Oh-my-goodness moving is hard, you guys.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone, ever say, I Love Moving.
I Love Moving…Not.
There are pros and cons of moving with a family. True, there is excitement and adventure. Some people get itchy feet and are ready to try something new. But the actual moving process?
Just say you are in the middle of moving and people say, “Ooooh, yeah.” You get sympathetic nods. Some people actually wince in remembered pain.
People who have lived in their homes for 10+ years (let alone 20+, 30+, and more) get a glazed look on their faces. Their minds go straight to their overstuffed garages, attics, and basements. They are thinking, “Good God in heaven, what if I had to move right now? I would be dead meat.”
My husband and I have decided packing a house is like a giant game of tetris.
I was really dreading the whole moving process. I mean, really dreading it. I won’t lie, there have been some big cons to moving.
But there have also been some unexpected pros.
Often a move is because of a job change, or maybe you really need a different house or school situation, so the short-term pain of the move is worth it in the long run. The move process isn’t great, but you proverbially grit your teeth and get through it.
Still, I’ve discovered there are some good aspects to be found in the move process itself, too.
The Pros and Cons of Moving with a Family
Let’s start with the negatives and get those over with. ‘Cause I won’t lie. There are plenty of negatives here.
The Cons of Moving
- Moving is craaaaaazy. No matter how you slice it, moving is just a big ol’ huge ugly hassle. Everything is torn up, you can’t find stuff, and you really want to sit down and forget about the whole darn thing. I don’t care how much you color code, organize, list, and box it, it’s still a huge hassle.
- Moving is expensive. Moving costs a lot of money. Even if you have a company or employer paying for your move (and you are blessed if that is the case), you are still going to end up shelling out money for stuff, like meals on the run, items for the new house that the old house didn’t have, or things that you have to buy because you know you have it somewhere, but there’s no way you are going to find it in those endless boxes.
- Moving sucks up vast amounts of time. I’m amazed at the incredible amounts of time we spend working on things for this move. The packing of items into boxes seems like the relatively easy part. Transferring things like internet and banking, kids’ school, closing things down and registering new, these processes all take hours of time that have to come from somewhere that you normally would be doing something else. For awhile it becomes like another part-time job.
- Moving is stressful. This probably goes without saying, but it makes me feel better to say it. (And I’m in the middle of a move, so be nice to me.) MOVING IS STRESSFUL! Ack! As if life isn’t stressful enough, add on the stress of the 1,000 details involved in a move, and it’s enough to send even the most patient or organized person over the edge at various times throughout the process. When you have children, you have the added worry of how your children are doing, and possible guilt, as you guide them through all of this. Each family member will handle it a little differently, too, so this requires ongoing conversation.
As much as there are negatives, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover some positives I hadn’t planned to experience. It’s not all negative! Check out these benefits when you move with a family.
The Pros of Moving
- You have more family time. Okay, true, packing boxes, standing in line at the post office, and recaulking the bathroom might not be what you had in mind for ideal family time, but it IS time spent together, and ironically these just might end up being some of your best family memories. I’ve loved watching my husband and son work together on house projects, and my daughters and I have spent hours chatting as we’ve run errands and worked on the house.
- You quit some activities and have fewer outside responsibilities. Suddenly, you get to let go of some responsibilities because you won’t be here, and I have to say that’s a pretty nice bonus to moving. You can wrap up with the PTA and you don’t have to sign up to be in charge of next year’s Sunday School picnic.
- You get rid of a lot of junk. We have become good friends with our Goodwill drop off people, and it’s been an incredibly freeing feeling to get rid of a lot of junk we don’t need. We are purging with a vengeance.
- You discover who your true friends are. True friends will come and help you clean your bathrooms, paint your kitchen, or whatever else you need before a big move. Some people drop out of your life quickly as if you have left the planet. Especially if the reality is you aren’t going to be in the area much longer, you are realizing honest, true-forever friends.
- You will grow as individuals and grow closer as a family. I am getting emotional even as I’m typing this now. I’ve been astounded at the growth I’ve seen in my children through this move process. I’m so proud of them! Our teens have stepped up to the plate and done the work of adults in helping us prepare the house and handle many details in getting ready for this move. I’ve seen all our children become closer to each other, to us, and I’ve been humbled to watch as God grows their faith through this experience, too.
- You will see God provide in amazing ways. I recently read the following passage from 2 Kings during my morning devotions, and it gave me chills to see how God provided miraculously. Throughout this move, our family has had to rely on God when we didn’t know how we would handle times of challenge, and we have seen God come through for us.
You will see that in your life, too. One of my greatest joys has been hearing my kids say things like, “God really provided for us with that one.” It has made every tough moment worth it! Read this passage for yourself and see the miracle:
Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” 2 And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” 3 Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. 4 Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” 5 So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. 6 When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7 She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”
2 Kings 4:1-7
While just like me you might find yourself saying, “I love moving…NOT!” hang in there. True, there are many cons to moving with a family, but you will find there are also quite a few pros, some you might not have expected.
After the Boxes Are UnPacked — book
Moving with Kids — book
Moving Stretch Wrap –highly recommend!
1-800-Got Junk — removal company, highly recommend
Have you moved with a family? Were there some unexpected challenges and benefits?