obby and I have moved in and out of places FOUR times in the last SIX months. Translation: that’s a frickin LOT of times in a short span.
This was the scene in our car moving from Vermont down to Miami. Thank goodness for Bobby’s skill at packing LOTS of things into crammed spaces. He was able to carve out the perfect amount of space for Graham’s dog bed, high up between our two seats. He was king of the castle up there.
Here’s the progression of our nomadic ways: New Orleans —> Vermont —> Miami. Out of Nola, into Vermont, out of Vermont, into Miami. Give us another 6 months and we’ll be moving out yet again to go back to Vermont.
On my better days, I’m thoroughly enchanted with the adventure of all these places. Fortunately, my “better days” greatly outweigh my “i’m-going-to-combust-from-the-stress-of-new-everything-all-the-time” days. Most people settle into an area and don’t venture out for years. We get to live in amazing parts of the country in short doses. The magic of that does not escape me.
Still, I have to be honest that the moving part of all of this has a tendency to rock me. Like anything, though, moving gets better with practice. So I hereby declare that these are my 7 personal moving rules, in descending order, to be observed during all upcoming moves. Feel free to adopt them if you have a move in your future…
7) Ziploc bags are terribly useful but also expensive. Save them for any future moves – then you don’t need to buy them again, AND they’re readily accessible.
I stuck so many things into ziplocs as we were packing up. Craft supplies? Into a ziploc. Jewelry? Stick each necklace into a sandwich bag so it won’t get tangled with others. Kitchen spices? Get thee into a ziploc!
6) Give myself time to adjust to a new place. It’s a shock to the system. Just because I don’t feel gushy about a new place immediately doesn’t mean I’m bad at change. It just means that I’m human. A human who will surely grow to love my new home once I’ve cut myself some slack.
5) Remember, pets can be a HUGE pain during a move but also a HUGE way to make new friends in new said place. They’re worth it.
A few weeks ago, Graham met Charles, the world’s cutest puppy. This upcoming weekend, we’re going to hang out with Charles’ owners! BAM, it’s like magic. (Pretty much our entire social circle in Miami so far is a direct result of having Graham in our lives. Thanks, Graham!)
4) Www.padmapper.com is not lying with it’s slogan: “Making Apartment Hunting Suck Less.” Apartment hunting is always going to suck. It’s a fact of life. But pad mapper most certainly does makes it suck less.
3) Capsule wardrobes are where it’s at.
Since Bobby and I had to pack our entire Vermont lives into one Honda Civic, it was a given that we needed to pare down some clothes. I’d been intrigued for awhile by the concept of a capsule wardrobe. Essentially, a capsule wardrobe consists of a set number of clothing items that you curate carefully for that season. Then, you stick to those items. No shopping for new stuff. I gained buckets of inspiration from Un-fancy and Elise Blaha Cripe.
There is no rule on the specific number of clothes/shoes, but you select a number that is going to force you to be selective and only choose pieces that you really love and will be happy to wear over the period of 3-4 months. In my case, it’s 6 months since Miami seems to have one, glorious season: perpetual summer. I’m proud to report that I got my Miami capsule wardrobe down to 40 pieces (excluding workout clothes, socks, and underwear). Thank you, thank you, I’m hearing the applause from across the miles.
Honestly, being able to fit ALL our clothes into a couple of air-tight bags was so liberating. And it’s been such a freeing experience when I get dressed in the morning. If you’re up for a challenge, you should try it!
2) Get enough sleep. Moving is exhausting and stressful and SO much harder if you’re running on empty.
1) Remember this, the number 1, most important rule:
So so so much truth in that.
Seven rules that I’m holding tight to for all future moves. If you’re currently moving or anticipating a move…hang in there, friend. I’m giving you ALL the gold stars right now.
Love the picture and handwritten text combination (especially the one with the lights down the stairs).
All of these thoughts on moving are so true! I’ve got a capsule wardrobe going on in Japan and I love it (though I’ve had to add to it because Fukui is colder than I imagined with its non-insulated apartments). It kind of takes the guesswork out of things, and I feel creative when I get wear something completely differently than the week before depending on combinations of cardigans, legwarmers, and scarves. ;)
Moving is stressful! Maybe in the past six months, I’ve only moved three times (Minneapolis>NOLA>Japan), but I never relish the process. Ironically, I still have some TESCO-brand plastic zip-lock bags from my days of study abroad that I’m using here in Japan. They actually last quite a bit longer than you might expect, and as you’ve mentioned, are endlessly useful!
I’m impressed you’ve managed to make such a positive post out of something that’s usually so stress-inducing. It was a great late-night read!
I want to see some pictures of you in your Japan capsule wardrobe! I think I saw one of you wearing a skirt and tights – reminded me of Zoey Deschanel – aka ADORABLE. You’re right about the creativity boost – I totally relate to that. It’s funny because you would think that limiting your options would make you feel less creative; but I’ve found that being able to easily see all of my clothing choices has me grabbing for different pieces that used to be buried away under many other items. Now that they are in full view, I’m mixing and matching and fully utilizing my closet! You DEFINITELY get gold stars for all of your moves over these past six months…triple gold stars for a move abroad!
So. Incredibly. TRUE!! Great tips from another serial mover….
Meghan, maybe we need to co-author a book on this topic! :)
Another great post! I’m glad you are making puppy-parent friends! Hey Grace, you know what the next step is? Posting these images to Pinterest!
Thanks Leah, you da best. Yes, you’re so right! Posting these to Pinterest is definitely my next step. Waiting until the blog is completely ready to be made “public” and then that will be at the top of my To Do list!