After all, who doesn’t love rummaging through boxes to find a toothbrush, plates, a cup, or toilet paper? I bet Indiana Jones wouldn’t mind. In fact there would probably be a bunch of snakes in his boxes, thank goodness it isn’t an Indiana Jones story.
All jokes aside, moving can be scary. After all, we typically don’t know what to expect and that ambiguity makes us uneasy, no matter how meaningful the reason we are moving is (or how many times we’ve done it). Sometimes it is handy to have moving checklists; after all it is so easy to forget something and it is satisfying to cross things off a list. There are checklists for moving supplies, packing room by room, who needs a change of address, school records, recyclables, and even what not to forget to pack in your “essentials” box. I think the most unexpected resource I found was Earth911 where you can search for a place near you that recycles whatever you are looking to recycle: laptops near Carbondale, IL for instance.
Of course packing isn’t the only important part of moving; moving is stressful. Good thing there are ways to keep the stress in check. The more you can do to anticipate what comes next, the less stress you will feel. You can do this by keeping lists. Some find making task-lists on a countdown timeline most helpful while others find a more topical moving list helpful. Of course getting enough sleep, eating right, go with the flow knowing things will change, ask for help when you need it, and have a Plan B (and C and D).
One of the intimidating things about moving is that you won’t know anyone. Consider these ideas to help rebuild your social network. Make an effort to learn about the community; it’s history, available activities (maybe a new one you’d like to try), gyms, and restaurants. Being aware of the opportunities gives you more options. If you have school-aged children, volunteering at the school introduces many opportunities, and be sure to accept invitations from others. If you decline, they may not ask again.
Of course attitudes toward the moving process are not the same for everyone in the family. If one person in your family is giving up an employment position or moving away from family and friends to support the other partner, special consideration needs to be made to ensure the move is positive for the entire family.
It may be important for non-clergy spouses to find a job in the new town. Be sure to update your resume before moving so you can send your resume right out without having to make time to update it first. Children and teens benefit from feeling involved in the moving process, just be sure the task is age appropriate. Anything from being in charge of taping the boxes or being the moving “director” to researching their new town and finding the best restaurants, Parks and Recreation activities. If you are moving with pets, introduce them to the new environment slowly, surround them with things that smell familiar and spend as much time with them as you can, this might be a job the children would enjoy!
As Chuck from Chuck knows Church says, “The vow of itinerancy is the commitment by pastors to go and serve wherever their Bishop sends them. The goal is to match the gifts and the graces of a particular pastor to the ministry needs of a particular congregation.”