According to the National Association of Realtors, 4.79 million homes were sold in October 2012. All of those people are going to be – you guessed it – moving during the holidays. Life rarely follows a neat, convenient script and lots of folks find themselves unavoidably moving during the busy holiday season.
So how do you manage a move and ensure that you don’t miss a year of celebrations and gatherings with friends and family – even when the move is unexpected due to a job change or family situation? And how do you do it with “coming unglued,” so to speak?
A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association indicates that stress goes up during the holidays because of “multiple stressors.” Participants cited lack of time (69%), lack of money (69%) and pressure to shop for gifts (51%) as significant stressors. These same participants rated their psychological and physical health lower and were more likely to experience sadness, insomnia and low energy.
With the additional packing and details of moving it is hard to imagine adding shopping and decorating to the list. Here’s the simple answer: Don’t.
The secret is less strategy, less planning and more attitude adjustment. Easy, right? Put simply: leave the chaos at home, get out and enjoy the seasonal events.
In a now famous 2004 research study conducted by University of Colorado Boulder assistant professor of psychology Leaf Van Boven, participants repeatedly and consistently reported that experiences made them happier than possessions. In a series of surveys and experiments spanning several years, Van Boven showed that people from various walks of life were made happier by investing in life experiences rather than in material goods.
Take a holiday move as an opportunity to take a break from decorating, baking and shopping. Rather than staying home and trying to have a “normal” holiday, get away from the boxes and clutter, go out and enjoy your community.
Most communities have little theatre productions, musical performances, holiday craft fairs and tree lighting events. Many events, particularly musical events at churches, are free. This is a great way to enjoy the holidays while eliminating stress and staying out of the chaos of the boxes in the hallway!
Plan to lengthen your stay with relatives. Sure, that can be stressful too. But what better time to turn a disadvantage into an advantage, so to speak? If you’ve been putting off staying an extra night with grandma, make this the year you do it. Have a decorating party and decorate Grandma’s house instead of your own. Pull out all her old decorations that she’s been unable to use on her own and put them to use.
Keep the shopping simple. There’s nothing like moving to help us realize that Americans simply have too much stuff. Take the lesson seriously and shop less and spend less. Start a new tradition: only shop for the kids. Have all the adults agree not to exchange or to have a name drawing and only buy one adult gift.
Moving is one of life’s big transitions. Making a move during the holidays could be daunting. Don’t let it be. Get out in the community and enjoy your old community for the last time or your new community for the first time.
Call T-N-T Moving Systems to help make your transition smoother. Owners Tom and Todd get it! They help with the move while keeping your stress to a minimum. And even after all these years, they still take all their calls personally. You can reach Tom and Todd at 704-523-1455 or visit their website at www.tntmovingsystems.com.