Visualize Your Way to a Successful Move Day

By Anney Ardiel, Certified Professional Consultant on Aging and owner of Act Together Moving Services

If you are struggling to face a coming move and dreading the future in your new home, visualization exercises can help you stop imagining the worst and start focusing on the outcome you desire: a smooth, stress-free move.

Why Visualization Can Help

moving-truckAlthough experts say one of the best ways to achieve what you want for a future outcome is to use visualization techniques, I rarely meet anyone who is visualizing in a positive way about moving. Most people shudder in horror and try not to think about it until absolutely forced into facing the reality of moving and especially downsizing.   

The amazing thing about visualization is that as we imagine the desired outcome mentally and savour it with all of our brain4senses, our brain begins to build neurological pathways towards those outcomes.  Visualization can lead to an outcome that reflects your mental images, whether they are positive or negative. 

Step One: Outcome Visualization
Why not take control of the outcome by creating positive images of the future you desire?

2013-01-18-16-01-23Find a quiet place to sit for a few minutes. Imagine yourself walking in the door to your new place. Imagine that your move went very smoothly and finished ahead of schedule so you feel hugely relieved. 

Now spend a few seconds on each though as you close your eyes and take calming breaths:

  • Smell how clean and fresh the air is in your new place
  • Hear pleasant music playing on your stereo and hear two friendly neighbours saying hello.
  • Feel your daughter’s/friend’s warm hug as she greets you to your new home.
  • Hear the love in her voice when she praises how well you managed, how lovely your furniture looks and how nicely everything fits.
  • Look around. Yes, she’s right! The place looks (fill in your desired outcome: elegant, cosy, spacious, warm, cool, tasteful, familiar, new, etc. ).
  • Sip the cup of tea she made in your organized kitchen. It’s just the way you like it, warm and soothing. Notice she had no trouble finding the tea bags, tea pot and mugs because everything is exactly where it should be.
  • Go lie down on your freshly made bed and take a nap, you deserve it!

These mental images will not appeal to everyone so you’ll have to create your own list of wonderful, motivating mental images to focus on during your visualization exercises. If you need help at first, ask a friend to sit with you and read you the list one at a time, pausing to give you time to visualize each mental image.

Step Two: Process Visualization

keepcalmchillout-72x150Once you have practiced the Outcome Visualization technique enough to have a very clear image of how you want your moving day to go, you can also use Process Visualization to help you stay focused and motivated through the tough pre-move work. This exercise helps you envision a future outcome where all the hard work of moving gets done on time, extremely well, the way you want it.

Imagine you are standing in the main room of your home, preparing for move day. You’ve still got lots of time to get all the move preparation done so you feel calm. Now spend a few seconds on each though as you close your eyes and take calming breaths:

  • See all the treasures and curios you’ve collected over the years on your travels and from loved ones. Let your eyes savour the bounty of your past.
  • Imagine yourself sitting down in your favorite comfortable chair, holding a pen and notepad. Feel the pen glide across the paper as you write down a list of the things you will take to your new place. At first it’s hard for you to make decisions but soon your list marches down the page.
  • Now imagine yourself picking up the phone and speaking to someone in your family or community. Hear yourself offering to give them an item (dining room table? Lawn mower?) you can’t keep yourself. You can hear in their voice how excited they are that you’ve offered them such a wonderful gift. Hear them ask you when can they come pick it up.
  • Pick up the floor plan for your new place that has your furniture drawn to scale and hold it in your hands.blueJay_v1.10.1 It’s marvelous how everything is going to fit so nicely with plenty of room to maneuver.
  • Walk into the other room and run your hand along the stacks of boxes that have been packed with books, clothes, pictures and all the household stuff you are keeping. Read the labels on each box. The stack of boxes is orderly and ready to move.
  • Hear the admiration your daughter’s/friend’s voice as she exclaims over all the hard work you’ve done. You thank her for all the help she gave you with sorting your clothes and running moving errands for you. Give her a big hug!
  • Take a deep breath and smell that wonderful odor of clean. How smart of you to hire a cleaning company so your move out cleaning is all taken care of by professionals.


Again, this list is a starting place for you. Customize your own list of images that evoke the best possible outcome so you counter every fear with positive images.

There Will Be Bumps on the Road

couple-smallRe-calibrate Regularly

As you encounter obstacles along the way such as negative people warning you about horrible moving disasters, or if you’re feeling down after a setback, re-calibrate your visualization by running through these exercises again. Feel free to add new images to your list as they occur to you.

Get Support

It’s also a good idea to share your vision of the desired outcomes you have for your move. If your friends share your vision then they will support you and encourage you to stay on track with your goals.

 

Moving With Dementia

Ting and I attended a very informative training this week put on by the Alzheimer Society. dementia_friendsWe found out the number of people who live with dementia in BC is over 70,000 and the risk for dementia doubles every five years after age 65.

Since our clientele is generally 75-105 years old, we need to recognize the signs of dementia and incorporate special techniques into our moving services to maximize the health and safety of our clients. We also need to use our experience and training to help family members avoid common pitfalls during the move.

about-promo-involveThe changes caused by moving from a familiar home to brand new surroundings can be terribly disorienting for anyone, much less for a person with memory loss and challenges with problem-solving.
If you’re facing this situation, this article from the Mayo Clinic offers great advice on how to prepare for a loved one’s move.

We wholeheartedly agree with all of the ideas in this article. Most importantly, when moving a person with dementia, special care and attention should be taken to prepare for the move, coordinate the move itself, and follow-up during the first few months after the move so that the transition can be as safe, healthy and low-stress as possible.

Resources:

Alzheimer’s: Smoothing the transition on moving day

Alzheimer Society of BC


We Can Help

In our community, many elderly people do not have family members living nearby who can take these extra steps to make the transition as comfortable as possible for them. The good new is, we can help. We can also provide support to caregivers who need an extra set of hands on move day, advice on how to set up the new home, or we can get rid of things that can’t fit into the new home. Give us a call to find out more.

Act Together Moving Services

Moving Family: How to Make It Better

We are constantly inspired by our clients.They have lived through wars, depressions, revolutions and personal loss. When I say downsizing isn’t for wimps, I’m talking about this tough generation.
But when faced with having to give up personal treasures, collections and mementos from the past, even the toughest person can break down. Not only the sheer volume of stuff that needs to be dealt with can be terrifying, but the physical task of sorting, boxing things up and hauling them away is impossible to fathom.

wheelchair-man-windows.jpg

Emotional Drain
Then add in the emotional drain of losing everything they hold dear, piece by piece. Each personal item might hold heavy meaning that hasn’t been fully processed, or reinforce a past loss, or remind them of their failing health.
It’s common for us to see adult children get frustrated by their parent’s behavior during the downsizing process. It is often a struggle for family members to remain patient during this process and emotions can run high.

This Might Help
If you are helping someone to downsize, here are some ideas that might help when your frustration starts to bubble over.
  • Reflect on how this process is impacting your own sense of loss and identity, so that you can stay aware of your reactions. This might help you to remain calm and supportive rather than adding to the emotional turmoil in the house.
  • Keep visits positive and upbeat, and remind your parents that you are on their team and that you want the best for them.
  • if you feel yourself getting to the boiling point, change the channel. Pop out to your car to “grab something” and make a quick phone call to a supportive friend. Declare break time and make a cup of tea. Do something to lift your own mood.
  • Keep “sorting sessions” to under two hours. Emotional fatigue that stems from too much decision-making can lead to someone saying something they might regret.
If all else fails, call in objective downsizing professionals like Act Together Moving Services to consult. We’re trained to make this process go smoothly, and almost everyone behaves better when there is a guest in the house!