We've all heard of the honeymoon phase of marriage. It can be anywhere from the first few weeks to the first few months of marriage when everything is still exciting and you're not really getting into any fights yet. It's that time when you both still have rose colored glasses on and you're both on the high of spending the rest of your lives together. This is a wonderful phase. It's also an important phase because when things start getting real and the other person starts to annoy you, look back and remember all the wonderful aspects about them that makes you love them.
I'm a firm believer that it is the exact same for moving.
At first when you move it feels almost like you're on vacation. You're so busy visiting all of the new places and exploring the new digs, is that a word people still use "digs", that it almost doesn't feel like you live there. You're so caught up in the new museums and places to eat that you forget that you moved here, this is where you live now.
For me, this phase lasts about three-four months. I see the morning light and get so excited that I made the change. I go to the farmers markets and feel such elation from the new produce and new local food. This may sound a little extreme, but it's really how I feel. I walk home from work, if I live close enough, to get a feel of the city. Completely forgetting that I live here now and will get a feel of the city weather I want to or not.
Then after my first few honeymoon months, something happens. It's not as exciting to walk home, it feel just like it takes longer. The farmers markets get harder to go to each week because I have chores around the house to do and need to organize my life. I've noticed over my past few moved that two things in particular help me descend from my cloud of "everything is is so amazing here" at a much smoother and slower pace.
While still on the high of "everything is awesome" I need to get involved somewhere. I need to start creating relationships with friends who can help me get through the "yuck" days I know are coming. Get to know the people who are around you. Ask the name of your barista at the coffee shop that you found while walking home that you loved. Go to yoga class, or church, or somewhere where you can start making connections with people who live near you. It's the harder of the two, but so so important. Around month three is when you start to look back on old photos and miss your friends and family on a much deeper level. You start to romanticize the place that you moved from and forget the reasons why you moved in the first place. In these moments having people around is the number one help moving through this.
Within the first two weeks or so of moving you'll have a day here and there where you feel like "wow I really moved!" but those moments are much more shallow than those you feel in month three and four. Get involved somewhere!
The second thing, for me, that helps is creating my home. Those first weeks that you are so motivated to go explore and see the world around you, also need to be the weeks where you use that energy to unpack. You're home full of boxes looks more like "out of the box" than a real home. All the throwback references today. Anyone remember "out of the box" I wanted to live there too badly!! I took my parents old refrigerator box and created a fort and tried to live in it for like a week. Ok, back to the real topic.
Create a home for yourself in you new house or apartment. The first thing I do when I move into an apartment is clean every surface! This is the easiest was to have any place feel like yours. It's a clean slate that you can build off of. Put your dishes away in the kitchen, make your bed your bed, and put curtains up!! Put curtains up, it instantly changes any room. Hang your pictures on the walls and play your favorite songs. During the "slump" portion of moving you'll thank yourself that at least your home feels like yours. When all of the outside world feels overwhelming, you're home is a place where you can take solace.
What are your tips when moving? What makes your new place feel like home?