New in Town: The Boarding {Part 2}


We made it to Chattanooga and completed the 800-mile journey. As I write this post, I’m sitting in our new home, the baby is napping in his first bedroom, and all our boxes are finally unpacked. We’ve been Chattanoogans for all of three weeks now, and while we still have a way to go before we get settled, we have arrived! After you book and plan all good journeys, the next step is boarding your flight (or packing the car) with bags and hopes in hand.

What did it take for our family of three to get here? Let’s dive in.

The Boarding

Have you ever bought a house from another state? I hope the answer is no because, honestly, I don’t recommend it. Although we’d been looking at Zillow for months, the reality of buying a home set in once we decided to move to Chattanooga. Those dozen or so houses we had saved were gone before we could look at them, and we couldn’t get listing agents to return our calls. We’d look at a house online, fall in love, and then it was gone before we could schedule a virtual tour. In buying a home from afar, any question marks about a property or neighborhood would become an immediate no. The alternative was renting, and after years of saving for a down payment, we couldn’t see spending a good chunk of that on rent for the next six months. So, we went with new construction. Fortunately, on one of our quick trips, we met with a builder and their realtor, and got to see a couple of their homes. We fell in love with what they had to offer, and they had a house set to close about the same time our lease ended in NYC.

It worked out great. We could enjoy the last few months of life in NYC while our home was finished. We had family who could check on the progress, and the builder constantly gave us updates. Maybe not ideal, but we made the most of it. A couple of delays gave us more days in NYC but made for a long and interesting moving week. They say moving is one of the most stressful life experiences, and as prepared as I tried to be, that was definitely our story. My 10-month-old and I ended up flying down alone for the final walk-through, driving the 12 hours back with my parents, to then load the truck and drive the 12 hours back to Tennessee. We almost didn’t close because of a miscommunication from the bank, and all of this happened during Thanksgiving week!

The first time we are all three in the house! Closing day!

While I was prepared for a few bumps along the way, I want to help you be even more prepared. Whether you are moving cross country or across town, here are my 10 quick tips for moving with your family:

  1. First and foremost, get help. Hire movers, enlist family and friends. Do not try to go at this alone. Even on a tight budget, there is help available.
  2. Be a little selfish. You’re gonna need a little bit of a backbone to declare what you need and when you need it. This is particularly true when building a house. Even with a reputable builder, they often miss things that matter, and when brought to their attention, they are usually more than willing to fix them.
  3. Expect the unexpected. Things are not going to go exactly how you planned them.
  4. Be flexible. With children, especially babies, this can be a little harder but is doable if you are prepared for it.
  5. Plan, plan, plan. With flexibility, have a plan in mind. What will the baby do while you are loading the truck? How will the kids nap on moving day? Think through all the details.
  6. Have stuff for the kids to do. This is particularly true for long-distance moves. Bring toys, snacks, etc., that will make travel smoother.
  7. Pack the little one’s essentials near the back of the truck. The stuff that comes out first should be the things you need to set up first. For us, that was the baby’s crib and a small thing of toys.
  8. Make sure you have everything lined up for closing. Do you have your down payment/deposit? After moving all the money to the right account, this almost halted our closing. Who knew you had to bring money to closing? Ok, making fun of myself for a moment, but in my defense, everything in my life has been digital for ages.
  9. Take a moment to think about comfort. Is your toddler in comfy clothes for a long ride? Does your baby need to upgrade to his bigger car seat? We had bought a larger SUV in Tennessee before we moved, and I was so thankful we had it for the 24 hours of driving.
  10. Lastly, enjoy. Make memories. No matter what happens find joy in the process.

For those of you who have moved recently, what did I miss? How were you unprepared for this stressful life change?

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I’m Christy, a Tennessee native with a big city heart. After spending most of my life in middle TN, I’ve lived in NYC for most of the last decade. After moving a dog, husband, and baby into my one-bedroom apartment, we decided we needed a bit more space. So, we decided to head back south for the luxuries of square footage, a yard, and moving our baby out of a closet. We are excited to now call Chattanooga home. My husband is Indonesian, so we have the cutest whasian baby you could ever meet; in fact, you can follow him on Instagram @ourwhasianlife to experience all the cuteness. When not writing here, I’m writing for my online ministry called More Abundantly (check it out at It was created out of my desire to see women in the US and Indonesia grow in their relationship with the Lord and become more fulfilled in this crazy life.