Are you moving home or planning to later this year when your annual rental contract ends? You’ve come to the right place! Welcome to the fourth instalment of our insightful series following the adventures of reader and Home Club ME writer Maja Davies as she navigates the highs and lows of moving home in the UAE. Maja and her husband moved from Dubai’s JLT community to Palm Jumeirah earlier this year (captured on our Instagram Stories), and in her series The Moving Diaries, exclusive to Home Club ME, she reveals her top dos and don’ts for fellow movers to follow, with essential advice for budgeting, decorating and decluttering plus intuitive planning goals, gained firsthand from her own experiences as an expat moving home in the UAE. This week, she touches on the psychological impact of moving home and shares advice on how to limit the conflicts and lighten the emotional mood of such a mammoth task.
The Moving Diaries Lesson Four: Emotions and Conflict
Moving home brings out a different side in everyone. Some people get excited and put all their energy into the prospects of a new home, a new neighbourhood, and new possibilities. Others throw themselves wholeheartedly into project manager mode, making to-do lists, budgets and timelines. And some become more reflective, perhaps feeling nostalgic for the home they once had and a sense of loss of what once was.
Many people will jump between all these stages throughout the moving process, but from my own experiences of moving home I find that one tends to be more dominant than the others. Below, I’ve shared a few insights that I have picked up over my many moves — specifically, insights into how my husband and I were able to stay sane and avoid conflict by using our differences to our advantage.
DO allow yourself to feel all the feels
Moving home can be sad, stressful and extremely exciting all in one go. Allow yourself time to pause and check in with yourself to avoid getting too overwhelmed. If you are feeling anxious or, as I like to put it, “as though I am about to lose it”, then step away, go get a coffee or go for a walk to clear your head, then get back to it. Try not to dismiss the emotional impact of relocating. Instead, connect with your thoughts and try and figure out what your mood is that day; then tackle the tasks that will best suit that mood. If you’re feeling focused, work on your moving budget or your logistics plan. If you’re feeling sad, take some time to reflect on all the good memories you have made in the old place and how you will make new ones in your next home.
DO delegate tasks based on your mental state
If you are moving with a friend or partner, they may not be feeling the same things you do. If one of you is super excited and the other one is feeling sad, your different states of emotion can become a source of conflict. Try and create a sense of mutual awareness of how each of the parties involved is feeling, and be respectful of each other’s mental state. Better yet, use this to your advantage and delegate roles accordingly. Allow the excitable one to create mood boards and research the good restaurants in your new neighbourhood (this will come in handy while you wait for your oven and fridge to arrive); allow the person who is more of a planner to organise the logistics; for the nostalgic ones, a good task for them to take on is to plan some nice final events in the old home, such as a ‘moving out’ dinner with friends, for example.
DON’T forget to plan meals during the moving day
It sounds so simple, but often in the middle of the chaos you forget to eat. Moving is both mentally and physically exhausting, so to ensure you have the energy to get you through it (and not to snap at each other — fingers crossed!), make sure you have a proper meal or at least several good snacks at hand throughout the day.
DO use the move to declutter your home
Nothing says ‘fresh start’ like a good declutter. Before our move, I went full on Marie Kondo on our home. With each bag of stuff that I sent out the door to be donated or sold I felt the anxiety of the move lifting. You can find some licensed proffesional home organisers listed here. Don’t forget to quote ‘Home Club ME’ when contacting them.
Hopefully Maja’s advice will help you navigate the emotional challenges of moving home in the UAE with more ease and happiness. For more advice from Maja on the subject, check out other extracts from The Moving Diary series. We’d love to hear about your own moving home adventures — share them on Instagram and tag @homeclubme for a repost!