35 Important Lessons Learned While Moving Across the Country

IMG_1270Having just completed a stressful move out of NYC, I thought it would be fun to share some of the lessons/hardships learned in the process.

Having moved 7 times during my 10 years in New York City, I thought the process of moving out of state would be a breeze… I don’t know where this blatant lie to myself came from.  They’re not kidding when they say moving is one of the holy trinity of stressful life events (the other two being death of a loved one or divorce).

This post is meant to be a lighthearted reflection on these past 31, stress-filled days.  I admit, while these situations weren’t funny in the moment, in the aftermath, I’m finding space to laugh and heal.  Won’t you scroll on and giggle along with me?

  1. After announcing your move, don’t expect everyone to immediately be happy with the news.  Unexpected change can stir up some major shit.
  2. Make sure to schedule plenty of rest and recovery time for yourself – things are about to get stressful whether you believe them to or not.image2 (1)
  3. Therefore, reduce as much stress as you can control.  Certain things are on a timeline and other things are not.  Cut those other things…you can pick them back up later.
  4. Don’t be like me and continue to work up until the morning you leave town.  It is a dick move that will leave you sobbing during your final hours of work (not an enjoyable scene for any party involved).
  5. If you’re a woman, honestly consider consulting your period tracker prior to your move.  Spending my last week in NYC pre-menstrual was an emotional roller coaster from hell.  I honestly cried over a pigeon at one point.  A PIGEON!
  6. Schedule plenty of time to enjoy “lasts” in your city, but realize it is less about the actual food/experience and more about who you’re enjoying them with.img_1302.jpg
  7. Be prepared to answer a lot of “why” questions from friends/family.
  8. Donate/sell off as much as possible – it will lighten the load dramatically, yet 4 IKEA bags to Goodwill, 4 boxes of freebies left downstairs, and 3 massive bags to ThredUp later, you will still be left wondering how one person can acquire so much crap.
  9. Post to Facebook Market or Craigslist.  List your items for 50-60% off the selling price.
  10. Don’t be insulted when people still ask for a further discount when inquiring about said items.
  11. Make sure to mark your television as “only available after the Game of Thrones season finale.” #priorities
  12. Don’t allow time to make you panic and give away too many of your big ticket items for free – worst case scenario, you can donate and get a solid tax write off.
  13. People will jump at the chance for free things, but don’t be surprised when you still have to nag people to come pick up their goodies.
  14. There is no such thing as too much packing tape on any box about to be shipped.
  15. Never ship through USPS – there is always too long of a line, too few employees working, and no sense of customer service to see you through.
  16. USPS also has a 70lbs weight limit.  DID ANYONE KNOW THIS PRIOR TO ME CARRYING A 74LBS BOX 10 BLOCKS?
  17. Never ship through UPS – they are overpriced, careless with packages, and really should reconsider using brown as their signature color (#poop).
  18. When you do ultimately ship using one of the above mentioned carriers (because let’s face it, when is the last time ANYONE used FedEx?), consider getting insurance on the boxes containing irreplaceable items (because apparently paying $150 to deliver a box from point A to point B simply isn’t enough of a guarantee these days).image1-3.png
  19. If/when UPS loses one of your boxes, may I suggest lighting a fire under their asses by acquiring the security footage from the local Staples showing the UPS driver leaving the facility with your box.
  20. After countless phone calls to Staples and UPS, contemplate how many times you’ve had to say box and/or package and wonder why both terms now serve to describe genitalia in this society.
  21. Type out genitalia and realize your first name makes up more than half the word.
  22. Realize you could torture a hypothetical future daughter by giving her the name “Jenna Talia.”
  23. Arrive back from this mental tangent and agree to start saying “shipment” instead.
  24. Come to peaceful terms with the fact that your lost UPS “shipment” will never be found.  Emotionally release the contained items to continue on and serve their next purpose.
  25. Receive a text message from the dear friend helping you to retrieve your “shipment” saying it’s not only been found, but that it’s been delivered.IMG_1505
  26. Sob happy tears on a random New York City sidewalk because let’s face it, you never actually came to terms with losing the prized possessions contained within that “shipment.”
  27. Irish exits work at drunk friends’ birthday parties, they don’t work when moving across the country.
  28. Provide people a chance to say goodbye and give their well wishes.  You (re: I) may feel you (re: I) don’t want to leave yourself (re: myself) vulnerable in such a setting, but it turns out it’s worth it.
  29. Keep in mind that people will want to wait until your last days in town for their final chance to see you off.  Another reason to not work up until your last morning in NYC – what crazy person would ever do such a thing? (re: me, I did)
  30. Breathe.
  31. Sleep.
  32. Reduce your workload (it’s an important enough lesson, I’m mentioning it twice.  Perhaps one of these days I’ll heed my own advice).
  33. Put your pride aside and simply say yes when people offer to help – whether it be with packing, lifting heavy boxes, giving away items, etc.
  34. Try to not emotionally disconnect from your city, but don’t let the rose-colored glasses deter you from your mission either.  Embrace the gifts given each day prior to saying “Bon Voyage” and welcoming in your new adventure.
  35. Get on a plane and immediately start formulating reasons to visit because saying “goodbye” to NYC has never really been option…it will always just be a “see you later.”IMG_1506

I love you, NYC!  Until next time

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