Moving at any time is a stressful and often fatiguing event…but couple moving with having cancer as a young adult and WOWZA! Whether you’re in active treatments, just in remission, or your cancer journey is well into its survivorship phase…all of that extra life stress is not to be underestimated when paired with a life event considered as stressful as moving is.
Here are some tips for moving while dealing with young adult cancer…
[list_item]1. Take breaks.[/list_item]
When I moved into my house I was actively going through my last few rounds of chemo. The fatigue and stomach upset was building and my stamina felt like a snail on a hot day. Taking breaks was the one, sure fire thing that helped me get through the whole moving day.
[list_item]2. Pick a task that doesn’t involve so much lifting and carrying.[/list_item]
While my dad, little brother, fiance, and friends were all carrying boxes, loading, and unloading the moving truck, I tackled unpacking the kitchen. I found the right boxes, put contact paper on the shelves, made sure everything was clean, and then started putting things where I wanted them. (While always remembering tip #1)
[list_item]3. Pack a bag of need to have things that won’t get mixed up with all of the boxes.[/list_item]
There will definitely be things that you will need quick and easy access to. Put those items in a bag that stays separate from the rest of the packing and boxes. Unsure what you might need? Medicines, snacks, water bottle, music + headphones, toiletries, extra outfit or PJs might be just a few things you’ll want.
[list_item]4. Start packing earlier than you might otherwise.[/list_item]
Your life is stressful anyway while dealing with young adult cancer. No need to add even more moving stress than necessary. Start packing early to account for your extra level of fatigue.
[list_item]5. Getting rid of things via craigslist is like magic.[/list_item]
If you mark something as free, put it at the end of your driveway, and advertise the item on Craigslist you will find yourself without that item in no time. Seriously, magic. I have gotten rid of everything from old garage cabinets, to broken CRT televisions, to dilapidated futons this way. (Just be careful to not let strangers into your home or meet them in secluded places that you’re unfamiliar with…)
[list_item]6. Change your address about a week ahead of time.[/list_item]
USPS.com makes this pretty easy. Let them know you’re moving and that you need mail forwarded. You can do this online or using a form at the post office.
[list_item]7. Let your friends know that you’ve moved.[/list_item]
Nothing worse than losing contact with people because they don’t know that you’ve changed addresses. Have some postcards printed with your new address and send them out once you’ve moved, or send a mass-email. Either way, you’ll thank yourself later.
[list_item]8. Watch your finances for a few months before the move.[/list_item]
Dealing with young adult cancer is expensive. Moving is expensive. In order to preemptively account for those extra hotels, meals out, handymen, etc. that you’ll need the month of a move, try and cut back on spending a few months ahead of time.
[list_item]9. Let people help you.[/list_item]
I know it might feel weird to have a friend come over and help you pack but it will totally be worth it! Be clear about how you’d like that object (or room) to be packed…what items might be breakable and how to go about taking care. Then, let them at it! Your friends want to help and packing is a pain in the butt to do by yourself.
[list_item]10. Make lists.[/list_item]
Whether it is a To Sort list or a To Pack list or a Get Rid Of list or a Crafts To Finish list…lists can make moving a whole lot easier. (I have one of each of those lists for my current move!) Chemo brain is awful enough without the added effect of complicating a move. Take all of those tasks stored up in your brain, transfer them to paper or a computer document, or a list on your phone. Then enjoy checking each task off as you complete it!
Do you have any tips for moving?