Moving is stressful, you have thoughts buzzing around your head when you’re trying to get to sleep at night, and you have suggestions and contacts being given to your from friends and work mates. How do you stay sane?
In my case, a cheap exercise book I bought from the supermarket was my lifeline.
It got pretty tattered and messy towards the end, but I loved having a notebook handy to record decisions, ideas and reminders while I was on-the-go.
I simply numbered the first few pages in the book in advance, and drew up a simple Table of Contents on the very first page, like this:
- Ella (my daughter)
- Jasper (my son)
- House – Melbourne
- House – Silicon Valley
- Mail and Services
- Molly (family dog)
- Moke (family car)
- New car
- Packing and Storing
- Sell and Give Away
- Tax and Investments
- Travel Documents
I then wrote each heading on each even-numbered page, allowing a two page break where I thought some topics would be lengthy. I then wrote each page number against the heading in the Table of Contents. Over time, some topics spread over non-consecutive pages, so I just updated the Table of Contents with both page numbers.
I used the notebook to staple in business cards, write “to-do’s”, write lists of Pros and Cons to evaluate a decision, record research about a topic, and just jot down thoughts.
The best thing about the notebook was that I left it in the kitchen for everyone in the family to read and update, so we all contributed to planning the move. The kids had a page each to record a list of items to pack, or to do, that was specific to each child. This got them involved in the process, and alleviated some of their anxiety about forgetting to pack important objects.
The notebook was my information trap, but a pinboard covered with notes, or an electronic task list would do just as well. Our move to San Francisco was a well-planned and smooth exercise and I know getting organized was the key to our success.