Adventures in moving from someone who does it multiple times a year


Moving can be a stressful and crazy experience. And while there are plenty of suggestions to make it easier, it feels like nothing can prepare you.

Moving is usually one of the more stressful experiences a person can go through that doesn’t involve health or relationships. Whether it is a planned out move or something that happens at the last minute, there is a lot that goes into moving from one home (or apartment) to another.

As someone who has moved three times in a single year (and 11 times in the last four years), I can tell you that moving can be the bane of one’s existence. From making sure nothing gets left behind, to actually getting everything packed and moved over to the new place, it seems like a never-ending struggle.

The running joke among my friends and family is that I should start a moving company with my roommate because of how often we have done this. And honestly, it has been quite the adventure.

There has been a solid reason for each of our moves. From our first move together, to moving to save money, and of course moving to live closer to a job, every reason has made perfect sense (at least for us).

Over the course of the last four years, there have been a lot of interesting lessons I have learned from always being “on the move.” Perhaps the most important is that it really is “just stuff.” Things can be replaced, and while it might not be fun to have to replace things (yes, it gets expensive at times), they are really just things.

Do I hate that I have had to throw things out? Of course! But at the same time, there are also things that never seem to get unpacked. Instead, these are things that never leave the bottom of a box and just keep moving from place to place with no real home to speak of (and I mean on shelves or walls).

Another lesson that constant moving has taught me is that when all is said and done, you need to be able to do things for yourself. My roommate has been at my side for all of this, but the reality is that I am the person I have to count on. This means getting things done is all on my shoulders.

And can I just say that having actual movers is a lifesaver that you never knew was important until the time you (or in this case we) decide to just do it on your own. It’s amazing how heavy books and bookshelves are.

Whether you are downsizing or upsizing, moving is all about figuring out where to put things as much as it is about getting things packed and shifted from one location to another. It’s a good idea to know where things are going before you get into the new place because it can be extremely frustrating trying to unpack when you have no clue where to put something.

Moving boxes can add up, and you can forget about things quickly. Always unpack ASAP. Photo by Kimberley Spinney.

If you are anything like me (and especially my roommate), then living among boxes is simply not going to work. In fact, we have been known to get things unpacked and put away on the first day of being in a new place. And knowing where things are going from the get-go will definitely make that unpacking so much easier.

For me, moving is also a chance to get rid of things I don’t ever use or need. It is about a fresh start and even doing things in a new way. In every move, I have switched things up and completely changed my personal style. (Although my makeup drawer never seems to change and just keeps growing).

On top of getting rid of things and starting fresh, moves are also a chance to redecorate and start from scratch in terms of decor. For us, that means taking the blank slate of a new apartment and making it our own.

Every single apartment has had a different theme or look about it. And while it can get expensive to constantly change things up, there is something invigorating about it too.

One of our apartments had a nautical theme, while another was all about having silvers and navy. Our latest apartment is all about golds and clean lines. While you may not think that is a theme, let’s just say with all the gold we have going on we might have a showroom type vibe happening.

Moving so many times has been a learning experience for me, and it has shown me that I can be flexible and open to change. And while I would love to say this is the last move for a while, I can’t do that. Even if we move again in less than a year, it’s okay because we have got this down pat.

My roommate and I have learned how to pack in less than three days. Sometimes it is like living a real-life game of Tetris, both in terms of packing things and stacking boxes. We know how to get things done and we know how to work together.

Moving is not fun, but honestly, it is an adventure.

And if you can find a way to make it about more than just moving, such as looking at it as being able to start with a blank slate, then you will find that it’s not so bad after all.