10 Ways Friends Can Help without Driving You Nuts
When everyone knows you’re moving, especially far away, the most popular question is, “How can I help?” In the middle of the chaos, you might not be able to think of practical ways for them to help because there is so much decision-making that depends on you! Before we moved overseas I found a few different ways for people to help that didn’t require my direct oversight and, believe it or not, really did help!
1 | BABYSIT!!!!
Having someone interact meaningfully with your children is so important during this time so that they have positive memories of preparing to move so far away. Plus it gives you that much-needed concentrated decision making time and/or precious “don’t-forget-we’re-still-married” date time.
2 | Bring meals over or have you over for supper.
This is especially helpful at the end when you want to be emptying your house and you’re busy enough packing without having to go grocery shopping and preparing meals. Going over to friends’ houses for meals is helpful in the goodbye process because it meets more than one need (you get fed, you have significant time with friends, and you’re forced to stop and rest at the end of the day)
3 | Scan your important documents.
Important documents are things that you need to prove your identity, register your kids for school, apply for a visa in a foreign country, et cetera: Passports, birth certificates, past tax reports, marriage certificate, ordination certificate, transcripts, wills, social security cards… Save them in three locations (like a USB stick or cloud storage that someone else has access to), one for you, and two to keep with trusted friends/family in two different locations (just in case). Put all the actual documents in a fireproof safe to store at one of those trusted friends and family (except the passports and drivers licenses, obviously).
4 | Scan photos and scrapbook pages for digital copies to take with you.
When you move overseas, there are two elements at play: 1) weight in the suitcase is a limited resource (imagine your life in 50 pounds or less), and 2) you don’t want to take your original photos to a place you might have to leave quickly. You can always print photos once you arrive and frame them there.
5 | Notice what you may have overlooked.
When you think you’re almost done packing, have a friend go through rooms in your house with you and pick up absolutely everything and ask, “Take? Store? Give away?” You’ll be surprised what you’ll overlook if you do this on your own!
6 | Drive loads of giveaways to your local charity for you.
As you’re preparing to leave, your donation pile will become a mountain. And who has time to load it into a car and then unload it at the local thrift store? Anyone with a spare 20 minutes can do this for you! Bonus points if they give you a quick hug, drop off your favorite refreshing beverage, and then don’t stick around to keep you from doing what you were in the middle of!
7 | Give you flat and light things as goodbye gifts.
Why does everyone want to give scrapbooks, photo frames, or books? The best goodbye gifts are light and flat! For example, a magnet with a family photo, a DVD with a recording of goodbye messages from loved ones, or an envelope with a collection of people’s wishes and prayers for you.
8 | Hold you accountable to prayer and devotional time during this busy season.
This is SO important, because if you can’t manage to do this in a chaotic season of life, then chaos will soon overwhelm you! Remember, there will be transition on the other side of the move, too, so find a habit that works during transition. God’s math is not our math. What I mean by this is that when you take away time from your day to spend time with Him, somehow you end up with more time.
9 | Clean up your house after you leave.
You probably won’t have the travel schedule that allows you to buffer in two hours of house cleaning before your departure. Plus, wouldn’t you rather be spending time with loved ones or getting those two extra hours of sleep if you have an early morning flight? Let someone else clean up after you (and that includes leaving your sheets on the bed the day you leave)!
10 | Organize and run a garage sale for you (proceeds, of course, going toward your transition needs/support fund).
I still remember the garage sale our church ran for us (from our house) before we moved overseas! The freedom to come and go and not worry about managing my own garage sale was amazing! Plus, as I was packing and sorting, if I came across anything I really did want to sell I didn’t have to go far to do it. Set up a donation bucket next to the money box with a sign explaining what a good cause the money is going toward. People love a good cause to participate in!
- Posted by hellobabs
- On May 2, 2018
- 0 Comment