We all know how awful moving is; unfortunately, some more than others.
I don’t think I have ever come across a person who enjoys it or even someone who doesn’t hate it with every fiber of their being. If anyone has, please let me know. I’m genuinely interested in meeting this superhuman.
Some moves are emotional, lined with bitter sadness over downsizes or cross-country journeys. Some are exciting; perhaps, it’s finally time for that little place of your own.
But regardless of the emotions involved, all moves are rip-your-hair-out stressful.
Light-as-a-feather cardboard boxes quickly transform into cinder blocks. They magically find every manner possible to stand in your way, stub your toe or disguise other disappearing items.
Between the packing and the wrapping, followed by the unpacking and the unwrapping, there is no break in sight.
Not to mention the fact that in the weeks that follow, finding a spoon becomes equivalent to finding a needle in a haystack.
Moving is an adventure, to say the least. A roller coaster of tears and reminiscent laughs. And, if you’re anything like me, panic attack after panic attack.
Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who hasn’t yet had the opportunity to experience the upheaval of a move. Don’t count your blessings just yet. It will happen.
And I hate to break it to you, but the first is the worst.
As I sit sprawled out along the cold, hard floor packing up yet another box to add to the long line I’ve accumulated during my five moves in three years, I can say with complete confidence that while I may consider myself an expert mover, it doesn’t get any less terrible.
Here are 10 painful realities of the treacherous process that is moving:
1. You quickly find yourself rationalizing why it is necessary to keep the 100 issues of Teen Vogue you haven’t cracked open since age 14
Moving is all a game of rationalization and debate. In fact, you will find yourself defending basically any trinkets you classify as a possible “collector’s item” in your eyes.
My American Girl dolls have survived the Goodwill collection five moves in a row under the simple but empty promise that I will eventually give them to my daughters one day. I’m 19.
Even though there is zero way I can guarantee that happening, I sure as hell don’t see myself being able to part with something that played such an important role in my childhood, regardless how irrelevant it may be to my life now.
Everyone has these items, like the books that may have only served as paperweights or coasters for the last few years but never quite made it to the trash.
For some reason, we find comfort in the stained t-shirts we know we will never wear again, but can’t seem to part with.
It’s a constant struggle. The debate never ends: When does one give in and toss a possession in the garbage?
2. You might, in fact, be a hoarder
When’s the last time you went looking for that fourth-grade science test or that rejection letter from your first choice program? Individual papers have, over the years, become mountains, piled high upon your desk. They often tell a story of their own.
"How long have I had these?" you may ask yourself.
3. You’ve lost a lot of friends along the way
As you flip through old yearbook notes and scattered pictures discovered at the bottom of unopened drawers, you may find yourself at a loss when trying to come up with the names of some of those who appeared to be integral figures in your former life.
But, people change and so do the friends we surround ourselves with.
There should be no love lost. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself laughing over the fads of the past and reminiscing about the good ol’ days.
4. You'll waste an entire day watching old home movies
We all have that one box or bookshelf dedicated to our fondest memories. Even while packing in a hurry, we are compelled to spend hours upon hours reminiscing on some of our proudest and maybe even saddest moments.
Of course, even if you know everything on that shelf can go straight into a box and be sealed away for good, you know there is no stopping you. You’ll end up pouring through it all.
Ten hours later, you might find yourself a little behind schedule, possibly too overwhelmed with tears to continue with the move today.
5. Your body may have changed in the last decade
Buried at the bottom of your dresser drawer, you may find a pair of stick-thin skinny jeans.
You’ve been saving them all this time. Not because you can get them on, but because you’ve kept them to serve as a reminder of where your body used to be.
But what you might be forgetting is these are the jeans you wore when you still had braces and zero hips.
Sometimes it's good to let go.
6. Why is one hair straightener different from the other four?
I don’t know about you, but I am an absolute sucker for haircare and accessories.
I will wholeheartedly believe anyone who SWEARS by a product. While each individual serum may only have been cracked open once, you rationalize keeping it.
"It’s a waste to throw it away," you think to yourself.
Straight into a box they will go. Never to be used again, but still somehow deserving of a place upon that bathroom shelf.
7. While having a friend help with the move seems like a great idea, it never is
Only you can decide where something belongs, during both packing and unpacking.
While having an extra set of hands may sound like a bright idea, it turns into more of a hassle when you have to go back and correct everything your helper arranged so you’ll know just where it is.
Forget the go-between and spend the time doing it yourself. It will eventually be you doing it all anyways.
8. Once you’ve moved, you are forced to rework your daily routine
Where is the nearest Starbucks? Where should I get my car washed? These are normal activities that become part of our routine based on our surrounding area.
Suddenly, you’re in a whole new zip code or maybe an entirely different state. Where to now?
Weeks will be spent mapping out your comfort zone, picking your favorite pharmacy, dry cleaner and other places you didn’t realize were so ingrained in your old home.
9. Wow, you spend way too much money
Did you really need that fifth pair of black leggings? Were all of those handbags really necessary? The more you buy, the more there is to pack.
As the years add up, more and more unnecessary items have accumulated. The only thing that means is more time to weed out the crap.
This is where frequent moves might come in handy, as there is always less time in-between each one to accumulate an exorbitant amount of stuff. Therefore, for each move, there is less and less sh*t to sort through.
10. There are never enough boxes
Once packing begins, you’ll quickly realize you own twice as much as you thought.
After all, possessions don’t always work their way out to the surface. They're often hidden beneath the nooks and crannies created in homes that have been inhabited for years.
Once you get digging, you’ll soon realize the number of boxes you initially estimated will in no way work out.
That’s the thing about moving: It is anything but a smooth and predictable process.
As someone who has experienced my fair share of moves, I can say with absolute confidence that I have packing down to a science.
My belongings have been weeded through five times in less than four years, but while that may limit the additional time required for sorting, it doesn’t strip away any of the attachment.
Moving isn’t necessarily about the destination, it’s about the process. A process that brings out sadness, joy and a reminiscent eye.
Try not to let it kill you.
Just wait until the roller coaster starts anew with the unpacking. Good luck to you.