Winter is holding on as best it can here, but as the hours of sunshine get longer every day, its days are numbered. The little man has shed many of his comfort objects, seemingly overnight, and we are all slowly waking from a state of hibernation.
The day we told our kids we were moving into two houses, my oldest had just one question: is it going to be fun? Of course, the answer had to be yes! But moving can be stressful even when your whole world isn’t changing. And moving into two houses can also feel like a loss. So how do you keep it fun?
Here are my tips for surviving with your sanity intact:
This one is for you, and is the most important: you will stay sane if and only if you take care of yourself. Need help in the self care department? yes, you do. You are not made of rock and sorting through the physical artifacts of your marriage sucks. It will be hard. Get a moving buddy! I cannot stress enough how important this is. I was lucky (incredibly, amazingly lucky) to have my brother to help me with both our yard sale and with packing. Your moving buddy can help by telling you that no, you don’t need to keep that incredibly charged item, and by making sure you eat and nourish yourself during the pack. You will need this. It will save you.
Now what about the kids? Here are some things that worked for me:
1. Make the kids feel involved: set aside time in your pack and prep schedule to have them pack up some of their things, choose some things to donate or sell. These activities will take longer than when you do it yourself, but will help them understand and cope with the move.
2. While packing, keep a kid-safe space free from chaos in your home, where they can rest and play.
3. Label everything! write on the outside of the boxes, not just “toys” or “books” but be specific: then when you want to find the legos and magnatiles in a sea of cardboard, they’ll be easy to find.
4. At your new home, first things first, set up the kid’s sleeping and play space so they have things to do while you get your place sorted. (Here I’ve put up some temporary shelves with a few toys and books. They have a place to sit and play away from the chaos in the rest of the house.)
5. Embrace chaos! your house will be messy during this transition. Accept it and move on. Let them explore the new place and make it their own!
6. When all else fails, take a break! Find a place to refresh and recharge.
And keep this with you: soon all this chaos will end. This is temporary madness. On the other side, you will have a space of your own! As I sit here, only a month after moving into my own, I feel such an incredible sense of space and peace, that five weeks ago I could barely imagine. That will soon be yours.
The last six weeks have been a blur. The kids were troopers, playing through the chaos. I was surrounded by so much love from my friends and coworkers as we visited old favorites (will miss you so Lighthouse Point!) and beautiful new places like Beltane Farm. And we ate amazing and delicious food. How is it that all my friends are such incredible cooks? And that we turn to food to nourish, celebrate, and nurture each other?
None of it would have been possible without my magical brother, who dropped everything and flew cross-country to be with me twice in the month of June, to help me keep it all together. I can’t thank him enough for reminding me that we come from a long stock of folks who work hard, don’t whine, and always find the time to eat well and drink good coffee. With his help I sorted, packed, and sold the remnants of my old life, making room for the new…
Then came the magic floating forklift to take our storage container, and we were off!
18 days! Less than three weeks until our move and the anticipation is mounting. The next few weeks will be a whirlwind of packing, sorting, and weeding through the remnants of the last 10 years… And dreaming! Dreaming of all the opportunity this new phase will bring. I cannot wait to walk into our new space and breathe fresh life into it. There will be more space and light than I know what to do with!
1. In the kitchen, we’ll have a great big table big enough for a big gathering, art projects, and anything that needs to be spread out. While this one is a bit out of our price range, I found a great mid-century piece on craigslist that will give us plenty of space at a fraction of the cost.
2. These happy stools will go next to the counter-stable enough for the little ones and beautiful at the same time.
3. With a bit of fresh paint the whole area will come to life: I imagine this counter as the hub of family life-cooking prep, homework, and conversation. But the light paint will need to go, as the boys feet will likely be making their marks on the low walls otherwise. The perfect paint solution came via the always inspiring Anna at Door Sixteen: Benjamin Moore Deep Space.
I’m hoping to end up with something approximating the light and fresh spaces you see below, an airy space built for function and creativity!