Posts Tagged ‘moving’

Two people cleaning living room


Ahhh, spring has sprung, well at least it HAD sprung for a few weeks here in Ohio and hopefully it will return soon! With spring’s arrival, many people take advantage of the warmer temperatures and longer days to begin sprucing up their houses and yards. While I love getting out in my yard and garden as soon as possible to start preparing for the blossoms and blooms of spring and summer, I am not nearly as excited about tending to my house. Luckily, my husband is more likely to help me with the inside than the outside and, working together makes spring cleaning easier than tackling it alone.

Spring cleaning has taken on an entirely new meaning for us this year. My husband and I just moved out of our 4 bedroom, 3 bath 2,700 sq. ft. home of 8 years and into my son’s 1 bedroom, 1 bath 625 sq. ft. apartment this past weekend. Our house was in contract 2 days after we listed, needless to say, we were in a bit of a scramble to find a place to live for a couple months. Thankfully, my son graciously offered to let us stay in his apartment until our house is completed in July and he is staying with his grandparents. While I am incredibly grateful to have a place to stay, my husband and I are quickly learning what a luxury it was to have the extra space.

We have been preparing for this move, or so we thought, for several months. We had already moved some of our belongings into a storage unit to prepare for selling our house. And while my children are all grown and mostly out of the house, we still housed a ton of their “stuff.” As we were sorting through stuff, it became clear that we have TOO MUCH! But as the deadline to be out of our house approached, we realized we did not have time to sort all of the stuff right now, so we just focused on getting everything packed up and moved. Now our 32 x 40 pole barn and the large storage unit are pretty much filled, and we are left with the task of sorting and reducing over the next couple months.

As stressful as it has been, it is good to see what we have so we can more effectively determine what we REALLY want and/or need to move into our forever home. Mental Health America’s national campaign for May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, is “Look Around, Look Within” emphasizing how our surroundings impact our mental health. Though at times it can be stressful, spring cleaning can have mental health benefits. Some of these include improved mood, increased productivity, decreased stress, and increased creativity. In this article Erin Michel, Graduate Assistant, reminds us “Spring cleaning your mind is similar in practice to spring cleaning your house: de-cluttering the things that are holding you back, reinventing or refining your values, and then maintaining that sense of mental cleanliness and self-awareness moving forward.”

Other areas you may want to consider spring cleaning include: finances, digital accounts, medicine, make up, and food storage areas. As my husband and I adjust to our new accommodations, I will try to focus on the positives and remember this is short-term. And when one or both of us is frustrated with the situation or each other, you may just find me in the yard communing with nature for my health AND his!

Written by: Misty Harmon, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Ryan Kline, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, kline.375@osu.edu


Can spring cleaning make you happier? Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist. (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2023, from https://www.wakehealth.edu/stories/can-spring-cleaning-make-you-happier

Mental health Month 2023 “Look around, look within.” (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2023, from https://mhanational.org/sites/default/files/MHM/Toolkit-2023/MHM-2023-Sample-Proclamation.pdf

Robbins, J., Williams, T., & George, Z. S. (n.d.). Ecopsychology: How immersion in nature benefits your health. Yale E360. Retrieved May 4, 2023, from https://e360.yale.edu/features/ecopsychology-how-immersion-in-nature-benefits-your-health?nav=F4tE-518336

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I remember the nurse placing a screaming dark-haired baby in my arms like it was yesterday. 18 years later, this baby is graduating from high school and telling me she wants to change her address to one different from mine.  While I appreciate her goals and ambitions, watching her go is tough.  Preparing now with a few simple things I am hoping will make this big transition smoother for both of us as she heads to college on her own.

Prepare and You Will Not Fear

I remember being taught this principle in relation to natural disasters when I was young, this same mantra is bringing me some comfort as a mother as I prepare to send a child into the world.  There is a long list of independent living skills youth and young adults need to be successful on their own; more skills than can be taught in the summer between their senior year and heading out on their own.  Starting young with developing and teaching life skills can bring peace and confidence with parents and youth as they move on.  Giving young children and teens responsibilities at home, allowing them to make mistakes and learn from them will prepare them for obstacles and responsibilities they will face when they leave home.  These needed life skills include not only skills such as cooking and laundry but budgeting, relationship skills, emotional and behavioral control, manners, self-care, time management and more.

Am I invited too?

My daughter, who is leaving, sat at the table listening one night as my sister and I discussed future Thanksgiving plans.  When we were finished she asked, “Am I invited too?”  It never occurred to me that she might be having some questions about where she would fit in when she left home.  We talked about what our communication would look like, how often, ways we would stay in contact and what family events she might want to be included in.  I let her know she would be welcome in our home anytime, without an appointment or reason. 

Plans do not always work out.  Let your young adult know that they are welcome in your home and what your requirements might be after they move away and return to visit. Help your child know that while you are excited about their new adventure you are always there if they just need to chat. Communication can be vital during this transition, for both of you.   Do not assume they know they can phone you if they feel sad or need to talk. 

Have a Plan

Have a plan for if things go wrong too.  A clear plan for contingencies can help parents make a decision when emotions are running high or a quick decision is necessary. Have you discussed what will happen if your college student makes poor grades? What if they are homesick and want to return home? What if they want or need to change schools or apartments? What if they are unable to cover expenses and call to ask for money?  Having these discussions before hand can clear up confusion for you and your child. 

Take Care of You

Feelings of loneliness, loss, and grief may all be common when a child leaves home. Have a plan to deal with those feelings.  As I have discussed this transition with friends their advice and reactions have ranged anywhere from excitement to being seriously distraught over their son or daughter moving out.  There is no right or wrong way to feel.  Try to let your feelings run their course. If you feel like crying, cry. It is important to acknowledge how you feel and not allow others to dictate your emotions.  You will not react the same way your friend did to their child moving out and that is ok. 

Every family is different and will have different plans and responses to a big change such as a child leaving home.  Try to remember what a fun new adventure this can be for your son or daughter.  Your enthusiasm can go a long way to helping them move on.  Celebrate their successes and yours, and remember just like with anything else new in life- it takes time!

Good luck! I am in this one with you. . . 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-in-between/201406/5-steps-help-your-teen-leave-the-nest https://www.healthguidance.org/entry/18004/1/how-to-cope-when-your-children-leave-home.html

Author: Alisha Barton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Miami County, barton.345@osu.edu

Reviewer: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu


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