When You're Moving, Go Camping!
I'm convinced that taking a short vacation when you're smack-dab in the middle of moving is a good idea. I will recommend it to my clients from this day on.
It was February when I planned a two-night, three-day camping trip not too far from home. I avoided conflicts with the boy's baseball games or track meets. Little did I know, by this time, I would have not only closed escrow on a new home but also found myself wading in moving boxes filled with tissue paper and fully wrapped in packing bubbles.
The realization of stopping all packing-related activities with only nine days before we have to be out of our current home, thoroughly cleaned, including the carpets, freaked me out! Well, at least at first.
I mean, it's camping. A campsite is like a second home for me - a happy place. I didn't want to cancel. The boys wouldn't want me to cancel. So, I had to check in on our packing progress.
✅All non-essentials packed already in all rooms
✅ All boxes and materials on hand
It's decided! A few nights sleeping on dirt, cooking over an open flame, and becoming one with nature for the win! (Even though our garage is a bit of a wild card. If our packing timeline goes pearshaped, it will be because of that abyss. I'm willing to take the risk.)
We came into that campsite like a wrecking ball. Our energy was a mix of excitement and residual stress from a dizzying 14-day escrow. I was shocked at how loud we were, and I knew we were there to quiet down. It was time to listen to nature's cues.
I listened, and it was fascinating.
It was our first night sleeping in the tent, and we rarely put the roof on it, so it was like a room with two big windows to the sky. After the boys were all asleep, I lay there. Usually, I would look at the stars, but it was a cloudy night. It wasn't a disappointment, though. The ambient moonlight reflected off the clouds making it very bright.
I heard the owl hooting to each other and a screech of one hunting. Cows were crying out from the nearby ranch, and I found myself waiting for the song of an unknown bird. I didn't think birds were even awake this late at night. It was a beautiful song followed by a simple call, and then it would stop for what seemed like an hour until it would sing again.
While I waited for wild sounds in the night, I laid out design plans for my new entryway. I found a way to re-purpose a portion of the original kitchen cabinets from 1953 to create a focal point. I'm thrilled about the plan, and I hope it works out in real life.
My mind would wander as I stared into the bright sky. Stopping to be silent allowed me to be happy and grateful for those who helped me close on this house. It wasn't an easy transaction. It had many moving parts, but I wanted this house more than any other house in my lifetime of making offers. It was worth it.
I also planned the rest of our move that night, but it didn't feel stressful. I wasn't lying awake because of fear, panic, or negativity. It was as though the plans were flowing through me. I swear sleeping on the dirt is magical.
For me, camping brings out the best homemaker in me. I had to be organized in my packing to take what I needed and nothing more. I take pride in keeping our campsite organized and clean. Cooking over an open flame excites me. I plan meals we'd cook at home and try them on the fire. Camping organizes me, pushes me to act succinctly, and allows me to let go simultaneously.
When we returned home, I was able to keep my moment going towards packing and cleaning at home. I felt renewed and ready to take on the home stretch of this move.
I never thought I would advise my clients to take a short camping trip or mini-vacation in the middle of their packing and to move, but I will. I am.
I believe a packing vacation is possible and essential with a 30-day escrow or longer. Plan your move by the day, and stick to a schedule doing a little work each day. Start by packing all non-essential or seasonal items. Schedule movers or a truck, transfer utilities and donate any unwanted items to charity.
About two weeks before your move, get away from it all! If camping isn't your thing, I suggest a night at a hotel with room service, spa treatment, or anything that spoils you.
Moving is hard work, not to mention all the hard work to find a new home or sell your existing one. You pour your heart and soul into buying, selling, and moving.
You deserve to recharge. It will do you wonders.