It is disorienting to live in another state - but slowly it becomes your new reality and it is exciting to find new places to go to for even ordinary things. Where is the hardware store? Oh, it is a few blocks away. Really? Aha now I can find one place. Groceries? Over there? A better one a few blocks which way? Ok. Now I know.
Gosh what did I do with the mailbox key? How could it possibly be we have so much stuff we have to store it in two lockers plus a mountain of boxes in our condo. Embarrassing, really it is. Not to mention even in a 1200 sq. ft. condo with 2BA and 2 BR there is not enough storage for all the stuff.Here are a few tips to help:
- Decide well in advance where you want to move to. It took me two years to decide to move to another state. I grew up in Chicago and lived there all my life and moving to another state was a challenge I needed to accept. Sometimes, in life, even in a terrible economy, change is what you must do.
- It is expensive to move. Donate, sell, give away as much as you can. Movers calculate costs based on mileage, weight of items on their truck, fuel, insurance, packing costs etc. The costs initially quoted will be much lower than the final bill based on those variables.
- Get competitive moving quotes. Get recommendations for good movers. Not all movers care about your things. We relied on a mover highly recommended by everyone in the area we were moving to who worked nationwide. They were very careful, considerate and honest. We had much more stuff left to pack than they anticipated but they packed it all without complaint.
- Exhaustion. It is exhausting physically, emotionally and logically. Your brain gets tired of making decisions, your body is tired from packing. Get some sleep whenever you can.
- Plan what you will take yourself. There are some things you take with you: financial information, safes, real estate papers, wills, etc. Set those items aside with a large sign "DO NOT PACK". If you have told the movers to pack everything - even if you have packed a lot of boxes - they will pack EVERYTHING. I mean everything, I found a baggie with some torn off, unused paper towels in it.
- PACKING. Books go into small boxes, LABEL THE BOXES WHAT BOOKS ARE IN THE BOX. This will save a lot of time on the other end. In fact, label each box with what is in it. If you have time, number the boxes, keeping your own inventory so you know what is where. Remember, papers are heavy too - put files in boxes and label the boxes what files are in them.
- TAPE SCREWS AND PARTS TO DISASSEMBLED ITEMS. Or you will never find the screws or the other pieces when you want to put things back together.
- PLASTER WALLS vs STUDS. If you lived in a place with plaster walls and had no problem with putting things up on them and move to a condo look for studs in the walls to put things into.
- MAIL. You can have your mail forwarded by USPS and sign up online for $1 fee, or go to the post office and fill out a form for free.
- DISORIENTATION. If you have kids you get them enrolled in school or preschool or other programs and slowly you meet other parents and the kids find friends. Adults face a different issue: disorientation - a disconnect from what was familiar - and uncertainty about reconnecting in a new place. The new place is like a photographer trying to adjust the lens of a camera to take a close-up photo when the camera lens had been adjusted to a long-shot before. This can produce some anxiety and excitement all rolled into one. Do one new thing a day: find a park, grocery store, go to a lecture, eat at a local restaurant, find a doctor, a dentist, a vet. Making new connections will allow the anxiety to recede and confidence to grow.