There’s so many tasks involved into moving into a new house – all of which get compounded by our desire “that this time we can get it perfect” – fresh start, fresh me”.

Boxes have to get color-coded and cross-referenced. Items packed “just so”. The right paint color has to be picked for that is now the color of your new, fresh life.

But as we pack, we are also packing our regrets of when we were not perfect, we pack all those times we considered ourselves a mess, all those mistakes we made that we won’t let go of. “Remember how we packed all those broken toys from the last place. That box is still upstairs – it’s okay, still in the box – it will the first boxes in the moving truck.” “Man, I hope Sweetheart has learned to pack dishes this time around. We had a box of broken china when we went to eat. Probably not; they are such a screw-up”.

If you are looking for tips to pack & move; this is not the place. I suggest checking out or U-Haul.

But if you are looking to first prepare your mind for said move – keep reading.

If there is one thing that shows humans continually hope, it is in our constant desire for perfection “this time around”.



With moving, that isn’t going to happen. For one thing – look at the physical reality of the days leading up to and after the move – everything is in boxes. Just placed in a room – even the furniture. You will be walking around everything for a while, digging through boxes for a while before you finally get everything unpacked. Chaos will be the reality; even something as simple as a bath or shower – you will need to locate your soap, shampoo, towels, and razors. And Yes – it will be one of the first things unpacked. However, your organization isn’t set up in the bathroom yet – so many of these pieces will be living on the counter in easy access for a few days.

Clothes will equally be one place you dig for just what can be found. Granted, clothes in dresser drawers can just be saran-wrapped in; clothes hanging in the closet can’t. And where DID that dirty clothes hamper get stashed at?

My family often moved when I was younger. Sometimes like clockwork, every four years. My mom was notorious for wanting a complete reset in hopes of perfection. However life kept going and there wasn’t time to unpack everything all at once. One thing was always contingent on another thing being first unpacked & prepared. That perfectionism paralyzed her from getting much unpacking actually accomplished; we would live among the boxes for a while. Then she would delegate the unpacking to us kids – somehow we never managed to land that perfect image she had in her head. Each move resulted in a messier & messier house.

So here’s some strategies:

  1. Expect the chaos. Anticipate it. Put the items you will need right away in handy totes you can place next to sinks, beds. Similar to a bug-out bag, this will be your “don’t bug me” bags. Have toilet paper, soap, scrub cloths & towels in the bathroom one. Bedroom – have your contact solution, your glass case, your alarm clock, your favorite mug, your night clothes, your medications. I would suggest adding a great book to read in bed – You’ll be stressed out enough, lose yourself in a good book for a lil’ while. Kitchen – have pan to cook a couple of meals, cooking utensils, plates or bowl to eat from. Silverware, dish soap.
  2. Only plan to incorporate a few habits to make your life more organized A few habits will stick. All now habits will get tossed in the trash. Say, always have the dishes washed after a meal vs. have the kitchen contents color-referenced and label and only one place for one item. Pinterest shots of perfect kitchens are fun to browse – but you need to live in yours. More importantly, so does your family. Don’t make things overly complicated.
  3. Let your plan for your new house be a “shared vision” something that will work for everyone, with everyone’s input. .
  4. Realize, once you have brought all the boxes over, that you are unpacking a life here – your family’s life. It’s going to take more than one day. Plan to make it a happy task. Mindfully decide where each item goes. Allow moment of memories when you pull them out of a box – appreciate them.
  5. Don’t bring what you don’t want. Especially don’t schlep a box of broken useless things. Toss them. When my hubby & I moved into our house – my husband kept bringing in boxes of stuff his ex-wife no longer wanted. Wall decorations, bedding, washer & dryer, a heavy-as-hell picnic table. He thought he was being frugal; I knew he was bringing in future arguments. The wall stuff & bedding took up needed room in the attic, until he died. The washer & dryer soon broke down – hmm, imagine that – and sat in our garage for months with us walking around it. The picnic table – that’s too heavy to move is falling apart in the front yard – a liability if the neighborhood kids try to use it. None of these items are going with me to a new place.
  6. Realize perfectionism doesn’t exist – and is therefore unobtainable. What we chase perfectionism for is actually “preferences”. Go for your preference, instead. Again – this is your home, your family home. You are unique. Let your habits and your furniture layout evolve from who you really are.


Image courtesy of Olymic Movers.

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