April is National Stress Awareness Month and what is more stressful than a move across country on short notice? The key to managing your moving stress is to get a massage daily. Just kidding (although I would love to use moving as an excuse to get regular massages). Here are some of the ways I manage my stress before a move, I hope they help you too.
Have a game plan, make sure you know the answers to the following questions:
- Will you do a DIY move or a PPM (Personally Procured Move)?
- What will you pack yourself?
- How will your pets make it to your new home?
- Will you ship or drive your vehicles?
I know we do not often get advanced notice, but we normally have a pretty good idea when our next move could possibly be. Do not leave all of the organizing until the last minute. Inventory your current belongings; including taking photos of everything in its current condition (this could be VERY helpful should some of your items be damaged in the move). Pick a room to go through each day and get rid or donate items you do not need. Here is a room by room guide. Begin using all of the food in your freezer and pantry, there is no need to have extra groceries to deal with when the time to move arrives.
Take advantage of other military spouses' knowledge! Visit the "I'm Moving To..." discussion board to share your insight of a military installation or find someone who has been where you are going! DO not forget to check Facebook! Most installations have a Facebook page and — sometimes — even one for spouses! This is a great place to meet a new friend before you even move. I think advice about the best neighborhoods and schools comes from people who can give a first-hand account!
If you are interested in living on the installation, call the housing office to inquire about housing and potentially get put on a waiting list. The housing office's number can easily be found on your new installation's website.
Lastly, Have fun
Take a week to revisit your favorite things about the place you are leaving. This will be a nice fun break from the moving stressors. You can also help your kids make a memory book of your favorite places and friends.
Additional Resources: National Stress Awareness Month's Official Site