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.