Monday, June 12, 2017

"Packing For Vacations Can Be Fun, But Moving Not So Much"

Moving is such a challenge - more than many people want to accept and embrace. Remaining at home is a much more pleasant option - except for going on an occasional day-trip, long-weekend, or vacation.

Packing for a vacation can be fun. We get to plan what items we'll need - depending on where we are going, what we are going to to be doing once there, and the general weather conditions expected. We may decide to rent equipment we will need, or we might attempt to take some or all of it with us, if we have it already or want to go out and buy it before we leave.

Depending on the distance we are traveling and whether it's a domestic trip or not, we might decide to drive. We might or take the train part of the way and then rent a car to sight-see and get around the rest of the trip.

Back to packing. We find our suitcases, duffel bags, backpacks, and trunks - again depending on the mode of travel, the number of days we intend to be gone, how many are travelling, and the activities we are planning.

There are several ways to get ready. We can can make a list of everything we need - days in advance. We can begin packing several days in advance and even choose to mail some of the items we are going to need to the hotel at our destination. We can plan and worry but take little action until the trip is upon us. We can literally pack the night before - or the morning of departure for the really adventurous ones.

Nevertheless, as much fun as it is getting ready for a trip, planning what to take, going out and shopping for it, packing everything, and then finally leaving, we know two very important details: (1) we aren't taking everything that we own with us (that would take considerably longer to get ready), and (2) we are coming back home when the vacation is over.

We know that when our vacation is over - even if it wasn't a vacation in the true sense and we were just going to visit the grandkids or other relatives - that we get to return home and pick up where we left off. We'll put away what we packed - or keep it handy for the next trip if it is coming relatively soon - and ease back into our routine.

Now, let's contrast this relatively unstressful vacation or trip (except for determining what to take, getting everything packed, and getting to the airport on time or actually leaving the house) with what would be ahead of us if we were leaving our current home forever and going someplace else.

In the first place, we have to approach the move with some type of order - cant just start throwing or stacking things on the truck or in a storage container. We may not want to move everything - the new home might be smaller, we may not want to pay to move items we know we won't use again, and some things we have been meaning to get rid of anyway.

That still leaves us with a large collection of stuff from the garage, closets, basement, attic, and maybe a shed (onsite or rented offsite). This is why many people don't move. They know they have way too much stuff to begin even thinking about how to deal with it. The easiest solution is stay where they are and not worry about it.

Ever notice how when we do move that some things (at least one but often several items) never manage to get to the new home? Somehow they vanish someplace along the way - never to be seen by us again. Then, the is the realization that some items are going to get broken also. No matter how well they are packed, they are going to get broken, cracked, scratched, dented, bent, or otherwise disfigured - maybe not totally destroyed but not like they were before packing them.

Vacations can be fun, but making a permanent move (for all time or just for now) can be extremely challenging and enough to dissuade many people from even attempting this. As exciting as moving into a different home can sound, the reality of actually moving everything brings people back to the realization that they should stay where they are.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Master Instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.