I hope you caught Susan Miller’s interview with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine on the radio program, Family Life Today, March 2-4. For years, Family Life has offered a "Moving On" group and has given Susan’s book, After the Boxes are Unpacked, to employees making the adjustment following a move. They surveyed their employees for their best ‘moving tips” and we would like to pass these valuable tips on to you! Here is a portion of the great ideas that they shared.
1…embrace the new things God provides for you in your move. Focus on what you can learn in your new culture. Cheer for the hometown football team, try a regional recipe, tour a local art museum, etc. You will miss the “old”, but you don’t have it anymore. Be content with today, and look for the gifts God has for you in your move.
2. Expect that God has gone there before you and be looking for evidence of His hand, particularly when things are tough.
3…don’t expect to “recreate” the life you had in your previous location. Accept that it will be different and enjoy the new adventure.
4. Make a master list, or obtain one from a moving company, of all the details that need to be taken care of. You will forget things; the list helps.
5. This too shall pass! Be proactive meeting people/getting involved at your new home…don’t wait for them to come to you.
6. When you get to where you’re going get involved with a small group whether it be an exercise, bible, or volunteer group. Involvement in a new community is key to resettling. Step out and make a friend.
7. Be organized. The better organized you are at packing (specifically label boxes by room and area that items belong), the easier it will be to find and unpack things.
8. Plan ahead, but go with the flow.
9. Take an honest look at your stuff while you’re packing. If you don’t use it, is it really worth packing, lifting, unpacking, and storing in your new home? For me, a clutter-free life takes a real load off---figuratively and literally!
10. Reach out and make new friends as quickly as possible. In our 26 years of marriage we have lived in 3 different countries, 7 different towns or cities, and have made some lifelong, wonderful friends along the way. We never knew how long we would be in a place, so we wanted to “sink our teeth in” as soon as possible. We now have friends that live all over the world! Awesome!
11. Don’t expect to completely “feel at home” for a year. It takes longer than you would think likely.
12. You are not leaving the only place in the world where you can be happy. Go into the move with an open mind, there are many people living in your new location who are happy there. Keep your attitude positive, if you look only for the negatives you will probably never be happy.
13. The Apostle Paul tells us that contentment is learned, you can learn to be happy anywhere God takes you.
14. Evaluate your expectations of this move, are they realistic or wishful thinking.
15. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
16. Make up all the beds in the house first because by night you are too tired to do it. Also set up the children’s rooms with toys before any other and the children can begin to feel at home while you work on the rest of the house.
17. Find a good church home!
18. Fill each box with things from just one room and clearly mark that room on the outside of the box.
19. Initiate! Invite people over to your house to get to know them, rather than waiting for people to come to you.
20. Mother’s Day Out
21. Research where you are moving to so you can talk about positive things and places about your new area with your family. If you have a house-hunting trip, take pictures of everything to be able to show your children.
22. Be pro-active in making friends. Invite people over to your house and into your life.
23. Don’t sit and wait for people to come to you, the invitation may not come!
24. Be flexible with a sense of humor. Some things happen that you did not plan for and some things you planned don’t happen!
25. Start packing early the little things and the things you don’t use on a daily basis. Label every box and keep an inventory list of each. Organization is the key to a successful move.
26. Read the book “After the Boxes are Unpacked.”