As an Army wife for the past ten years, I have moved a lot and learned these tips for keeping your sanity during an overseas move.
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Now I find myself facing yet another move.
This time, we are moving to another country, which takes the stress level up times a million.
While we receive help from the government to move our household goods, moving is still stressful no matter how you look at it.
It is especially stressful when you are moving with kids or pets or both. So, how do you stay sane? Here are a few tips:
10 Tips for Keeping Your Sanity During an Overseas Move
Make a list of the things that have to get done before the move.
Maybe even list them in the order of when they need to get done.
Then, check them off as you go.
This will eliminate the stress of worrying if you have forgotten anything and you will feel the satisfaction of knowing that you accomplished something.
Get Rid of Stuff
If you have had it for ten years and are seeing it for the first time in said years because you’re moving, toss it.
The less you have to pack or go through, the less stress you will feel. It can be very freeing to throw things away.
Don’t Worry About What You “Should” Be Doing
Moving takes up a lot of time.
You have to decide what to keep and what to throw away.
Then there are some items that are forbidden depending on which country you are moving to. Some things can take a back seat.
Maybe you were working out three times a week.
And maybe you made a home cooked meal four nights a week.
In fact it is okay to slack off when you are moving.
So, don’t beat yourself up.
Don’t Try To Do Everything Alone
Ask for help if you need it. Don’t try to be superwoman (or man).
You will find the blood pressure rising if you try to handle everything by yourself.
It doesn’t make you weak to admit that you need help.
Don’t Leave Things Until the Last Minute
If you need passports, visas, housing, or other important things taken care of, don’t leave it until the last minute.
Some of those things take a lot of time to reach you or to accomplish.
If you wait until the last minute, your stress level will increase exponentially.
Allow yourself a reasonable amount of time to complete tasks that require extra attention.
Take a Moment to Relax
Drink a glass of wine. Watch a movie or take a walk.
Don’t let all your time consist of things to do with moving.
Let your mind wander.
Take a hot bath.
Yell at the wall.
Yes, it is important that everything gets done.
However, it is also important that you stay sane.
Accept the Uncertainty of the Move
It is okay not to know, but don’t let it stress you out.
For instance, we have a hotel booked for when we initially get to Germany thanks to our sponsor.
However, we have no idea how long it will be before we get “permanent” housing or where that housing will be.
That can be alarming.
Accept it and move on. It is what it is.
Everything will work out.
Obviously, if we were moving to another country by choice, we would find housing prior to moving.
Since the Army is moving us, we don’t have that luxury.
Get Rid of Stuff – Again
Yes, I know I said this one already.
But we have a weight limit with a military move and if we go over the weight limit, we have to pay.
So, the more things I throw away, the better. And honestly, the less you take with you, the less you have to unpack.
Right? So, that shirt in your closet that you haven’t worn in 25 years?
Run Errands in One Trip
If you have errands to run, make them all at the same time if possible.
That way, you will only have to do one trip and you won’t be running all over the place trying to get things done.
It will save you time and your sanity.
Think About All the Exciting New Things You Will Get to Experience
Our move will allow our children to visit places in Europe that we would never have been able to take them to otherwise.
So, it is exciting to think about and plan where we would like to go during our time in Germany.
Who has time be stressed out when you are happy and excited?
Moving is stressful.
There is just no way to avoid it.
Hopefully, these tips will help you keep your cool whether you are moving down the street, across town, to another state, across the country, or to another country!
Which tip was your favorite?