What I've Learned About Moving Over the Years

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


I wouldn't say I've moved a ton of times in my life, but I've moved enough times and enough of my stuff (which really is just my extensive clothing and makeup collection) to get the hang of some really simple packing tips and tricks to follow when it comes time for you to make the big move. Or maybe it's just a small move! Regardless, if it requires packing up your life into boxes and moving them even ten minutes away from your current residence, then I'm going to count that as moving!

My moving experiences were all college related. I moved in and out of a dorm my freshmen year and had to do that again less than four months later into the same building with the same tiny and slow elevators. And then about three months after that, my parents moved me into my first apartment off campus, one that I still think of fondly. I mean, who doesn't love living in an old warehouse with industrial finishes and humungous windows in the living room and kitchen area that make for the best selfie lighting? That might sound like a joke, but I never joke about trendy building styles and selfie lighting. Luckily, I stayed there for two years and had my furniture delivered there instead of transporting it from Niagara Falls to Cleveland. Unfortunately, this meant that all of my furniture was coming back to western New York with me, along with all of the other junk I managed to accumulate throughout my two years there. Mainly clothes...and mugs...and magazines that I have the need to hoard...and shoes. 

I would never in a million years call myself a moving expert. I still can't properly fold clothes (sorry to all of the customers who have ever had to watch me try to fold their garments), I am too indecisive about what I want to bring, and I also procrastinate like no other. For example, it is currently 11:01 p.m. on Tuesday night as I am writing this. I leave on Friday morning, pretty early too. I have not even taken anything off of a hanger or put into my suitcases yet. I don't know what I'm bringing. I don't even know the weather yet or what I should bring based on that. But the good thing about packing is that you don't have to be an expert to do it. You just have to have a good playlist, chug a coffee, and get down to business.

A big part of packing is knowing that you cannot bring everything with you. Repeat after me: you cannot bring every single one of your belongings with you. It doesn't matter if you're moving into a cupboard underneath the stairs like Harry Potter or something or the biggest apartment or house known to man. You can't bring anything. Instead of feeling sad about this, take it as a liberating act. You can let go of some of the dead weight you've been carrying around. Do I need every single issue of Porter magazine that has been published to date in my apartment? Hell no. Do I need the record player that I bought in high school so I could be cool and trendy even if I haven't touched it since my freshmen year of college? Nope, bye, bye Crosby record player! It sucks getting rid of things or leaving them behind, but sometimes you just gotta be like #GoodRiddance and move on and focus on the fact that you're moving somewhere new and potentially exciting and focus on that instead. 

One other big, umbrella tip for packing is deciding what is worth just repurchasing. My bed from Cleveland is great. Except one of the drawers fell apart in the move and some of the wood panels are breaking and it's just a pain the ass to disassemble and put back together. Plus, that would require renting a truck to move it instead of just shoving as much junk into the back of my mom's Jeep as possible. Depending on how far you're moving, this could certainly vary. But for me, starting fresh is more conducive. Instead of trying to transport plates and cutlery, cut your losses and just buy a new set from Target for twenty bucks. That might be a bad example, but it just ties into the "you can't keep everything" tip. If you can repurchase it at your destination without breaking the bank entirely, save yourself the time and hassle of figuring out how to transport it and just start fresh.


Questions to ask yourself when it comes to keeping or getting rid of your belongings:

1. Am I keeping this because it's sentimental or because I actually need it?
Look, I'm not a heartless human being by any means, but sometimes if something is super sentimental to you but it's just not going to travel well or you just don't have space for it, you might have to let it go. I'm not talking about a necklace passed onto you by your late grandparents or anything, but there's really no need to keep those maracas from a family vacation ten years ago.

2. Do I actually use this? See: the maracas. 

3. Can it be easily and cheaply replaced? Don't buy a pair of maracas, please.

4. Will it fit in my mode of transporation? If you're taking a moving truck, this might be easier for you. But if you're trying to fit everything into a standard car or even into a suitcase for a flight, be selective.

5. Will it travel well? Maybe don't travel with the fertility vase from the Ndebele tribe, if that means anything to you. Mean Girls, anybody? Bueller? Look, use your common sense here. If it's super fragile and you don't need it, leave that stuff behind.

6. Will it fit in my apartment/home? Another important thing to consider. Don't bring a king sized bed frame into an apartment with full-sized rooms. Or king sized maracas. Okay, I'm done with the maracas now, I swear.

Simple packing tips that even I can do:

1. LABEL YOUR BOXES. Seriously. You'll thank yourself later when you don't have to open every single box or bin to figure out what the hell is inside, especially when all you want are your cups for a glass or water or a change of shirt but keep coming up with boxes that contain everything but your clothes.

2. Wrap your mugs and necessary fragile pieces in t-shirts. Put your sleep shirts to good use and wrap up your precious cargo with them instead of scrounging up or paying for some bubble wrap. You're killing two birds with one stone with the one!

3. Garbage bags make fantastic makeshift garment bags. Who has time for garment bags? Poke a hole in the bottom of a garbage bag for the hangers to fit through and tie off the bottoms of the bags with the ties attached. Seriously, the easiest way to transport clothing, especially pieces that don't fold or pack well the traditional way. I'm looking at you, outerwear.

4. Don't start too early but also don't wait until the last minute. Guitly as charged. I never pack too early, but I always tend to pack too late. I claim it's because I'm good at last minute things, but I always end up missing something and panicking. So. Be like me but also don't be like me. That's my advice to you!

What is your least favorite part of moving? As much as I hate packing, I despise unpacking, even after a short weekend getaway. 

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