01 June 2017

5 Things I Learned When I Moved Twice in 12-Months



The good news is Jordan bought a cute house in this crazy Seattle market. The bad news is we had to move, and moving is the worst. Moving twice in 12-month is even worst-er.

We booked movers and packed boxes and pre-painted with the best of intentions, but nothing ever goes as planned and our noon-4pm move turned into a 3pm-8pm affair fraught with thunderstorms and houseplant homicides. To protect you from the same fate, I’m sharing the things I learned about myself (and can assume are true about yourself) in this moving process:

  1. You will turn you into a crazy person. Have you ever seen that diagram proving how humans don’t like change, and how change of a big enough magnitude will push us into irrational behavior? A move will do that to you. Instead of planning for the best-case scenario, go ahead and anticipate the worst case scenario now and then multiply it by 3. That will better prepare you for what’s to come, and hopefully keep you sane by comparing your nightmare to the nearly-as-bad reality of what’s happening to you. 

  2. You will have too much stuff. No matter how much you purge, you’ll end up with boxes full of crap you will never use or look at again. The amount of stuff I’ve tossed since moving has been astounding, and I’m only about 1/3 unpacked. Try to not buy so much stuff and you won’t have to deal with this problem.

  3. You will fit into one of two categories of packers: optimizer or dumper. The optimizer seeks to fill the box to its highest possible capacity, filling each nook and cranny with an item even if said item doesn’t match the other things in the box. The dumper will literally dump drawers into a box with nary a care about how the space is filled; maybe just one bowl fits in the box, or maybe an entire junk drawer. It doesn’t matter, they just want the box to have something in it and have something in it now. You may be packing with someone who is a different category of packer than you. I wish you luck. 

  4. You think you can remember what’s in that box, but you won’t. Buy a sharpie and label it. You’ll have dozens to hundreds of boxes that will confuse the hell out of you the minute after you seal it. Pro tip: label it based off of where you want it to go in the new house, not where it came from in the old house. 

  5. When it comes time to move, hire movers, pack big boxes, and be sure to book the first appointment of the day. I’ve used movers three times now and this was by far my worst experience. We booked the second move of the crew of the day – big mistake. They were wiped by the time they got to us, then we had packed too many small boxes so it took a long, long time. Get BIG boxes and pack them well, even if all you do is put smaller boxes in them. Break down your furniture in advance and try to get as much stuff in one, easily accessible place as possible. Then, help carry to shorten the time and lower your bill at the end of the day. 

I wish you the best of luck on your next move. May your boxes be full and your stress level be low. At the end of the day it’s really important to remember you will live in a new place and enjoy all of the exciting opportuntieies that come with that: like yard work and maintaining your 70-year old furnace. Ahh, the joys of home ownership. Happy moving! Anyone need some boxes?

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