Crowd sourcing some Moving Graces


Did you know that according to psychologists, moving (especially long distances with children) tops the list in stressors for women?

Okay so maybe I made up the “long distances with children” part…but the gist of this is true, moving is a stressful life event and….. And I’m living in the thick of it.

I’m spending my days sifting, sorting, packing and all around disassembling the home I’ve worked 5 years to cultivate.

Am I excited about our new life in Michigan?  Absolutely!  But mostly I’m stuck in the nuts and bolts of getting us there, packing toys, sorting sweaters, getting serving bowls there in one piece.

So… can I ask you for help?  Would you share some of your best moving graces with me?

Would you tell me what saved your life in the middle of a move?
How you found grace in the chaos?
What do you wish you knew “then” that you know “now”?

You see, I have this little idea of a list, something that we can create and cultivate that will give grace, wit and wisdom in the midst of the stress of a move.

Because in the grand scheme of things moving isn’t that big of a deal.  After all, it’s just boxes and totes full of this and that.

Except in the here and now “small scheme”… it’s a pretty big deal indeed.

So, would you help me crowdsource a list of moving graces?  Ideas?  Tips?  Would you tell me your best and pass it on?  Ask a friend?

Can we cultivate a little something tangible that we can send our stressed out sisters and friends in the thick of moving-ville?

Because I need this list right now, perhaps you might someday too?

I’ll post the accumulation of moving graces next Monday.  You can share here in the comments or email me at

  • Esther Emery

    I’ll go, I’ll go! I just moved my two little kids from Boston to Idaho, and am now moving again to another home in the same place. My advice is, schedule time to process, particularly with the kids. Make appointments for it, because if you don’t, the time is gone, and they’re asking hard questions and you’re saying, just a sec, I’ve gotta make these three phone calls! There’s gotta be time to talk about it.

  • tim gallen

    moving graces? just laugh. laugh at the lunacy of it all. because you’re right, moving can be stressful but it’s really not that big a deal. just laugh.

    also – try to detach yourself from all your stuff. the house you’re leaving is just a house, the clothing you “can’t live without” is just clothing. cherish the memories but let go of the stuff. the memories are important but not the physical artifacts. this may not be easy but it can help make moving way less stressful.

  • Janice S.

    Having had seven addresses in a four year period (SEVEN), I have some experience along these lines. So here goes:

    1. The more you throw or give away before the move, the less you have to load, unload and unpack.

    2. When it comes to packing, pretend to be a professional. Don’t get sentimental about things; act like they belong to someone else. Carefully, but quickly, just wrap it and get it in a box. The quicker the better. At this point, it’s a job to be done, not memories of grandma or your firstborn.

    3. Label everything. What’s in the box and what room it goes into in the new house. You might think you’ll remember, but 50 boxes later, you won’t be able to find the can opener. Or worse, the remote.

    4. Pack a “First Things” box. This box goes with you and not on a moving truck (or it’s THE last box on the truck). Toilet paper, paper towels, soap, a hand towel, Chlorox wipes, bandaids. The remotes. Think of things you will want in the first several hours after moving in. This will keep you from opening box after box to find a pair of slippers to relax in when the moving is done. Mark this box in a special way so it can’t get mixed in with other boxes.

    • MarkAllman

      The first things box is a great idea. You might have a suit case for the first few days of clothes you want to wear too. While packing and unpacking I would make the family take mini vacations….. a 15 min all stop and drink a pop or eat ice creme together. Do this frequently and it lets you talk and plan too. If you have friends where you are moving have a moving in party and have them bring a dessert. I would mark all boxes by room and contents as Janice says and I would pack them that way too so as you unpack most of the boxes for one room will be close together. I always take pictures before I take things apart so I can refer to when putting them back together. This can be especially helpful knowing where all the plugs go on electronic items. You think you will remember how things came apart and go back together but I never do and pictures have saved me. I also tape ziplock bags with nuts and bolts in it to whatever they belong to.

      Make sure you buy lots of ziplock bags and duct tape. You can buy the 2.5 gallon size bags that can be great for dumping entire drawers into.

      Best wishes on your move.

  • Anne Bogel

    I haven’t done a big move in my adult life. We moved into our “starter house” after college and more than a decade later, we’re still here! I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s tips: I’ll be needing them soon. :)

  • Pam Worcester

    I echo Janice’s tips! Barry and I have moved so many times in 32 years of marriage that I’ve lost count. My tips to add to your list …

    Don’t be afraid or shamed to use paper plates for the last week – or even longer. It’s fun for the kids to pretend every meal is a picnic!

    Don’t let your husband build a trailer to help move. Our homemade trailer lasted 30 miles and U-Haul quickly became our best friend.
    Don’t be afraid to ask for help – and seriously, even if boxes get packed “willy-nilly”; you’ll get a laugh when you unpack. And trust me, you’ll still need to laugh when the unpacking begins.

  • Elisabeth

    Moving overseas with small children (boys 3 and 1) while 22 weeks pregnant … yes, stressful indeed! We have less than ten days until our flight and I am just hoping we make it! Shipping our stuff the day before, too… eek. Just found your blog through a recommendation, so I’ll be looking for that list!!

    • Leanne Penny

      Well they’re up on the page now and I hope dearly that they help! My good friend Michelle is moving overseas right now too! Here is her blog: