One of the most stressful life transitions is moving!
I recently had the experience of visiting and assisting friends who are moving cross country. After living in their home for fifteen years, they were trying to figure out what to sell, pack or throw away.
Statistics indicate the average American family moves every five years with a total of 16 moves in a lifetime. Military families may move as many as 20 times. In any given year one in six American families move. Common reasons for moving include: graduation from college, corporate transfers, changes in status such as marriage, divorce and retirement. For divorced families, the number of moves increases.
I have experienced all of the aforementioned variety of moves with the exception of retirement. All the moves had their share of difficulty based on budget, the amount of stuff to move, and how much assistance I had. Looking back, the divorce move was the most difficult, because it was so emotional. The out of state move was also challenging, however I appreciated having the moving company do most of the work. Two ladies packed most of our belongings in less than 14 hours and then three men came and loaded everything on a big truck.
On average, each move requires approximately 50 boxes.
That's over 800 boxes in a lifetime!
Why does moving require so many boxes? The main reason is because we manage to collect a lot of possessions we feel we cannot part with. Why do we attempt to hang on to so many things? If you look in my attic at this moment, you will find boxes from college I have moved from house to house. My college books are useless, so why do I still have them? Why do I keep clothes I can't wear anymore? Why do I still own 6 inch heels I will most likely never wear again? Why do I still have my eighteen year old daughter's baby blanket?
We have been in our current home for eight years. Because all but one of our children are grown, we have started talking about downsizing, which means I have to get rid of some of my treasured belongings. Whenever we decided to move, most likely movers will not be showing up to pack everything magically in one day and deliver it to our new home. We will have to do all the work ourselves. Bummer!
To see if we were an average family having moved sixteen times, I counted up my moves and asked my husband to do the same. I counted sixteen in my lifetime and he counted fifteen. Wow! What about you? How many times have you moved?
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach