Making Sense of an Overwhelming Move
The process of unpacking after a move can be time consuming and overwhelming. In fact, a quick online search reveals that moving is one of life’s documented most stressful events! There’s so much to do, but the massive scale is paralyzing. When John and Lauralie Haikin moved from their family home in California to Oregon, they found themselves buried in 35 years worth of belongings. Instead of excitedly settling in to their new home, the couple was overwhelmed at the amount of work ahead of them.
The Haikin’s son and his family were there initially to help get the boxes inside, but those boxes ended up sitting in the middle of the floor stacked to the ceiling for months before John and Lauralie recruited help from Restoring Order.
Restoring Order sent one of our consultants to the rescue, helping the couple make sense of their overwhelming move and get “unstuck”. Our method is simple: break the process down into smaller steps that are easier to manage.
One post-move organizing strategy is to settle into your most important public spaces (typically the kitchen and family room) and your most important private spaces (typically your bedroom and bathroom) FIRST, and then prioritize other daily-use spaces.
For the Haikins, their most important public area was the family room, but unfortunately this space was lost in stacks of unopened boxes. Lauralie reflected, “I remember two months after we moved sitting on that couch and looking at all these boxes – we had 300 boxes, 20,000 pounds of stuff, 35 years of marriage – and I just started crying.”
The first step was to open boxes and begin prioritizing the things in them. Our Restoring Order consultant helped the Haikins sort through their belongings, recognizing items they no longer needed or liked. Belongings that didn’t make the cut were donated, while everything else was given a designated place in the new home.
Once the family room was organized, Elaine, John, and Lauralie tackled the couple’s most important private space: their bedroom. When the Haikins first moved in, they had to dig through disorganized boxes just to find clothes.
The first step in the walk-in closet was to determine the location for John and Lauralie’s clothes. Once the “destination” for their clothes was determined, boxes could be unpacked and clothes stowed away. Then they worked on simplifying the room down to things John and Lauralie really loved, things that represented them. Showcasing quilts, a beautiful armoire, a family heirloom hope chest, and creating space for sharing their morning coffee all emerged as top priorities. Once the project was done, the couple had a new sitting area in their bedroom so they could really relax and enjoy their room.
Turning a new house into a home takes time, and figuring out how to make your old stuff work in a new space can be a truly daunting task. If you need help recovering from an overwhelming move, let Restoring Order help you Reclaim Your Life®!
- Learn more about our Professional Organizer Services
- Visit our Preferred Service Providers directory for other moving and hauling company recommendations.
- Hire Vicki to present her training In Order to Move: How to Organize and Mobilize for Transition for your event or group.
- Want more moving ideas? Check out these blogs: