Gone are the days when you moved out of your parents’ house straight into your first home… the place you live until you die. For so many of us, life is a constant parade of boxes and packing tape.
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve moved as a student (three? four?) and you’d think a student would have few things cluttering up her life. Wrong. For one, students have books. Heavy, heavy books. Not to mention those glass pots no one wants to use anymore… why? Because they’re too frickin heavy to use. Thus, they end up in the possession of the roving student.
Not only have I moved, I’ve helped others move; the latest venture meant moving my cousin and wife to their new home. Like me, they have lots of stuff. At writing, about two-thirds of their stuff is moved. (Jeez I guess that means, what the heck am I doing on the internet?) In fact, my muscles have been stretched to the limit (mostly because of the many flights of Stairmaster-like exercise I got yesterday.)
There is nothing like the joy of moving into a new place. A new start. Different walls. Fresh surroundings.
But before you get to that point, there’s the ritual of moving.
Ug. I keep swearing I will never move again, but it’s inevitable in our nomadic life. The following things I have learned from my multiple moves over the years, including little-ish moves and bigger moves.
- Your possessions multiply once they’re in your home. When you go to move, you discover the exact tally of what you own.
- You’ll consider torching your stuff at some point, just avoid to dealing with it. Forget taking it to the dump. That would involve moving the stuff there. You might as well take it to your new digs.
- It can be sunny for weeks, but the second you start lugging boxes, it rains. Pours, even. Nothing smells finer than cardboard saturated with rain. Ditto for mattresses.
- On the matter of rain, if you have uncovered items on the back of your truck and you’re driving on the Confederation Bridge and it begins raining, you can’t pull over to cover them because there’s a no-stopping policy on the bridge. Tip: cover before you hit the bridge. Especially if you open your mouth to remark, “Those clouds look dark.”
- If you don’t tie down things, they will fly like the wind. As funny as it is in the movies, things flying off your truck and landing on someone’s windshield is a danger, not a comedic situation. Well, funny for you. Not them.
- They don’t install elevators in all buildings with stairs. There’s no rubbery feeling like lugging box after box up stair after stair. Building codes ought to dictate that elevators be mandatory.
- Don’t paint until after the big move. No matter how careful you are, tables just aren’t flexible enough to get around corners. Go figure. You’ll have more dents in your paint than you can shake a stick at (though don’t shake a stick, because you’ll probably hit the wall and make another mark.)
- Someone will watch you carrying boxes and ask, “Moving?”
- Toilet paper and hand soap will be the first things packed and the last things unpacked.
- The big strong men show up after you’ve moved the heaviest furniture. Thanks boys.
- Scissors, utility knives, and string seem to vanish into wormholes until you don’t need them anymore. Then, mysteriously, they’re back where you left them.
- You’ll be amazed what you can live without and leave behind once your truck is full and you have to hit the road.
- Storage lockers can be a godsend. However, they double your moving because you have to pack your things into the storage locker, and go fetch them.
- If you leave items too close to the road, people will try to take them… or worse.
- You’ll move stale, half-full boxes of pasta. Then wonder why you just didn’t throw them out. (Probably because the garbage bags were packed first.)
- A U-Haul? You’d be surprised what you can get into a car, especially if you don’t care where your feet go. And see out the back window? That’s why there’s side view mirrors, my friend. Kiss your rear view mirror goodbye. Rear view mirrors are for wussies.
- Stepping in kitty crap and dragging it through someone’s property is not fun. Especially if you don’t know anyone with your shoe size so you can bogart a pair of fresh sneakers.
- Pizza or burgers will never taste so good; for best results, consume at least four hours after work commences.
- No matter how small your previous digs were, it will be difficult to find room for everything in your new home.
- If you don’t have a janitor’s amount of cleaning supplies, you don’t have enough. Some people live in filth. If you don’t want to be a pig, be prepared to scrub like you’ve never scrubbed before.
- Dog and cat hair from previous tenants clings to everything you try to clean like Super Glue.
- The remote for the TV disappears for at least four days.
- One computer or electronics cord ALWAYS goes missing. Thank God for Radio Shack or whatever they call it now.
- Labelling boxes is next to godliness.
- Moving is a better sleep aid than tranquilizers.
- And finally… there will always been one more move in your life. Trust me. You think you’re safe? No one’s safe.
In closing, moving can be a pain, both literal and metaphorical. But the best part is, we live in an area of plenty. Though moving all those things seems like a bad thing, it’s just a sign that we’re fortunate to have all we do.
Now excuse me. I have to go nap now.