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Tips for a Stress-Free, Cross Country Move

This thing called life really likes to throw us curveballs sometimes, right? And maybe that curveball means a new job, a new school for the kids or quite simply a deliberate change in lifestyle.

That's certainly what happened to me almost seven years ago now, when the hubby and I decided to make a go of it at the other end of the country in sunny Devon. We'd been living in the chilly North East of England (my native home!) for a good number of years and it just felt like the right time to make a change. All of a sudden we were starting a fresh, brand new journey and it was exciting and terrifying in equal measure.

Credit: RDNE Stock Project

If you're packing up and moving across the country, it can feel like a mammoth task. Especially if you've got kiddos to consider too. But hey, change can lead to magical things and we, at least, did manage to come out the other side in one piece. Today, I'll unpack a few secrets that made our cross-country move flow a bit more easily.

Plan, Plan, And Then Plan Some More

Credit: Miesha Renae Maiden

Okay, so my first port of call? Planning. It's the secret sauce to just about everything, isn't it? You gotta think about stuff like moving costs, decorating, labelling, packaging, taking furniture apart, what to do with the kids, timings and probably loads more. Having all of these things written down and listed early on is as therapeutic as getting rid of pesky weeds in your garden. Plus making lists is scientifically proven to help us feel more at ease with a situation. At least that's what I like to think. So get your pens and notepaper out and get listing!

Inventory Check

Credit: Julia M Cameron

Then comes the task of dealing with all the stuff we've been hoarding over the years. You know, the stuff that you don't really want to deal with, but now have to. Now's the time so don't shy away from it - just get stuck in and notice how every single object in your house makes you feel. That way, it will be easier to decide what's coming with you and what isn't. And hey, your trusty list-making will help you out here. Future You will thank you!

Removalists: Your New Best Friends

Credit: Artem Podrez

And this is where the absolute superheroes step in - the AFRA accredited removalists! Having moved house approximately 8 times in the last 14 years, I'd go so far as to say that contracting specialist removalists is THE best thing you can do. They've honestly got this down to a science, and contrary to what me might see in the movies - they take professionalism extremely seriously. Basically, what it boils down to is tonnes more time to say goodbye to your neighbours, more moments to reassure the kids that everything is okay or to quite simply daydream about your new life. You'll know that your stuff is being taken care of and you can rest easy. It's hard to put a price on that feeling.

Prepping The Family

Credit: cottonbro studio

We all know moving can be tough on the little ones but there's no reason why they can't see this as an exciting time, just like you. It's important to chat to them about what's happening, letting them help with planning and imagining their new life and home. If they can feel even a tiny bit involved, it'll help calm those butterflies in their tummies (and yours too). And if you have fur babies, don't forget about them! Animals definitely pick up on stress and tension so a little extra reassurance, stroking and crooning might be in order, as well as making sure the new home is ready for them too.

Do a Reccy of Your New Place

Credit: Pixabay

It can be tricky if you're moving cross-country but it's always a good idea to do a bit of a reccy of your new neighbourhood before you move. Knowing where you can grab a loaf of bread or a pint of milk (Chardonnay), where you can escape to for a little stroll or where the kids can make new friends, can really help to ease some of those nerves. Even if you can't visit your new home before the move, maybe think about joining a Facebook group for the area and getting some local knowledge that way. People are generally very accommodating and welcoming. Also, it'll help you to know where the local wi-fi spots are, just in case yours doesn't work at first!

Pack Smart

Credit: Karolina Grabowska

Here's a fun idea that I kind of did myself once in an entirely impromptu fashion . . . have a packing party! Surely the packing process can only be enhanced by friends, drinks and snacks, right?! Also, it's a good idea to start packing up stuff you don't use daily a few weeks early. That can give a tremendous sense of accomplishment and help provide the motivation to do the rest as time allows. And pro-tip from me? Label your boxes. OMG I become a labelling freak every time I move house and you do not want to come near me if I'm in possession of a Sharpie. You have been warned . . .

The Big Day And Beyond

Credit: photomix company

The big day is finally here! I'd recommend keeping a bag of essentials close by - tea bags, coffee, milk, snacks, magazines, small toys or electricals for the kids (plus chargers - lots of chargers!). It'll be your survival kit when you're surrounded by a sea of boxes in your new home and help tide you all over until you open those well-labelled boxes to find the first can't-do-without items!

After the move, make sure you take a breath, slow down, and take your time to get settled in. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your comfort and energy in this new house. Instead, take small steps to embrace your new neighbourhood and begin to settle in gradually. It doesn't have to be (and most likely won't be) picture-perfect right away. With the right prep, a decent system, and a healthy dollop of patience, your cross-country move will eventually feel like it's really worth it. Here's to your new adventure!

Go well,



P.S. If you enjoyed this blog post then make sure you sign up to get ALL Abigail's bookish news as and when it happens. You'll also bag yourself a FREE copy of Life Is Yours - the first book in the Life Is Yours Trilogy. Sign up here

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