There are a lot of things in this life that can get me cranky
- Hanging a towel over a door instead of a towel hook (I’m looking at you, Steven.)
- “Soaking” the dishes instead of washing them (….Steven…)
- People honking right when the light turns green (OK, Steven, you’re off the hook on this one.)
- Not picking up after your doggie does his/her business
- People who lean up against poles on the metro so that no one else can grab onto them in a crowded car
- People who fart on a crowded metro car and pretend to continue “reading” their book.
- The Metro
But nothing makes me quite as cranky as moving.
We recently relocated up the street since our little Noodle will be here soon and our old building wasn’t dog friendly. Remember little Noodle?
I was initially pretty excited to move– getting Noodle is the single most exciting thing I have ever looked forward to. For some people it’s getting married. For others, its Taco Tuesday. I’d like to say I fall somewhere in the middle with getting dog.
For any of you fine people that have ever moved, you know that it is a real process. From packing up all of the junk you have gathered over the years, to moving said junk back and forth like a choo-choo train, to living out of boxes, dealing with building management…it can be exhausting.
I think I have decent self-awareness, and know that when I get frustrated (which I’d like to think isn’t particularly often) my disposition can take a really negative turn. I won’t get into too many details, but let’s just say if you are a young English boy with a scar on his head, who has two best friends named Ron and Hermione, an owl named Hedwig, particularly terrible luck, and a dad who turned out to be kind of an ass-hole, then I’ll make you’re scar burn.
Voldemort, I turn into Voldemort.
We moved our stuff on Friday and it wasn’t until Sunday evening when Steven made me aware that I had been a Voldemort for like 72 hours. After snapping at him for not handing me bag I had asked for, he laid it out in the nicest, sweetest voice.
“You know Sunnie, in times of hardship, you can turn really mean.”
Shoot. I’m a terrible person.
Here I am snapping at a guy who had, without complaint, wrapped the glasses in the exact way I asked him to, carried most of the large furniture (with Jarrod’s help, thanks Jarrod!) drove the U-haul, unpacked most of the large furniture, carried our flimsly AF bedframe up 6 flights of stairs, dealt with my snappy attitude and continued to stay positive and actually really happy. He had the right mindset. We are getting a puppy, were are starting a new adventure and we get to do it together (I kid you not he reminded me of all these things as I was melting down).
I reflected back on this experience and found a few parts of this move that have been really positive and, in some ways, made me a better person. So that you don’t have to go all He-who-shall-not-be-named on your loved ones, I wanted to proactively share some of my lessons learned.
I’m not going to say I’m a hoarder, but I do have an unbelievable gift of finding sentimental value in everything. That old candy wrapper? That was from an after dessert mint I had after a dinner with my mom on a Tuesday. I must keep it!
Because I didn’t want to move more than we had to, I tried to overcome that habit and do a complete declutter of the entire apartment. Below I’ve listed what we’ve donated and where in case you need ideas!
- 5-6 large trash-bags of clothes. There are tons of places to donate gently worn clothes/shoes. We donated most of our clothes to Planet Aid (they have a lot of deposit locations which makes it super easy). Steven also had a lot of professional clothes that he didn’t wear anymore and I found a great organization called StriveDC that takes gently worn professional clothing and gives them to low-income young people and adults who are trying to enter the job market.
- A huge IKEA bag full of books that we had read but didn’t hold any sentimental value. We did this at our local library.
- Old video games that we didn’t play. We donated these to Salvation Army.
- Furniture that wasn’t going to fit/wasn’t necessary. Getting rid of furniture can be a pain and I know a lot of people just end up abandoning perfectly good furniture in their trash-room when there isn’t a way to take it with them. This sucks because it just adds huge amounts of unnecessary waste to already overflowing landfills. I’d suggest in the first inkling you know you are moving, suss out what furniture you want to part with and start looking for people who need furniture. List it on your apartment list.serv or ask friends and family. We gave a desk to a co-worker of mine who was moving and my vanity to the security guard. A free price tag doesn’t hurt especially if you are going to part with it anyways. Good Karma!
- Dishes. We have a LOT of dishes and honestly probably could have parted with more. Do we use all of our dishes, yes, but it also results in prolonging cleaning. We gave away coffee mugs to a friend who was moving and I plan to do an overhaul of our other dish ware soon.
I’m going to assume this isn’t the last move we’ll ever have to do, so I’m glad that I finally came to my senses when it came to packing. My last move, I threw everything and anything into any bag, box, or dolly that I could find which made unpacking a pretty long process. Here are a few of my tips:
- Get rid of what you don’t want before you move and put them into piles of where you’ll be donating them to.
- Get a variety of different boxes to fit all of your different stuff.
- Gather every IKEA big blue bag you can! These durable bags are amazing for carrying just about anything. Ours ranged from kitchen appliances to clothing!
- Save your daily newspapers to pack your fragile stuff. This is a great way put some cushioning in, gives the paper a reusable purpose and is recyclable.
- Label every box with a few essentials: Where should this box be moved when you get to the new place? What is an example of what is in it? Is it Fragile? These labels will help make for a more organized move if you have friends or movers helping you AND will help you make decisions if you need to stack boxes. Two fragile boxes can be very different. You wouldn’t want other boxes on top of a box labeled”fragile” that contains wine glasses but you could probably stack on top of a box labeled”fragile” with well packed dishes in it.
- Take the time to fold your clothes into boxes the way you want them to go into dressers. Your patience and motivation to unpack is probably going to be worn away by the time you get to your new place. Give your future self an advantage by folding when you have the most energy and positive vibes.
- Tape anything shut that might spill (like flour, sugar, bags of chips) and put anything that might spill into a ziplock bag. Put anything that might move around (like spices) into it’s own bag as well.
Remember that in every adventure, you’ll hit some lows to reach the highs.
Yes, things can get frustrating in the lows.
Like when we were putting the bed together. If I haven’t mentioned this bed before, it is figuratively the Devil. IKEA furniture in itself can be infuriating, but this bed frame takes infuriating to another level. As we were guessing which screws went where, using that stupid IKEA tool that looks totally worthless but is the only way you can put a certain bolt back on, and fumbling over the lack of space and plethora of bed pieces, I remember my blood pressure rising. Finally, after 30 irritating and cranky minutes, we were done.
We stepped back from where we re-built the bed and Steven pointed out a space between the foot of the bed and the closet where we could put Noodle’s bed.
Ah, the high.
This may all seem pretty overly dramatic for a move blog post but I guess for me, it has been an emotional few days! I’ll probably revisit this in a year and be like “woahhhh there crazy, Sunnie.” For now, I’ll take my little high and continue to smile when I look at that space between the foot of the bed and the closet 🙂
Big thank you and sorry to my PIC Steven for being a very kind, patient, forgiving and level-headed human:-)