Moving. You would think someone who has spent most her life moving would have a system to help keep things organized and keep the stress minimal. While enlisted in the Navy, I picked up even more efficient systems for moving. Then… I married a military man and our moves became much more complicated. We are that family that has experienced only last-minute moves… not 100% knowing when AND where in the world we're going with more than a month's warning.
Moving isn't for the faint of heart… unless you're living the minimalist life of a nomad, which I often do dream about… especially during moving time. One of my favorite things about moving, is purging through anything we don't need or no longer brings us joy. We usually know approximately when we will be moving again (though this time we know our next move will be any time in 2020, where as in the past we at least knew the month and year), so that sets us up for a little advance preparation.
How we prepare for moves:
- Go through the house one room at a time… search through everything and put into piles anything not used over the past 9 months. Anything not used… seriously consider donating it.
- Purge old kid clothes that are too small for all the kids we currently have (especially in our case where we don't plan to have any more… and have bins full of newborn to 2T sizes that we no longer have use for that are all vacuum sealed from our previous move)
- Get rid of any shelf items that no longer brings joy or is useful
- Purge office paperwork by scanning everything into the computer and ditching the hard copy papers… then back up the computer to an external hard drive and/or CD
- If you're a military family or have hired a moving crew to help you… prestage everything you plan to take with you in your vehicle AND remove the trash from inside the house. Don't be like me and use the excuse of “oh the movers are here 2 hours early with no notice” and scramble to shove everything into a bathtub.
- If your a military family (or hired movers), make sure to pack all your expensive valuables, including jewelry, or anything irreplaceable with YOU so they don't conveniently go missing (we've lost expensive calculators and random boxes) or broken.
- Keep your lists, memos, notes, and any other info you need (and lists of lists, if you're a planner) in the same spiral notebook so it won't get lost in the chaos
- Doggie Daycare or Rover… just sayin…
- Store your essential oils in a solid hard case for traveling… and keep it in your car so it won't get packed with the movers. ** pro tip: slow down your oil-buying habit to what you frequently use and NEED… use up your stash as much as possible… (space is always limited)
- In your notebook, keep track of your old addresses and lists of subscriptions/banks/utilities/post office…etc… whom you'll need to update your address with when you know where you're going
- Set aside anything you'll need for quick self-care moments… yes, this is absolutely necessary!
- Set up a pet sitting service if you have animals to help make the move process easier.
Our last move was in 2015, moving from Rhode Island to Virginia with a baby and a Rottweiler by myself because my husband needed to be at his next command with 3 days notice. All bets were off. This time (2018)… We are moving with a baby and a pre-schooler… and two giant dogs who just want to be in the middle of everything… with 1 month's notice… half way across the country to Texas.
I've spent the majority of my life moving… this is my 28th move in my 34 years of being alive… and not one of those moves helped me prepare for the chaos of crazy that is moving with two young boys. By the way… it is CRAZY to see that number when writing it out. While I'm super excited for a new adventure, and super experienced with the random pick up and goes… it doesn't mean moving (especially half way across the country) is particularly simple, easy, or stress-free.
Thankfully, military moves are painfully easy… AND our post office was great with holding our mail until we are able to call them with our updated address after a month of traveling around the country for various classes on our way to my husband's next duty station.
With a military move – a small crew comes in and packs everything (usually takes 1-2 full days), then the next day your things are all hauled away to meet you at your destination. Painfully easy. I'm not allowed to touch anything they pack, and I'm not allowed to pack for them… while sometimes I want to scream because things aren't being packed efficiently and care isn't always being taken with fragile items.
Have I mentioned I have a “mild” obsession with organization?
Three strangers came in, only one speaking English, and immediately went to three separate rooms and packed with such wild efficiency. They were efficient to a fault. Of course random items were mixed together, no one took proper inventory, and most boxes were either mislabeled or not fully labeled. Things were packed that were against company policy, including perishable items, candles, other fire/explosion hazards, and our trash. Yes… our trash was packed… after being set aside, labeled, and asked to leave alone… and there I am… stuck looking forward to unboxing that one when we get to our destination… I mentioned we had a baby right?? Yuck for week-old hot mess diapers.
Up went my stress, and out came my oils.
This is usually the time in a blog post where I'll offer my favorite DIY recipes, tips, tricks, hacks, and other fun suggestions to inspire you as you read… not this time (#sorrynotsorry).
This time, there was no time nor kitchen counter space for DIY. And with having less than a month to plan and execute this move, we didn't have much time for anything other than searching for a new house to move into 1,548 miles away in Texas, getting our home in Virginia ready to either sell or rent to a new family, taking care of our family needs, and continuing to work my business while my husband continued working over time hours. Our “down time” was spent scrambling through all the logistics involved with moving our family half way across the country.
I didn't want to be worrying any type of testing to see what may or may not work while in the middle of all the chaos… plus I insist on maintaining my fully open and honest policy writing here, where I enjoy writing to you about my experiences. Instead, I wanted something tried and true, without needing to add DIY time to my to-do list… and needed something to help me keep my calm and sane in the middle of chasing around movers, a preschooler, a newly mobile 12 month old, 2 giant dogs (one neurotic about moving), and an overwhelmed husband.
And lets face it… when life throws curveballs all at once… its nice and needed to take a 30 second self-care moment, and mist all the chaos with something that smells pretty to help uplift us enough to avoid total burnout.
My husband laughs at me because I always seem to have an oil for everything. This day was no different.
For this move, I used six essential oils!
This was my most used oils during the moving preparation process. It is a blend of black spruce, geranium, orange, lavender, sage, and rose essential oils.
Envision has a very welcoming, encouraging, and inspiring aroma. I diffused a few drops and pleasantly daydreamed about what our next location would be like, how the house would be arranged, and all the lovely new friendships we will be blessed with in a place we've never been to before.
Visualizing is a key component to manifesting our reality. Using Envision essential oil blend helps facilitate that visualizing, and feeling open to new experiences. My favorite ways to use Envision is diffusing or in a diffuser necklace. When used topically, its best to dilute and apply over your forehead, temples, and/or wrists. Sometimes I brush a few drops through my hair or add it to a cup o Epsom salts and add it to a warm bath. It is also makes a great nontoxic perfume or cologne!
Peace & Calming
This is among my favorites and a favorite oil of my two sons. Just as it sounds, Peace and Calming helps calm the nerves and relax. This was wonderful to diffuse and helped all of us relax in the chaos of our box piles. Our Rottweiler especially needed it!
Peace & Calming is a member favorite essential oil blend. It is made with tangerine, orange, ylang ylang, patchouli, and blue tansy essential oils. It's fantastic to help everyone chill out and relax… adults… kids… dogs… everyone.
This was my “the movers finally left for the day and I need a break” go-to oil.
Because as a mom, there is no such thing as “enough energy” into my day…
… And because that pile of items in the sink that wasn't supposed to be packed ended up boxed up somewhere without being labeled too (where my energy shots also were).
After mixing with some fractionated coconut oil (that I thankfully had the forethought to keep in my diaper bag in my car), I applied to my wrists and the back of my neck. I was pleasantly surprised to not need a nap at all during the packing process.
During our endless-hour 3-day road trip to our new place, I dabbed some on the collar of my shirt and was really excited to not feel any need for naps or caffeine! We will definitely be keeping this on hand!
Just as it sounds, Stress Away helps reduce that panicky feeling you get when you are overwhelmed and stressed – or when you want to pull your hair out because you're trying to explain through a massive language barrier to someone not to touch any item in the bathroom because that's where your much-needed suitcase of clean underwear and toothpaste are hidden. Now that it is over… I'm shaking my head, asking myself why I didn't just lock the bathroom…
Stress Away is that oil blend that reminds me of sipping Margaritas in Arizona with my parents. I often joke that it is my non-alcoholic margarita in a bottle. This is often my go-to oil for a much-needed 30-second self-care moment sniff. Take in a deep breath through your nose with the bottle under it… and by the time you finish slowly exhaling you notice the tension literally flows out your nose with your breath.
Thankfully I keep Stress Away diluted in a handy roller bottle in our diaper bag next to my wallet for quick and easy access – a slow sniff and a quick swipe across the wrists and back of the neck and breathe in the lovely vanilla-lime aroma that almost instantly melts those tense, anxious feelings. It even helped the dog!
Also known as “chiropractor in a bottle,” Valor is definitely a favorite in our home. Valor went to work for me soothing my sore muscles attained by carrying around my 26 lb 12 month old, chasing after my wild 4-year-old, and tripping over 2 very clingy 100 lb fur monsters hiding in my shadow (we have a Rottweiler and a Newfoundland).
Valor is a blend of black spruce, camphor, blue tansy, frankincense, and geranium essential oils. This oil blend not only helps with supporting our overworked muscles… it also is amazing at helping ground our minds so we're feeling calm, capable, and confident.
It isn't any secret… stress may reduce our immune functioning significantly. While doing what we can to minimize the effects of stress, it's also wise to do what we can to boost our immune systems.. for us and our kids… because… lets face it… the last thing you want to do while moving is to catch a case of stress-induced crud.
Thieves essential oil blend is a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus (radiata), and rosemary essential oils, and is a total powerhouse when it comes to boosting immune functioning. We don't travel away from home (or move homes) without it! Especially when I just need to sit and sip a cup of lovely Thieves Tea.
How do you handle moving?
Do you use oils to help keep you calm, energized, and motivated? Tell us about it in the comments!
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