How I Handle Moving Stress, Part 2

I just moved across the country for school. The full move was a lot, but I managed to keep stress at bay so let’s jump right back in, shall we?

In part 1, I shared some of my pre-packing tips: the things I did before jumping into the actual physical part of the move. In this article, I present the things that helped me during the actual packing.

And, I have to say, for me, they really worked. I didn’t flare up during the move, at all! Hopefully, there is something here that helps you with your next move and minimizes the risk of flare.

Helpful packing tips for a move

1. Get a stool

Let me tell you, sitting on the ground and trying to pour over an open box, moving back and forth from it, and leaning to grab things is just not RA-friendly. I am short and petite, so getting a stool to sit on made my life so much easier. I also situated a low-end table and placed all the things I needed to pack on it. That way, I did not need to bend over.

2. Breathe

Here’s the thing about moving. It’s going to happen no matter what. Everything will get finished. It has to or I am not taking things with me. I took my time, I didn’t rush things, and I just breathed. I took a few minutes not to necessarily meditate but to just remember: it was going to get done, whether I was stressed or not. I chose 'not stressed.'

3. Ask for help

If possible, ask friends, family, or neighbors for help with the heavy stuff. I don’t like asking for help; never have. But, rheumatoid disease has taught me that I am not capable of certain things anymore. My physical well-being in the long run is not worth sitting behind my pride.

If friends and family are out, ask around the neighborhood. There are always teenagers (or adults) willing to help out for a small fee. Some are just happy to help because they’ve been through a move themselves. Remember that money we saved by saving the boxes, in part one? Use those funds towards aid.

4. Purge the belongings

I learned that I had absolutely too many belongings. Because I started early, I was able to go through my belongings, little by little, and donate a lot of things. Of course, this is not an option in all cases. Like before, sometimes a move is rushed. In that case, I would put the belongings I was not sure about in a dedicated box for me to go through at the endpoint.

Unpack a little at a time

If you read the first article, you will remember my storage unit was back to the brim with my belongings. I didn’t have time to go through them and purge so everything moved across the country with me. Unfortunately, none of the boxes were labeled, but that’s okay because these boxes were sitting in the storage unit for 12 years.

As I saw it, if I didn’t miss anything for over a decade, nothing in those boxes needed to come out immediately. Every day, after we settled in, I unpacked 1 box. If it was a small box with not heavy things, I would maybe do a couple. There was no reason for me to rush this process. Once again, I didn’t want to risk a flare.

What do you think of these tips? Are they helpful? What are some methods you use during a move? Let me know in the comments!

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