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What? Moving Again?
By Donna Haug

Oh, the chaos of moving day! Having faced at least 12 major moves in the past 15 years, I can tell you that there is no other day quite so overwhelming physically and emotionally, particularly if the move is to another city or country. It can feel like youíre being pulled up ruthlessly by your roots, which is not necessarily always a pleasant experience. You would think that after moving as often as I have, I would be quite the professional at it by now. I wish I were!

In order for moving day to go as smoothly as you dream, you need to be organized, have a well-thought out plan and be willing to accept help as often as possible. The emotional upheaval that you and your family will face will probably surprise you. As you dream of the coming changes, you will most likely face them with some degree of excitement mixed with hesitancy. The closer the big day comes, the more the stress tends to build and the excitement wears off. There is so much to do! How will it ever get done?

I am not the most organized person in the world; however I have learned a thing or two about moving. Since move number 13 is looming on the horizon, let me share with you some things of which I am reminding myself in order to make this move the easiest yet.

Organize! Start cleaning out, organizing, discarding junk and giving away unnecessary items as soon as you know you may be moving. Involve your children in organizing their bedrooms. They may enjoy giving some things away to their friends as gifts or remembrances.

Plan! Arrange for a garage sale or two and accept the help of friends. Youíll be surprised how attached you can be to your "things" when you are selling them because you have to and not because you donít want them anymore. Itís helpful to have others there with you to make your day go easier.

Pack! Start by packing the little used things first, like camping equipment, extra blankets or items stored in the shed or garage. Out of sight packing doesnít leave you in a state of unsettledness. Pack books and other heavy things in small boxes. You will be glad you did when it comes time to carry them on moving day. Donít forget to label all boxes with their contents and the room to which they should go. As tempting as it may be, donít take down your pictures, paintings or curtains until the last minute possible and make sure that these are some of the first things you hang when you arrive at your new destination. These are the things that make a house a home.

Clean! As you pack, ensure that you do the deep cleaning as you go. Pull the fridge and stove out and clean underneath them as well as those hidden corners that often get neglected. That way on your moving day youíll just need to give it a quick once over and youíll be ready to go. Itís exhausting, in the midst of the confusion and chaos of boxes and people, to be trying to clean and scrub those forgotten areas.

Accept help! When friends ask how they can help, have well thought out ideas ready beforehand to offer them. Maybe they could take the kids to the park so that theyíre out of your hair. If they love to cook, they could bring a casserole over so that you donít have to stop to cook, or even just pop by with coffee to cheer you up and distract you for a few minutes. On moving day, make sure you have sufficient help available, especially if you have not hired a professional moving company. Many hands make light work Ė but donít forget to order in pizza to feed the hungry crew!

Donít Pack Your Smile! Have your sense of humor accessible at all times throughout your move. Youíll need it! A smile, a chuckle and even a good belly laugh are terrific stress breakers. Remember, chances are that things are not going to go as smoothly as you hoped, but with help and with a great disposition, you will survive!

Moving rates extremely high on the list of the most stressful things a person can go through in life. For some people, being uprooted and transplanted to another place doesnít seem to be much of a problem. For others it can feel like the end of life as you know it. Regardless of the type of personality you are, the bottom line is you still have to get organized, plan well in advance, pack and then pack some more, and do lots of cleaning. Remembering these few tips, being willing to accept help whenever itís offered and keeping your sense of humor handy will help make that adjustment just that little bit easier to handle.
Donna Haug and her husband, Mark, together with their three children, are missionaries in the country of Mozambique, Southern Africa. Donna has been teaching part time at the Christian Academy of Mozambique as well as being responsible for the finances for the Christian Education Department and Child Care Plus, a Canadian child sponsorship program. At the end of this year another big move is happening for the Haugs. They are being transferred to Quelimane, a hard two-day drive north of Maputo. So for Donna it will be time to put some of these pointers into practice again! Keep track of the Haugs by checking out their website at http://www.thehaugs.com
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