Monday, March 25, 2013

Preparing to go

With our pending departure to China, there is much to do and only another 4 months to do it in.  I am in no way an expert on moving from one nation to another but these are the things that I know really work for me and have helped alleviate some of the stress and pressure of our preparations.
1.  Make a list 
My husband and I share a google doc, which enables us to keep adding things to the list and to tick it off as and when it's done.  We also try and put a time frame we hope it's to be done by.

2.  First things first
Do the important things first.  The deal breakers need to be first.  Sometimes just because I am tired of a specific task I may find a task that's not so important to do but I don't get stuck or distracted there, its just a temporary reprieve.

3.  A little at a time
Start the process as early as possible and keep going.  I don't do mountains.  I break everything up into smaller parts and keep doing it.  If I need to sort through clothes - I do a drawer today, a drawer tomorrow.  This way I stay motivated, keep doing and it all becomes achievable.

4.  Declutter again and again
I have probably decluttered about 4 times already.  Hoarding and keeping things for just in case, seems to be a pattern in our family.  It helps to go through rooms more than once as time passes, because you start to become more and more discerning in your choice of what stays.

5.  Make time for friends and family
Don't withdraw, don't end things abruptly.  Friends and family are important and they count.  You may be moving to another country but you are not leaving planet earth.  They also need time to get used to the idea and the children need the time to communicate with their friends.

6.  Get your children involved
They can do so much.  Simple tasks like checking which clothes still fit, sorting through cupboards, writing thank yous.  The more involved they are the more they will adjust to the idea of going.

7.  Read Read Read
Read books, read sites aimed at expats, read travel books, autobiographies written by locals.  There more you know from different perspectives the more prepared you will be.

8.  Chat to people who have done what you want to do 
Talk to those in the know.  Ask for their to do list, ask them for advice.  Even if they don't offer you any revelations, they definitely will know how you feel and might be a shoulder to cry on or to bare your soul.

9.  Learn the language as soon as possible
Of course if you are moving to an English speaking nation - you're probably not going to do this.  However, if like us you plan to go to China, then Mandarin is a must.  My children have been studying Mandarin for about 2 years already.  They have made some progress and though they may not be fluent by the time we get there, they are definitely going to be more prepared - and they will pick the language up very easily because they already have some foundations.

10.  Not everything will go according to plan
And that's OK if you have left enough time for the unforeseen.

Who knows in a month I might change this list or add some more but these work for the moment.  Have you moved to another country?  What would you add to this list?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Go ahead, leave a comment! I would love to hear from you!