Adventure-ing: Caitlin and The Move

This is the beginning of a series about Caitlin and her whirlwind of life adventures that all seemed to happen at once… because they all kind of did. She’s not talking about hot air ballooning or surfing lessons, though her things are still great risks and scary, she’s talking about the normal stuff in life that also just so happen to be GIANT mother-effing leaps of faith, love, and… physical exhaustion? First up, Caitlin is talking about moving, and a little preview of topics to come. Here is Caitlin:

I like structure. We get along well. It provides predictability, and an almost immediate answer to the question, “What should I do?” However, in the past three months I discovered that I was pregnant, got engaged, and planned to move from Seattle, WA to Clackamas, OR. Donating my uterus to the growth and development of another human being, one that my fiancé and I made no less, is the antithesis of control. However, this fortuitous turn of events has prompted me to surrender to the unknown while trusting that everything will work out exactly as it should.

And so, to provide anyone in similar circumstances some semblance of structure and control, I have compiled my Top 10 List of Dos and Don’ts for moving:

1. DO NOT under any pretenses, trick your mind into thinking that you will pack in one day.
For that matter, don’t even think you can move all of these packed items into the vessel that will transport them to your end destination in that same day. And although it can take less time to move said items upon reaching your final destination, that time is marginal at best. Plan accordingly. It will take longer than one day on both ends. It is a process. For those of us who like procedures that can be accomplished in a timely matter, I repeat: it is a PROCESS.

2. DO find ways to save money.
Moving expenses can add up. Take a trip to your local grocery store’s produce and meat department (yes, the meat department) for spare boxes. If you are female, find an older man to ask for help. Also, you should appear distressed. When they return with their finds, you should act as if that Chiquita banana box will be a prized possession forever. They will feel like your knight in shining armor, and all will be right with the world. On another note, newspaper and magazines work just as well as bubble wrap. Nothing screams, “Ashton and Demi’s marriage has finally unraveled,” like ripping their headlines to bits to stuff your favorite coffee mugs.

3. DO NOT pick a fight with your partner or get nitpicky about the way he or she chooses to pack, move heavy objects, breath, etc.
You will both be too tired and frustrated to calmly negotiate flippant accusations. It’s a difficult concept to grasp, but there is no such thing as perfect. You are not perfect, your partner is not perfect, and the box carrying your mother’s jewelry box does not need to look perfect to arrive safely in one piece.

4. DO save yourself some trouble and have your mail forwarded.
USPS will forward your mail to your new abode for one year. That’s 12 months!! Can’t get to the post office? Then you’ll have to cough up a dollar to fill out the online form. This means all the uber-procrastinators can wait another 11 or so months before making any personal address changes.

5. DO use hot pink duct tape.
It makes things a lot more fun!

6. DO NOT attempt to throw a farewell party the same weekend you move.
Although well intentioned, you will be too stressed out with last minute to-do lists to be fully available to enjoy family and friends. Attempting to cook for such a party may put you over the edge. Have a get together the weekend before.

7. DO make sure you are drinking enough water.
Fair disclaimer: I have no medical background whatsoever, but dehydration can catch up with you quickly! Just chug a glass of water at regular intervals throughout the day whether you want to or not, and you’ll be fine.

8. DO NOT leave the kitchen for last!!
You may think you are nearly at the finish line, but you will quickly find yourself beating your head against the fridge. There are many more items than you thought possible hiding in every crevice of your kitchen cupboards. The Kitchen aid mixer, onion chopper, George Forman grill, and the cute summertime dishware that you had to have, are still there. Just you wait.

Speaking of worthless, unnecessary items….

9. DO take advantage of time spent going through all of your earthly possession to GET RID of a few of them!
Have you ever even used that Magic Bullet to make guacamole or some other “festive” party dip? Didn’t think so. Chuck it. And if your only excuse for keeping some of your wardrobe items is the thought that you may have a costume party to attend in the distant future, chuck them to.

10. And for Pete’s sake, DO bend at the knees when lifting.
Especially if pregnant.

When all else fails, order pizza and call it a night. You will feel like a new person in the morning, and the process will continue.

This space has been a place for me to chronicle feelings and relationships and stories (the ridiculous and the sad and the funny), it’s been my way of providing a time stamp to major life events, and it’s been a place of advice and discussion and feedback (which I’m incredibly grateful for). But now begins a new chapter, this space will also be a celebration of adventures, of personal triumphs, of doing things we never thought we could, and to cheering each other on. If you have an adventure (big or small) you’d like to write about, please email me at betterinrealife at gmail dot com.

15 thoughts on “Adventure-ing: Caitlin and The Move”

  1. We’re moving at the end of the month and we haven’t moved since before we got married, when we were still students… we have amassed way more STUFF in the past few years of domesticity so I definitely need these tips! I used to be able to move everything I needed in 6 large boxes. Now I know it’s going to be waaaay way way more…

  2. Hey! Its my seeeeester!

    I have watched this process (and helped!) and these are ALL so true 🙂 especially the pink duct tape – that made it fun. Ripping up old UsWeekly magazines to wrap around your dusty shot glasses. Metaphorical? And SHARPIES. I love sharpies. Must. know. where. everything. is.

    Despite all of this happening in a short flow of time – your attitude and embrace-it attitude has wowed me! You’ve handled it with grace and always appeared organized and ON IT. I am so very honored to be a part of your life and to call you my one and only big sister and support you always!


    ps: if all else fails, sing karoake while eating the ordered pizza!

  3. I love that this is under adventure-ing. It’s a good reminder that the “normal” things in life are BIG adventures, too!

    “If you are female, find an older man to ask for help. Also, you should appear distressed. When they return with their finds, you should act as if that Chiquita banana box will be a prized possession forever. ”

    Ahaha. This, oh this. As much as I hate to admit it, I use this technique ALL THE TIME. Works like a charm.

    Also, the kitchen. THE KITCHEN. It is always my downfall when packing. I still remember the last time we moved, and a friend very sweetly offered to come help. She found me standing in the kitchen, just staring at the cupboards, PARALYZED. Bless her, she very kindly set me off to another task, and packed my WHOLE kitchen for me. If it weren’t for her, we probably just would of had to buy new dishes at the new place.

    1. That friend was totally Claire for me when I was moving out of college. I was graduating and moving for EVER the same weekend (from Illinois back to Seattle) and she rolled up 3/4 of my entire wardrobe while I cried. Friends are amazing.

      1. To this day I am so damn glad I had my dorm room packed into suitcases with only a backpack for my last day–dress for graduation, something to change into, shower stuff, and my sleeping bag. I was such a mess that I can’t imagine trying to pack in that state…

  4. Yes! Packing friends – they are totally life savers without the capes. We packed caitlins kitchen two weeks ago – and we kept having false ends 🙂 and then “OH and this, and this, and these”.

    Lauren – omg that weekend! So much 🙂

  5. Having just moved recently myself, I can wholeheartedly agree with all of this.

    One thing I would add is to be more patient with yourself and your partner if you’re in the moving process together. It’s stressful, and one or both of you may be freaking out. Which is totally ok.

      1. It’s pretty sucky. 🙁 And I get to do it all over again in a few months although somehow the prospect of moving is more appealing when it’s moving out of my mother’s basement and back into my own place!

  6. Hahaha the part about the Magic Bullet cracks me up because I moved a Magic Bullet at least 3 times without using it to cook once. I really WANTED to use it though, and had every intention of doing so, but this last trip I finally resigned and gave it away.

    I just counted, and I’ve moved 11 times since 2005. Somehow, with all that practice, I still feel just as inept at moving as I did the first time. I think its just one of those things that sucks no matter how many times you’ve done it or how used to it you are, like opening the door when it’s freezing cold outside.

  7. It’s been almost exactly a year since we moved, and I STILL remember how excruciatingly exhausting and hard it was on my interactions with my husband (that’s putting it nicely, hah!) .

    We’re currently in the middle of a major, whole-first-floor renovation. It feels like moving again, ugh – packing up the entire kitchen, moving around heavy furniture, being totally out of routine.

    I am SO. With. You. on the needing order and control and wanting it all done righthisminutenow. I’m all “it’s been 10 days and we are STILL tearing sh*t out instead of putting the pretty new things in? When do I get to use my kitchen again? Or sit on the damn couch and watch a movie?”

    Best of luck with all your bigness happening right now!

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