No matter how often you pack up your belongings, only to unpack them later, it doesn't get easier. In fact, it gets harder. More tedious. A little piece of your soul blackens each time you have to place your life into cardboard boxes. The downsizing, donating, and cleaning. Ugh. The cleaning. Worrying if you'll get your damage deposit back because you accidentally chipped the tile in the kitchen when you dropped your frying pan.
I remember my very first apartment and how excited I felt to be moving out of my parents' house, how fun it was acquiring new furniture, dishes, and all the little things you need, like a toothbrush holder and silverware. The first time around, I lived with my sister, I painted my room blue and she painted hers a ridiculously dark colour. We didn't get our damage deposit back.
Needless to say, I've learned a couple of things. Here are my seven tips for anyone who is moving:
1. The fifteen day overlap. Yes, I know we are not made of money, but it is totally work it to find a place for the fifteenth and have have a month to slowly move it. It allows you to prime and clean the new place before you move in, and the old one after you move out. The cost certainly bites the big one, but trust me when I say you will be thankful for the extra time.
2. Newspaper is not needed. So, you have breakable things and you want to ensure they are packed into boxes so they don't get all smashy-smashy? Use your clothing. Put glass knickknacks in tube socks! Clothing works better than paper and it also allows you to cut down on boxes and bags of clothes.
3. Don't buy boxes. Go to grocery stores. They love giving them away. Free stuff rules! Even if it is only cardboard.
4. Check for ants. Out of all the places I have been in, only one of them didn't have an ant problem. One of them! ONE! Can you believe that? Apparently, it's a huge problem, which is evident because 87.5% of the places I've rented/owned have had a problem with them. So, keep your eyes open and check for any signs of these diligent workaholics.
5. Something is going to break. It happens. Every. Single. Time. Sometimes it will be a mirror and bad luck will ensue. You can't change this simple fact. It's impossible. Trust me. I've tried extremely hard not to break anything and something always cracks, smashes, or gets all busted up. Don't waste time worrying about it because it's out of your control.
6. Oh, it's nice to hire professionals. At least, I imagine it would be. Since I am the poorest of the poor, I've never had the luxury. I've always depended on friends. If you're like me and have next to no money, you too may rely on the kindness of others. While they are amazing for even offering to lend you a hand, do not be foolish. Never feed them until after you've done the moving. If you make the mistake of giving them pizza and beer beforehand they won't work as hard. Chances are some of them probably will even cut out early. They may not mean to be jerks but without the proper motivation they will be.
7. Whatever happens on move day doesn't count. It's a high stress, ridiculously tense day and nothing said or done can be held against you or the ones you love. Everything is forgiven because every muscle in your body is sore and you're brain is so fatigued the idea of signing your name seems impossible. So, be gentle with yourself and those around you.