If you know the Level of Living in your new (newish?) community, or even if you are a long term overseas resident like me and you are growing into your Level, February is a great time to have a look at your goals for the year and see if they line up with your Level. Take a moment to refresh your memory in Parents on the Move! (note shop page if you need the book), and just check that you are confident of which level is for you. Happy? Good, now on to this month's relocation challenge.
I am assuming you have had a look at the iBloom Planner and have decided on five projects for the year ahead. Each project is a goal, but on the Project Pages you can list the steps that will help you reach that goal. So, for example, this month we are looking at the project of an "Organised (Relocation) Home."
Anyone who has ever relocated will know that one of the greatest challenges to organising your home are the boxes that need to be opened and "stuff" to be sorted. Some boxes are quickly opened and items that define home to you are quickly put in their new place. Some boxes take a little more time. I still have one or two boxes from our move from Florida to England (a couple of years ago) that contain family momentos after my parents passed away. I don't want to rush my time of looking through photos and letters and items from when they were missionaries in South Korea. These boxes are worth "pondering time."
My challenge to you this month is to look at how and what you are investing in your home, so that for what ever time you have in this location, the "stuff" you have feels like it reflects your family. A Level One family will want their country of origin items all around them. Some people have been known to install a generator just so they can have that fridge from home! Level Four people like me find their living room can look a little like an international museum with tasteful souveniers trying to be functional. Try to have your "stuff" line up with your level. Perhaps, if your bedlinen and other necessities are starting to look like your host country you might also be under going a Level of Living adjustment as well? Only a thought.
A long ago friend of mine said that the company that relocated her family to Britain packed up all the items stored in her American garage and unloaded them in the new location garage. She really did intend to go through the boxes at some point and get rid of stuff they didn't need anymore. When I say "did't need," she meant items she would have thrown out no matter where she lived. But no, two years later she hadn't managed to find the time to open the boxes. Believe it or not, the company moved those unopened boxes back to the States. The days of that kind of relocation package are probably over for most people, but even so; let's think this month about what it means to have an organised relocated home.
Number One: have a family pow-wow to list items that mean "home" to you and your family. These are the things that need to relocate with you everytime you pick up sticks.
Number Two: in your planner, mark out time in the first six months of any relocation to sort out the contents of any boxes unopened in the first week of your move. Think of how much you will save if you can have a clear-out and not need to purchase extra storage. Some cultures have more home storage than others. You can get used to huge walk in closets in America, but living in Europe for example will give you a reality check on what is really needed in your mobile life.
Number Three: most of us do not like to write up inventories of what we own. Form filling is so tedious! If your inventory needs updating, take some photos until you can schedule time for this homework. And while you're at it, take photos of how you arrange your specific rooms in each location. Make a photo book of each location. You are creating great memories for you and your family. These books also help with the question "Now where were we living when we had that bookshelf with the elephants?" Saves a ton of arguments!
Above all, check that the items that go with you from place to place truly reflect the Level on which you intend to live. Let the stuff you accumulate be a sign of how you are really living and ask yourself if something needs to change. Most of my home reflects a Level 4 living in Britain, but know that my Texas blankets go everywhere!