Baby steps in Relocation – 7 small tips to keep sane in international relocation

Many of my clients relocate regularly. I usually move every three years. With the time you get better at relocating but it is usually still stressful. Relocation is one of the top 10 stress factors in your life. It does not rank as high as the death of your spouse but close to your own marriage in common stress factors.

What can you do to make it a little less painful?

1) Organize:
It is all about organizing yourself and all those relocating with you. Try to break down the move in as many baby steps as possible and work those off day by day. Better one baby step a day than a huge step in a week.

2) Reserve time to get tasks done:
You can set aside a time in your diary possible early in the morning where you get 1 or 2 relocation items off your checklist. You will instantly feel better for the rest of day.

3) Delegate:
If you can work with a professional relocation company clarify expectations early. Find out what their service includes. Usually they will do the packing but not the un-packing of your boxes. Get an understanding of the volume your company will pay for you to relocate. Discuss early which items you will store.

4) Seperate important docs:
Sometimes the most important customs documents or your child’s passport end up in a moving box. Important documents need to be separated and best kept outside of the apartment during the packing process. Scan all of them and put them in an electronic folder like dropbox where you can access them at any time.

5) Make sure people have enough to eat:
Moving is stressful enough. You can create a good atmosphere by providing enough food and drinks to get through the packing.

6) Plan at least two days for arrival and un-packing:
My mum once had to unpack all my boxes because I needed to start to work. It took me quite a while to find out where everything was. Some of the things my mum put away nicely are still where they were three years ago. Try to make sure you have enough time to unpack. With children you need to plan extra time too.

7) Shit happens:
Sometimes moving goods get lost at sea or damaged. If you care too much about granny Susanne’s old kitchen cupboard you might need to consider to store it. If it is valuable make sure you get proper insurance.

These are seven small tips for keeping sane during relocation. Let me know what you think of it.



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