If you are like the average person, change is difficult. Whether it’s a change in the stocking pattern at the grocery store (that really drives me nuts!), having to find a new doctor, or the new (and unnecessary) HomeOwner’s Association Rules, they all get an emotional reaction.  But we rarely realize that the move between North and South twice a year causes the same upset. So we avoid it until the last minute, procrastinating until it is too late. Then we hurriedly pack, grab everything and head out. It will be about 2.35 hours later (scientific study) that you remember everything you forgot. Although the old stories of ‘did I leave the iron on?” are dated, leaving the water running is not.

In the hurry caused by inward hatred for the change, lots of issues are formed that can bite you later. Did you turn off the water? Clothes washer? Unplug all the small appliances? Computers? Lock all the doors? Windows, too? What about the electric garage door? Did you unplug those timers that you don’t want coming on (water heater, recirculation pump, for instance) and plug in those that you want working- lamps, pool and sprinklers, etc?

There are two ways to accommodate these problems- well three actually. The three are:

Option 1: You can always impose on the neighbors. Call them up in a panic and have them check the potential problems. Then two days later, call them up and ask them to mail your reading glasses. Then the next day apologize and ask them to send your prescription that you forgot. And a week later, call again, and ask them to make another trip to the store for envelopes and a trip to the post office for that checkbook you left behind. They don’t have anything better to do, right?

Option 2:  Make a checklist and then follow that checklist (the hard part). It needs to be fluid, where you can add and remove items at will. Some of my favorite websites for that include: printablechecklist.org and tadalist.com. Both are free,

(I always found those non-specific sites require you to start from scratch. So, with input from my clientele, made up a huge ‘master’ checklist that allows users to only pick the topics they believe are important. Then my website automatically sends a personal checklist of just the items checked. You can try it out for free at www.thehomewatchguy.com/checklist.)

Option 3: You can hire a professional service to maintain your home. They will be more than happy to help both before and after you leave. Forwarding items you forgot is no imposition for them- call as often as you like. Sure, you will pay for postage and their time, but you will never hear an exasperated ‘so what did you forget now’ nor will you wait for weeks because your items never really got mailed. Plus a professional service will do many of the item on your list so you don’t have to!

A professional service should make the transition much easier when you move. They should have checklists for accomplishing items that you would forget. My personal clients know that my view is simple “Just pack what you need, we’ll do everything else.” This makes their move simple. And it seems to improve the marital relationship when the guy doesn’t get grumpy and the woman doesn’t have to remember everything for both of them! Wow, imagine a FUN transition for a change- wouldn’t that be different…

Maybe I should offer marriage counseling for snowbirds!