We all know the stats. Moving home is one of the most stressful events, on a par with bereavement and divorce. Pretty strong stuff
And why wouldn’t it be? You trawl round houses that just don’t meet your needs only to find one where your offer isn’t accepted, or the seller takes the house off the market, or in today’s world you realise you can’t actually afford to live in the city you love and work in, there’s always some compromise in the place you settle on, you live in a pile of boxes for weeks on end at one side, and then the same on the other, and it’s expensive. No-one does things when they say they will, so you end up spending half your life chasing up a solicitor, estate agent, or utility provider, only to end up listening to a tinny version of Greensleeves for 10 minutes. Who wouldn’t have a melt down by this point?
But I am feeling pretty much stress free this home move. I have been through every one of the above, and still not at the point where I might stab someone’s eye out with a random knitting needle , usefully found when packing.
So why am I calm, and can this be something easily adopted by anyone? Well I have to give some credit at this point to my good lady wife, who is about THE most organised person on the planet, and so had boxes and bags of things packed so far in advance I am not sure we’d even found somewhere, so packing has been easy. However we have had all the pit falls of buyers pulling out, house move drag on, having to save extra as the money from our flat sale wasn’t enough. Yet I feel strangely zen.
I put this down to a few things, and I am most happy to say these link to minimalism and mindfulness which is my daily ethos for living.
Minimalism because we have shed half, yes half, of our belongings in the last year. Minimalism has been something we’ve loved working on, and so many things have left our home to crowd the car boot sales of Yorkshire; books halved, CDs and DVDs pretty much eradicated, knick knacks donated, more radically all TVs rehomed to the mother-in-law. We have identified how much greater we feel without things that we don’t need or love. So packing is a pretty much far easier task as we’ve got so much less to pack. Ditto furniture…we’ve pared down to what we know we use, and what gives us what we need to live the way we want, and everything else is gone. So even when packed there still isn’t the level of clutter there would be.
Alongside this is acceptance. Acceptance that moving house can be a difficult process, and with this a ‘give ourselves a break’ mantra. So in the last couple of months leading to exchange of contracts we’ve cut down on what we’ve done socially so we have quality time together, time for naps and relaxation, we haven’t pushed ourselves into lots of activities that would have tired us, drained us, or over committed, as is often a problem in our busy modern world. So we’ve had time and space to allow any stresses to come out over a coffee, a walk or an afternoon nap. Simple living at it’s finest.
On top of this I add a mediation. I have only started daily meditation this week, so I won’t pretend I have been doing it daily throughout the process, but I do meditate, and I do practice mindfulness, which has made a massive difference in my stress levels, and in how I react to the stresses of moving. Meditation brings a peace and inner calm that can be maintained in daily practice and has made a big difference.
I can’t say there haven’t been trying times because that would be a lie. I recall the three weeks of waiting for an asking price offer to be accepted on somewhere, only to have the seller pull out as a particular favourite. But by using all these tools, I have been able to accept, calm and centre, and move on.
The moving day is yet to come, and I will let you know if mindfulness is possible when all around is is chaos. Possibly more meditation may be required at regular intervals, particularly as we are going to move ourselves. Hope your moving home process can be as stress free too…