The 9 Awful Stages of Moving

The 9 Stages of Moving

There are several things about adulthood that are pretty goddamn terrible. Taxes? Sitting in a room with a guy in an ill-fitting button down from the Gap while he lectures me about how I cannot write off all of my 14 Hands purchases as a “business expense” even though I write from home is not my ideal way to spend a Wednesday afternoon. Metabolism? Yeah, I’ve been working on that last five pounds for the last five years. Biological clock? Mine hasn’t turned on like that weird Netflix movie Timer but my mom’s is sure working hard for me.

But one of the indisputable worst parts of adulthood is moving.

Until you bite the bullet and go from renting to having a mortgage, you’re signing yourself up to do a fair amount of packing your life up and hauling it across town. And unless you’ve found the gold mine to end all gold mines in a city (aka rent control), you may be doing it every 13 months.

I could literally just write “moving sucks” and this column would be done. But it doesn’t always start out that way. Eventually you get to the “Just burn it. Burn it all.” part of moving where you’re sitting amongst garbage, magazines, and dust bunnies. But, there are a few stops along the way.

1. The Organized Stage

Okay! You’ve got three weeks, you’ve signed your lease and prorated your rent for the last few days of the month. You’ve got this. You’re going to go to Target and get packing tape. Maybe even cute packing tape that’s all chevron so your boxes look whimsical in the back of the truck – how very Zooey of you. You’ll buy a label maker so you’ll know what’s in which box. You’ll bubble wrap to protect the dishes your mom forced you to get because eating off of mismatched plates from roommates past and Goodwill isn’t classy. All of the essentials. But then you inevitably get distracted by the 2 for $30 summer shorts and only make it out of the store with that chevron packing tape. Whatever. You’ll get it all later.

2. The Garage Sale Stage

How do you have so many sweaters with catchphrases on them? Why on earth do you have two blenders? An espresso machine? There’s literally a Starbucks on every corner, so WHEN did you think you were going to use that? You’ll just sell a bunch of shit and make like $1200 to use for your new apartment party. Hell yeah, champs for EVERYONE. Wait, how do you have a garage sale… do you need a permit to do that? You hop on Google, read a couple of eHow pages, and then fall into a Buzzfeed wormhole and forget about it.

3. The “I’ll Just Get Movers!” Stage

You happen to catch a rerun of that Real Housewives episode where Brandi makes the movers take their shirts off and it clicks: you’ll just pay people to carry all your stuff for you. Why doesn’t everybody do this!? Get yourself a Uhaul, six to eight dudes to move everything. Badda bing, badda boom: move complete! Genius.

4. The “I Cannot Afford Movers.” Stage

You see how much movers cost. You remember you never had that garage sale and you just put down a deposit, first, last, and a prorated rent. Looks like you’ll be sweating while lifting your own entertainment center.

5. The Rationalization Of Your Complete Unproductiveness Stage

It’s whatever. You don’t have the keys to your new place yet, so it’s not like it makes a ton of sense to pack anything. You can’t get in there for another week, so why stress yourself out? If you pack your DVD of Now and Then without being able to actually put it into your new apartment, you’re just going to want it in a day and unpack it. It doesn’t make sense to pack if you can’t move.

6. The Trash Bag Stage.

Fuck. It’s Thursday and you have to be out by Saturday. You don’t have any boxes because of the stupid recycling laws and they cost like $3 each at Uhaul, so all you have is that stupid chevron tape you bought after you signed your new lease. That’s USELESS to you. You revert back to your 18-year-old ways when having your own place outside of the dorms was magical and exciting. You have 72 hours and a 25 pack of Heftys. Watch out world – it’s crunch time.

7. The “I’m Disgusting” Stage

How long has this jar of marinara been in the fridge? Jesus, do you ever vacuum? It’s like this apartment is one-half old makeup and one-half dog hair. There’s not a chance in hell you’re going to see a cent of that deposit. Lysol should be paying you for brand representation because you have bought it all in order to try and get that $300 back. Is that a shoe print on the ceiling?

8. The “Burn It. Burn Everything.” Stage

That’s. It. You cannot take moving anymore. You’re so stressed out and sweaty that you just give up momentarily. You’re sitting amongst all of your belongings, and you’re just over it. You can start fresh. You’ll put everything outside on the street and let the Freegans and the transients have at it with your Ikea storage containers and excessive amount of cookware.

9. Acceptance

That wasn’t so bad. Sure, you went through three things of trash bags, two containers of Lysol wipes, and about 80 percent of your sanity, but look at that! Your old place looks pretty spotless – minus the missing window screen that Nikki punched out when she was wasted after a baseball game and the wax you couldn’t get out of the carpet – and you’re fully moved into your new place, and you did it all in 36 hours. Moving isn’t that bad.

(Revisit all of these emotions in 13 months.)

Image via Shutterstock

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Kendra Syrdal

Once in college John Cusack asked Kendra to sing for him. She said no. Visit her website to ogle at her face and send hate mail //

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