At some point in your life, you're going to have to move.
Maybe it'll be for a job. Maybe it'll be for school. Maybe it'll be because your parents are tired of bringing you grilled cheese sandwiches in the basement. Maybe it'll be because you're getting married or you just need a change of scenery. Regardless of the reason, there's one thing everyone can agree on when it comes to moving:
It's not fun.
But that doesn't mean it has to be miserable.
Here are 10 truths that might change the way you think about moving.
1. You have to make moving fun or it just sucks.
Never pack the vodka. You're going to need it.
2. You'll miss your old place.
At least there you know you have to let the water run for ten minutes before it stops being brown. At least there you know that to get a cell signal, you need to stand with one foot in the kitchen sink. At least there you know that the oven is at least 200 degrees hotter than the markings say and that the neighbors have sex every Saturday at 6 a.m.
On your last night in your old apartment, you'll think about how it disappears so quickly and how you'll miss all that familiarity.
It's what you don't know about your new place that's scary.
3. All landlords are insane.
The key is to identify just what kind of crazy they are and then find ways to cope. Avoidance is generally an excellent strategy. Pay early, make friends with maintenance people, and stay out of sight.
4. There is no "good" way to find a roommate. You just have to pick the best worst option.
Occasionally the best worst option comes in the form of a significant other.
4. Descriptions in apartment listings are exercises in creative writing.
Here's a quick rundown of what common apartment terms actually mean.
Cozy = tiny.
Quaint neighborhood = you're gonna get robbed.
Old-world charm = electricity and plumbing rarely work.
Quiet = everyone with any sense moved out of the building.
Spacious = there's a hole in the ceiling.
Renovated = stainless steel appliances installed to drive the rent up by 40%.
Wall-to-wall carpeting = great for bedbugs.
Hardwood floors = they had to rip out the carpet after the "incident" last spring.
Doorman = someone will be there to lose your packages.
Pets allowed = we're keeping your deposit.
5. If you move in the summer, your air conditioning will be the first thing to break. In the winter, it'll be the heat.
For every five degrees above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the Iron Law of Air Conditioning grows in severity. Better buy a fan or six, especially if you live in the city.
6. If you're over 25 and you're asking your friends to help you move, you're not going to have any friends by the time you're 26.
And don't try to bribe them with beer. There's no amount of beer that you can buy that can possibly negate the hassle of moving someone else's stuff.
7. Murphy's Law loves moving.
Murphy's Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. So you can guarantee that your bed will disappear somewhere between Nevada and Florida and that the movers will shrug when you point out the gouge in the dining table that wasn't there before.
Take a deep breath. Let it go. Let it go.
8. The first night in a new apartment is always the hardest.
You have to get used to the newness of it. You learn what sounds normal at night. In cities it's sirens. In other places it's traffic: the rush of cars going by or the crackle of tires on loose gravel. Out in the country, it's the chirp of crickets and frogs.
In some places, it's just silence: the soft buzz of the night.
The smell of new paint and carpet glue fades. The shadows that come through the blinds eventually become familiar, as does your new ceiling, as do your new walls.
You get used to the change in the rhythm of your environment as you settle in.
9. It can be helpful to surround yourself with the things you love.
Something as simple as a photograph next to the stack of boxes you're sleeping on until the movers find your bed can make the transition a lot easier. You might be surprised at the power of hanging a painting.
10. The best thing to add to a new apartment is an old friend.
Just as we make places for ourselves, we also have to make places for people in our lives.
It seems like the most obvious thing in the world, but in the midst of a move, it can be easy to forget. Invite old friends. Find new friends. But have people in your places.
Moving isn't always fun, but it doesn't have to be miserable either. It's the beginning of something and beginnings, though always a little frightening, hold in them the most intoxicating of human experiences: the feeling of possibility.
Make the most of every move.
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