I don’t know a person on the planet, save for professionals — and even with them I have my doubts — who enjoy moving.
There’s nothing fun about it. At all.
And I should know. I’ve done it, oh, 12 times in the last 15 years.
It sounds like a lot — and it is — but to be honest, two of those moves happened in two days. (Long story.)
Most of you who rent know the absolute horror of moving. I moved so often during the real estate boom in Hawaii because every unit I was living in at the time would sell in a year — and I’d be stuck rental-less.
You’d think I would have gotten used to all the packing and unpacking — or at least come up with some handy tips.
I bitch and complain and cry every single time. Nothing changes. I never get better at it — just more enraged and emotional.
I thought about writing a list of the 10 reasons why I hate moving, but that would be so obvious. I hate everything about it. Ten wouldn’t be enough!
So I got to thinking: is moving really that bad? (Yes!) Isn’t there some kind of redeeming value to it? (No!)
I shrugged off my inner voice and came up with the 10 things I don’t mind about moving — and I’m not even being sarcastic.
1. You learn a lot about yourself. When you’re under that kind of stress — and yes, moving is stressful! — you really see another side of yourself. (And other people see it, too.) You find out if you’re a hoarder, if you’re a purger, if you’re anal, if you’re a procrastinator. You learn how you handle stress and organizing chaos and movers who show up an hour late. You really can’t hide all that when you’re moving.
2. You find things you thought you had lost or didn’t know you had. The last time I moved, I found my wisdom teeth, all four of them, tucked away in a little pouch. I didn’t think I still had those. And this time around, I found a set of old-fashioned ice cream cups I didn’t realize I had kept all these years. We collect so much junk during our lifetime, things are bound to get misplaced. I love finding things I forgot I had.
3. You find old photos. Now, this can be both a good and bad thing. Sometimes you don’t want — or need — to see old high school prom photos or pictures with exes. But other times, you come across some real gems — like a photo of your grandparents before they passed away or the moody soccer player you had a crush on in high school. As long as you don’t find anything incriminating — though that could be fun, too — it’s all good.
4. You know who your friends are. I hate moving, so I don’t like to inflict that pain on people I actually like. (If you have a pick-up truck, you likely get asked all the time about helping lug furniture and boxes between homes.) So it always warms my heart when people volunteer — and actually show up — to help. Though I rarely take people up on their offers, it’s nice to hear friends ask if I need help.
5. It’s quality time with my mom: While I rarely ask friends to help, I have no probably coercing my mom into spending an afternoon with me, packing and cleaning. Not only is she cheap labor — I usually just have to buy her lunch or a few Napples from Zippy’s — but she’s smart about the process. She always comes up with a make-sense strategy to pack, organize and clean out the old apartment. Plus, she’s a lot of fun. And you need people you can laugh with and talk to while you’re doing something so heinous as moving.
6. It’s a workout. I’m not kidding, moving really is exercise. Try lugging boxes full of books or a 27-inch flat-screen TV up and down two flights of stairs. It’s a lot of work! I don’t doubt you burn a ton of calories moving (which made me feel a lot better about the onion loaf from Tony Roma’s I ate afterward).
7. Moving gives you an excuse to indulge. Everyone sympathizes with people who have to move. So when you’ve spent an entire weekend packing boxes, carrying boxes, then unpacking boxes, no one will judge you when you decide to eat an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s AmeriCone Dream ice cream. No one. You can do whatever you want. You’ve earned it.
8. It might be a better choice. Since moving is so awful, I only do it when I absolutely have to. And in some cases, the move might actually be a better deal. The new unit might be bigger, brighter, cheaper, more conveniently located. You might have better neighbors or a cooler landlord or a better view from your living room. Whatever it is, focus on that. It will make the move less painful.
9. Hello, new neighborhood! While I’ll miss Aina Haina — I knew most of my neighbors, I could walk to the beach and to a nice hiking trail, there was a Foodland Farms right around the corner — it’s always fun to explore a new neighborhood. There are new places to eat, new grocery options, new walking paths for the dogs, new running routes, new people to meet. That’s always fun.
10. Keep moving forward. Sometimes the best reason for moving has to do with the verb itself. You’re moving — and hopefully that means in a forward direction. For the kind of 2013 I had, this move was not only necessary but happily anticipated. I’m moving forward in a new place with a new life — and that’s really the best reason I’ve got.
I haven’t move that much but it’s a pain in the butt to me. I have a truck and if I knew I would have come to help.
All that moving probably keeps your from accumulating a bunch of stuff you don’t need.
I’ve had to move 4 times in the last 5 years for various reasons so I can sympathize with you. Moving is never easy and I have worn out my welcome with friends regarding their help. It is always a new experience and even though I know I will have to move a few more times in my life, hopefully future moves will be towards owning a home again.
i found some of my old teeth too. quite a lot of them, actually, too many of them, actually.
i’ll tell you a secret: i lost a tooth in HNL in 2009. it was in March. i had arrived in town from SF and attended, that night, a meeting of the AAJA at the ‘Tiser at which, i met you, Gene, Fitz, Shauna and many other very nice people. after the meeting, i fished out the tooth from a pocket and yanked a tiki i always wore to Hawaii from around my neck. i buried them together under a small palm just left of the front entrance to the ‘Tiser. it was a ceremonial and weird thing to do, i suppose, but i was contemplating what i thought would be my final move; to Honolulu, the end of a journey that had taken me over 60 years of steadily moving to ever increasingly western and warmer lands.
i had a meeting scheduled for the next day with Jennifer, to talk about me setting up a contract with Circulation for special events and new home delivery sales groups. it was premature. i called Jennifer from Ono Cheesesteaks in Waikiki the next morning and told her my resources were stretched too thin and that i would have to return to the mainland and plot another course back to Honolulu.
reading your columns, blogs, vids, posts, tweets over the years has helped give me a touchstone to keep my goal in sight. i make trips out for a month, two months (once i did five months) but i have yet to put the pieces together for a final move and i have fewer years to get it done and fewer and fewer teeth. kinda wish i had that one under the palm tree back again.
You found four wisdom teeth when you moved… might be a hoarder 🙂 But seriously Cat I hope you can have some stability for a while at least in terms of living.
Moving sucks. The fact that you could find 10 good reasons for moving is admirable. The only good thing I could think about moving is moving away from some dumb neighbors. hahaha!
Something different, soon to retire after 30yrs in the same place! I’ve had to deal with my accumulated stuff, personal & professional, from about 2yrs ago. Best part about moving around, can’t really start da Japanese curse, “No throw away, uddawise you watch you gonna be sorry wen you need em”. lol
btw, with your expression in the pic, this must be the place you’re moving into. Am I correct?
Hi Cat! I know the pain of moving. I’ve had to move our offices five different times (Five companies I’ve worked with) and each time I’ve had 10-15 boxes of personal stuff to get rid of. The last move was January 21st of this year! Moving really sucks but it’s a necessity in these economic times. Aloha!
Hey Cat: … haha, you could only find 10 good reasons to move huh??? … I give you credit for that … but maybe only 3 of the reasons could only happen because of a move … the rest should be happening regardless …
… I just helped a friend move his business that’s been at the old location for about 20 years … to a smaller place … and the one redeeming quality in the move … saving about $1400 in rent …