It's All About Timing.jpg

Ten people in my circle are moving homes in the next two months. As they pack, all are downsizing decades of accumulated stuff. They all have lots to say about the timing of decisions at a time when the ground feels as though it is shifting beneath them. 

in the midst of this upheaval in their lives, they offer these helpful hints:

  • Set limits on what times during the day you will make decisions. Although some of us are morning larks and others are night hawks that doesn't mean that the best decisions are made upon first waking or late at night. This can be especially true for joint decision-making if you happen to have a partner whose best time of day is at the other end of yours! 

  • Make no decisions or have difficult conversations after 9 PM or before 9 AM. This off-limits time may be helpful for conversation but not decisions about what will be downsized.

  • Give every big decision at least 24 hours of thought. This includes selecting which of the three movers you will use or deciding about an exciting offer of additional features in your new home that will then cost you more. A big decision that needs to be thoughtfully considered includes someone offering to take a prized possession off your hands, or an adult child that offers to do much of the work for you (on their terms).  In each case, there is no need for an immediate decision despite the pressure of an upcoming move. Sleep on it! 

  • Schedule a difficult downsizing decision for your best time of day which is not when you are exhausted and out-of-sorts!  Attempt to not make too many critical choices in a short period of time. 

  • Take regular breaks in the midst of the packing to lie down and simply look at the ceiling. There is usually not much that needs packing in that area! 

  • Keep regular routines including an hour with coffee and conversation in the morning before the fast pace of decision-making and packing begins.  A day of work intentionally ending by 9:00 PM leaves time for a good book or a game before sleep.

Perhaps all these ideas from people currently in the midst of a move seem like well-known solutions to decision-making.  However, sometimes in the midst of high stress as a move often is, we would do well to be reminded of this wisdom from those in the throes of the experience.  

When you think of moves you have made, what would be your advice about timing to lower stress?