We recently moved. Just across town, so you’d THINK that would be easier than some of the cross-country moves I’ve made in the past.
You’d be wrong.
Here are some of the Hard Won Lessons I’ve learned in the last month. I’m passing them on to you in case you’re thinking about moving, too.
But really, most of us move for really good reasons. Maybe you got a new job. Maybe you have a growing family and need more room. Maybe you have Nazis as neighbors. Maybe you’re tired of the basement portal to R’lyeh that keeps leaking non-Euclidean geometry into your house.
If you’re moving for a good reason like that, carry on.
If you’re moving for some absurd reason, though. Maybe…just don’t. Cuz this shit’s exhausting.
2. You own MUCH MORE STUFF than you think you do.
You own approximately 5.12 tons of stuff. Yes, you. You, right over there.
Wait, you have kids? I take it back. You now own 5.12 tons of stuff plus 13.7 tons of stuff per child. No joke. That’s an actual, scientifically-calculated number.
3. Most of all of that stuff is nothing you need.
If you move without it, you’ll literally never miss it. Give it away now. Or trash it, if it’s something no one would ever want.
If you haven’t used it in the last year, GET RID OF IT.
4. YMMV on this one, but I find the hardest things to sort through are books and things your kids used to love/play with/wear when they were little.
At one point while sorting through our basement, I literally sat and cried over the plastic food my kids used to play with. I remember when they handed me that hot dog and I pretended to eat it! HOW CAN I GET RID OF THIS?
I’m not even talking about the nice, wooden, chop-this-velcroed-fruit fake food. I’m talking about the cheapest, flimsiest bunch of junk food.
Don’t get me started on the books. Trixie Beldon, man! Yeah, yeah…no one in my house will probably ever read them again. Yeah, you’re right, my kids refused to read them when they were the appropriate ages. No, um, I’m probably not going to read them. But. But. But. But…I LOVED THEM. They had lasting and deep significance in my life! I…I…I………
Okay. Take pictures of those things. Keep the stuff someone might actually play with again or actually read again. If not? Then just keep the picture.
YOU CAN DO THIS.
5. At some point, you’ll look around, pat yourself on the back, and feel like you’ve made great headway packing up your whole house! BUT DON’T FALL INTO THAT TRAP.
The final 10% of the crap that you own takes 90% of the time to pack. And you’re going to keep discovering more and more and more and more stuff hidden in random places. Plus, you’re going to end up with a bunch of boxes at the end labeled “Misc,” “Odds & Ends,” and “What Even Is This, No One Knows.”
6. Unpacking might be worse than packing. It will take approximately 1,268 days for you to actually settle into the new house without stumbling across yet another box or something that needs to be organized. I haven’t hit that point yet. I’ll let you know when I do.
Um. So good luck with your move.