There are times in our lives when things either go faster than we thought they would, or hit us from out of the blue. I have had to move suddenly because of a loss of a job or change in situation and I have times when I thought I had more time to prepare for a move--then BOOM--the move time was upon me! In my years of experience with this--I know that when something causes a sudden move, there is usually a lot of stress in the situation itself, let alone the actual MOVE. Here are a few tips to help keep you grounded and focused if this should happen to you:
Thoughtful Planning - Okay. I just said a SUDDEN move, so how do you "thoughtfully plan" in that situation? Let's say you have 2 weeks to pack up your life and be on your way. Where, how do you start? You make a list (thoughtfully plan!) of what needs to be done. Make it as detailed as you can, maybe even planning which rooms to pack when, and even the days you need to let utilities know etc. Put in the list people you need to see or let know and also if there are any particulars about any family member that needs to be dealt with (calling a school, letting your church know, etc.). When you write it all down you are less likely to forget certain things and it will help you deal with those situations on a daily basis as well. Hint: make a list of those who will be able to help you pack or clean too.
Packing in a Hurry - When you have time for a move, ideally you go from room to room purging as you go, organizing things that aren't organized and making detailed lists of what is in each box. Well, you may be able to throw out some stuff as you go, and put up pieces of your kids farmhouse toys together at some point, but, for the most part you will be getting things in boxes so the stuff can just get out! However, to avoid throwing all of your belongings in laundry baskets and duffel bags, I do suggest getting free boxes from local stores as quickly as possible and AT LEAST putting the name of the room on the box so it will end up in the right space when you unpack that box. If it is a sudden move, keep all necessary things together (and mark it as such) because in a sudden move, you may not have the leisure of unpacking everything right away either and you don't want your child's security stuffed animal packed away for months in storage somewhere! Hint: liquor stores have smaller boxes which are great for books and glassware that you don't want to over pack!
Spot Clean as You Go - When you have plenty of time for a move, you may be able to deep clean each room after things are packed up before you head out the door. In a sudden move when you are getting things loaded up until the last minute sometimes, you need to spot clean as you go because going through the entire place before you go just may not happen and you don't want it left in a nasty state. As you empty a cabinet or a closet, wipe down and vacuum out. Clean out that bathroom drawer you just dumped in a box! You will be so glad you did! Hint: if you see a mess, deal with it ASAP. It could just get worse letting it sit and you will still have time to get stuff in boxes. This is a good time to enlist family members or friends for help. Anyone can wipe out a drawer or run the vacuum. You don't have to do it all alone. It may not be exactly the way you would have done it, but, it will be DONE.
Don't Panic - I know this is like asking for a miracle in some cases because a sudden move a lot of times means something not-so-good has happened. In those situations you can't run from all the stress. Stress will be inevitable. However, adding panic about the actual move itself is an unnecessary waste of energy. In all my moves, there has never been one time that I didn't make it out of where ever I was leaving. Some how, some way, we always got moved! Did everything always go perfectly? Of course not, but, we were always able to handle it. I never left a place filled with half of my belongings. Now, just watching HGTV you see some "fixer upper" shows where people leave alls sorts of junk in their homes and don't seem to care, but, if you are a person that is reading this blog to get more information about moving, chances are you are NOT that type of person to leave stuff behind. You will find a way to deal. Some things, you may not know how to get rid of (old paint cans, a tire, electronics that you don't need) so you may need to do a little research on what to do with that stuff. But, you will survive this. I promise. One move came faster than I expected and I didn't want to move and I remember sitting in my empty bedroom on the floor, crying my eyes out while friends, my church family and others were moving out stuff I didn't even have the energy to deal with. I felt like I just couldn't do it. But, with those wonderful people, I did it. Sometimes we just need to have a mild breakdown for a minute, but then you wipe your eyes and keep on going. It all seems to work out in the end--and then you will be there for someone else when they find themselves in a sudden move situation and you will know how to REALLY help.