Moving mid-session: how I did it and you can do it better

illustration of boxes and belongings piled up

It’s the nature of renting, really. It can be annoying and uncomfortable, or cosy and creative, but ultimately it’s pretty impermanent. Leases run out. Roommates go rogue and skip out on you. You discover one too many cracks in the wall or there’s a funny smell or you’re pretty sure the place is haunted. And this means one thing. Lots of moving. When it came about that I was going to be moving house three-quarters of the way through a session, I did what any sane person would do. I panicked. What about my assignments? What about my classes? Where did I leave the sticky tape? (There were tears over that one.)

But in the end, I got my boxes packed and shipped and now I’m trying to lead a calmer life living out of a suitcase until I move to my new home. It’s called minimalism. But hopefully, whether you’re moving to the next street or another state, my personal disasters can give you a bit of perspective and help you in your own adventures.

Take your time

This is key. In my situation, it was a combination of leaving things slightly too close to the last minute and having my deadline moved up by a week that left me packing my entire house in three days. Let’s just say, it was not an easy time for me. Friends, family, housemates, and especially my boyfriend can testify to my panic and hysteria. There was a lot of shouting, crying, saying I wasn’t moving, a couple of tantrums and more exercise through box-lifting than I have ever done in my life. But somehow it got done. Please, for everyone’s sake, don’t repeat my mistake. Even if you have a well-planned schedule for packing, leave yourself lots of room for changes and timing issues. You will thank yourself if things do go a little south.

Look after yourself

Honestly, this was about 2% my hysteria’s fault, 18% how well I deal with stress (read: not well at all), and 80% my own fault. During the madness of packing, I managed to all but completely forget to eat, sleep, or drink water. Probably the only reason I ever remembered to do any of these things was because my hands would start to shake and I felt a little bit like a zombie. I don’t know if any of you have ever done any seriously intense packing or physical activity, but you really do need to fuel your body to be effective. It is a million times easier, plus you move a million times faster after you’ve had a big glass of lemonade and a sandwich than you do if you slept six hours and are running on empty. Yes, your body is your temple, but it’s also a jet plane that gets things done, and they need some serious go-go-juice.

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