I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but Bart and I found a house in Mississauga (just east of Streetsville) and will get our keys to the place on September 30th – can’t wait! I am slowly but surely packing and organizing for our move. We have hired movers (thank you to my parents for that!), who are coming to get all of my furniture, and a number of boxes, on October 7th. My mom and I will be going to the house on Friday, October 2nd to bring a bunch of boxes and unpack, and so is Bart’s mom – should go a bit quicker that way!
Moving is one of life’s most stressful events, which means it is even more stressful for those of us who suffer from chronic pain and fatigue. I have moved several times before, and it seems like it doesn’t get easier with time! I am slowly but surely packing up a few boxes at a time, as the bending over and moving causes a great deal of back pain for me. Today I packed three boxes in the morning, and three at night – see how slowly the process goes!! My mom is always a life saver, and helped re-pack and organize all of my boxes in the basement which consist of anything home related, and I now am left with clothes (a lot of them might I add), personal items, and odds and ends.
I thought I would share some suggestions that I have learned over the years during my moves 🙂
1. Start packing as early as possible so you can take breaks as needed. Chronic pain is not conducive to last-minute anything. Depending on your degree of mobility, it’s not unrealistic to begin months in advance. Box up the things you don’t use very often and the things you know you can live without. Ideally, you’ll want to have everything but the essentials packed up several days before officially moving out.
2. Get twice the boxes, tape and labels you think you’ll need so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute. Being prepared will save you time and help you avoid stress – two things you need to do if you’re going to tackle a move while in pain.
3. Find your carrying threshold; it could be 40, 20, 11 or four pounds. Whatever it is, don’t allow yourself to attempt carrying anything heavier than your predefined threshold weight. To determine the safest weight to lift, it’s best to get your doctor’s input. If you don’t have a large group helping you move, be ready to pack smaller boxes so that you can accommodate your limits while getting the job done.
4. Find a role that suits you. Moving isn’t all about lifting boxes and carrying furniture. If your carrying threshold doesn’t allow you to help with these jobs, designate yourself as the person who holds doors open, makes sure nothing gets left behind, keeps track of which box ended up where, lays down labels to tell the movers where to set your things in the new home and grabs waters and snacks for everyone. Define your role before the big day so that you don’t get stuck doing a job that puts you at risk.
5. Keep medications, hot pads, ice packs and other treatments on your person at all times. Put these items in an easily-identifiable bag that can stay by your side throughout the entire moving process. Take breaks whenever you feel you need to take care of your body. Include a well-stocked emergency kit as well.
6. Be realistic. This one can be tough to confront, but there are times where it is simply unsafe and unwise to participate in lifting, stair climbing and furniture pushing. Your doctor and your family can help you decide this. If you decide that your body is not ready for the physical and mental stress of a move, be honest with yourself and your family about it. With the right treatment, moving is a task you may be able to take on in as little as a few months.
Once all of the boxes and furniture is at the new house, I will be unpacking slowly but surely, and organizing at my own pace! Luckily, I am marrying a man who understands this, and helps whenever and however he can 🙂
Wish me luck with the rest of my packing!