home to your new one. Making the transition itself faster gives you less time to compare your old home to your new one. That’s important since your new home isn’t set up and comfortable, and you’re more likely to form a negative option if you spend a lot of time comparing the two.
What To Bring With You
Even if you decide to hire professional movers, there are some things you’ll want to make sure come with you, not the mover. These items are a combination of the things you’ll need the first couple days at your new place, anything that needs care and attention constantly during your move, some entertainment, and anything too precious to risk in a stranger’s hands.
Pets are an obvious choice to come with you during a move. Your animals need care and attention the whole time. You can keep an eye on them in the car, or, if you choose to fly to your new location, will be able to see them as soon as the plane unloads.
But here are a few other things you might want to consider taking with you directly, instead of sending with a mover.
- A few pairs of comfortable clothing
- Work or interview clothes if you need them in the first week.
- Medications, including over the counter medications
- Your pet’s furniture (litter boxes, beds, toys, kennel, or carrier)
- House plants
- Some electronics (laptop, handheld gaming device, phone)
- A couple of favorite books
- Other entertainment and distraction.
- Memorial items (ashes, photos, letters, etc)
- Delicate items, fine china, antique vases, family heirlooms, etc.
You don’t need to bring everything on this list. But, it’s designed to make moving as comfortable as possible, while also taking care of you and the most important of your possessions.
After the Move
Moving is difficult, but the transition after you’re already in your new home can be even more challenging. These tips will help you make that transition faster and help your new home feel comforting and welcoming that much sooner.
Schedule the First Visit
Before you move, make plans with friends and family for visits. You should plan on going back home to visit people and bringing people out to your new place to visit you. In fact, it may be a good idea for your first few visits to be people coming to see you.
That way, you can make new memories in your new home, making it familiar and fun that much sooner.
Set up a regular schedule of visits. Travelling is easier in the modern world than it ever was before, so you should try to make sure you see friends and family at least a couple of times every year.
Call, Write, and Email Frequently
You should also set up a regular call schedule before you leave. Find a time that works in everyone’s schedule and plan on time to call and talk. Talking on the phone gives you something to look forward to and will help maintain those important connections.
You should also consider other ways of staying in touch. Write letters or send postcards as you explore the attractions in your new city. Send long emails talking about your day or week.
Social media is a fantastic tool for staying connected, but there’s something special about longer letters and emails that’s even better for staying grounded and connected to your loved ones.
Writing can be less frequent than calling, but if you write and get responses, you’ll feel that much closer to your loved ones.
Set Up One Room Completely, Right Away
Some people move and get completely unpacked and ready to go in only a few days. But most people take days, weeks, and even years to unpack that last box.
No matter which type of moving person you are, you should make it a priority to unpack and set up one room as quickly as possible. The room you choose is up to you. We recommend picking a room that means a lot to you, and where you spend a lot of time.
For many people, having your bedroom set up is the most important. But if you’re someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, or who spends more time in a working office than your bedroom, those rooms might be the better choice for you.
Having one room set up so that it’s comfortable and reminds you of home is a great way to make the rest of your moving transition easier.
Spend Some Time Outside, Explore Your New City
It’s easy to hole up in your new home and spend a lot of time by yourself or only with the people who moved with you. But whether you moved for a new job, college, or any other reason, it’s important to get out and explore.
If your home becomes your only comfortable space, its harder to find your new favorite restaurant, to make new friends, and to find your community in your new city.
Whether it walking your dog around the neighborhood, going to a local attraction, or trying a new restaurant, you should try to spend some time out of your home every day.
Eventually, you won’t need to focus so much on getting out and having fun. You’ll have found your favorite restaurants, and you’ll have a community that’s supportive in your new home. You’ll probably notice that you’re calling friends and family at home a little less at this stage. That’s okay and even normal.
Maintain Your Traditions
One way to stay connected to your roots is to continue the small everyday traditions that made your home, home. If you made coffee and sat outside to drink it every morning, you should do the same thing in your new home. If you went out for drinks or a movie once a week at home, you should continue going out in your new home.
Did your family make a big deal out of certain holidays? Try to continue those traditions at home. Go ahead and make that big turkey at Thanksgiving, invite your new friends or video call friends or family from home.
Continuing those traditions not only shows respect for your roots but will help you stay grounded and happier in your new home.
Take Care of Yourself
This is important. When you first move, most people will plan a few days to unpack, but it’s also important to spend a few days unwinding and getting used to your new location. Give yourself the mental space to adjust to your new home.
Build or continue a habit of working out. Try to spend at least 30 minutes outside in good weather, and 30 minutes exercising every day.
It can be tempting to eat a lot of junk food and convenience food when you’re moving. It’s okay to indulge in a few extra pizzas or boxes of mac and cheese but try to make sure you’ve got fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet as well. Drink extra water. Your body needs more hydration when you’re more active and when you’re stressed.
You should also pay attention to how you are sleeping. Many people can struggle to sleep in a new place. So, to help fight that, you should continue any bedtime rituals you used before your move. If maintaining a normal schedule seems impossible, it is okay to reach for some over the counter sleep medications to help ease the transition.
These tips will help make moving much easier, but there’s one last thing we want to mention. Big periods of transition can be incredibly stressful and draining. It’s okay if you need to ask for a little extra support during and after your move. That support might come from friends, family, or a professional therapist.
Do what you need to take care of yourself, there’s no shame in needing a little more help.
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