Our family is in the middle of planning a cross-country move to be done in about 3 weeks’ time (and we’ll be gone on vacation for 8 days of this time frame). The race is on! Thankfully, we feel pretty prepared though there are often a few bumps in the road. Here are some lessons our family has learned over the years about how to face the many changes a move brings.
It’s not the home but the environment you create that’s important. For a number of reasons, our family has moved house more than a dozen times in the past 11 years. (In fact, if you look in my blog’s archives over the past 6 years you can follow more of our journey around the US and Europe.) While we generally go into a new city or home planning to stay as long as God allows, making every effort to connect to a local church, meet neighbors, and make friends, I’ve found it helpful to hold tightly to chances to put down roots but hold loosely to the home itself. Sometimes we’ve rented, sometimes we’ve bought homes. In fact, I didn’t step foot in our current home until after we’d signed the ownership papers. My husband came to the city ahead of time and did well making the choice for our family.
Memories don’t live in items, they live in our hearts. I’ve said goodbye to beautiful china cabinets, the small dining table Chris bought just before we were married, the high chair my babies sat in, and more. The memories didn’t disappear. But every time our family has moved I’ve taken time to walk through every room before we begin packing our things. It’s an opportunity to recount precious moments in each room – the ages of our kids at the time, friends we had over for meals, birthday parties, family game nights, hilarious moments, and more. This is a practice I’m teaching my children and trust it will help them value precious moments and people more than items that require upkeep.
Moving house is a key time to begin a minimalist approach to life or appreciate the minimalist lifestyle you already pursue. I’ve had moving companies say our final cost came in well below the estimate due to our family owning less than the average US family. Realtors have told us our home looks good to potential buyers because they won’t find stacks of clutter in the back corners of our closets and under beds.
How can you simplify your move by focusing on relationships instead of letting belongings strangle the adventure out of life?