So, as you may know, I am moving. Actually, at the time of writing this I am moving in three days. THREE. DAYS.
As I sit here, looking at my surroundings, I find that I am enclosed in a cave of boxes and chaos. Nothing is where it is supposed to be, there’s barely any clear paths to walk, and probably the most importantly, my boyfriend has left on a work trip….
Yes; I am doing this ALONE. I’ve heard that the three most stressful things in life are divorce, a death in the family, and moving. And I don’t cope well with stress.
If you’re new here I suffer from anxiety and depression, impulsivity, slight obsessive thoughts, and just overall my brain just feels like tv static from time to time. This is not ideal right now, when I have three days to move my entire adult life out of this shitty two bedroom basement apartment into a whole ass house. I’ll be honest with you. It’s a lot and it’s gotten to me from time to time, but I’ve managed to cope with the normal stress of moving, along with my constant state of stress and with the added cherry on top of still trying not to fall too far behind in school.
SO! I’ve decided to write this blog post on “How to Not Lose Your Mind When You’re Moving”. Catchy title eh? I thought so.
I found out we were moving about 5 weeks ago, very shortly after our toilet had backed up into our apartment. I still have anxiety nightmares of waking up at 7:00 A.M, going to the bathroom, flushing the toilet, and seeing liquid seep out of the base of the toilet, not to stop for days to come…. *Shutters*
Everything that I put up with for the last 4 years started to come to the surface; The hard water that plagued our Keurig and all of the water fixtures, the fact that there are ZERO ceiling lights in a basement that’s already dark, the old oven that set off the smoke alarm every time I made everything, etc., etc. I realized we had to leave and we made a plan to move in… with the in laws.
Thankfully, my sister In law had to move and wanted her home rented by someone she trusted and everything fell into place.
But then… the actual moving started.
I immediately knew I had to plan this right because if I got too overwhelmed from this, it could be pretty much detrimental to my mental health. So this is what I did
Research moving checklists and make a plan
If you go onto pinterest and look up “Moving Checklist” you’ll get checklists that are based on weeks out from your moving date. So it’ll say something like 4 weeks out: call utility services. This helps tremendously with when you should be getting things done. I’m so bad at procrastinating things just because of nerves and this helped me realize not everything had to get done at once, and some things can wait til closer to the move in date.
Give informal notice as early as possible
I freak out when it comes to talking to people about important things and I avoid it like the plague. As soon as I knew we were moving I texted our landlord and let her know we had to leave at the end of the next month. This may seem minor but getting it out of the way fast made it easy for me to focus on other things. When the month rolled over I gave a formal 30 days notice on paper with rent.
Start packing early
I’ll admit, this is hard when you live in a tiny apartment, because everything you have is used daily. However, if you can find things that you haven’t used in a while or things that you don’t think you’ll need in the next couple weeks, I would suggest that you pack it up as early as possible. This will make it so you don’t have to rush to pack everything one week before leaving. I packed winter clothes, heavy blankets, throw pillows, etc.
Don’t skimp on your self care routine
Amongst the chaos, its easy to forget to take care of yourself. I’ve been packing and cleaning pretty much constantly for the last week or so, and sometimes I realize its been 7 or 8 hours that I’ve just spent scrubbing baseboards and vacuuming behind furniture. One easy thing I’ve done is to take a break and go for a walk. It’s the beginning of summer and everything is green and beautiful where I live. So taking a slow walk just to get fresh air and smell the flowers is enough to reset my productivity and take some time for myself at the same time.
Don’t forget to eat, drink water, and bathe. For typical minded people or people who don’t suffer from mental illness, it may seem ridiculous that you can forget or lose the motivation to shower, but it happens! Sometimes when I’m in a bad headspace I can’t find the motivation to get out of bed and jump in the shower. Add the impending doom of having to be out of my apartment in the next week and showering falls pretty low on the totem pole.
Focus on the good
The good things that are coming from this move outweigh the bad things by far. Yes I am exhausted and my muscles are so sore it feels like I worked out yesterday, but in a week’s time, I’m going to be barbequing and having bonfires in my own back yard. Its easy to fall into the cycle of thinking you’ll never be done, there’s still so much to do, it’ll never end, etc. But there are perks to moving too! When you’re forced to sift through your stuff, you tend to find things you forgot about. When I was packing up my room, I found a letter I got from my boyfriend 4 years ago. In the letter he wrote about being unsatisfied with our little apartment and that we should be happy with what we had because we had each other. I definitely understand that now, because we went 4 years in this place and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be back then. I got through the loud neighbours fighting at 6:00 A.M, the leaky faucets, the hard water and everything else because I had him, and now we get to move onto better things.
Remember to breathe. Remember that this will end. Remember that the stress is going to lift off your shoulders soon. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
And in the meantime,
Take care of yourself.