Jul 24, 2016

How to Survive a Cross-State Move Without Your Parents!

The mark of adulthood is figuring out how to do more and more by yourself that you used to have your parents' help for. Most of us had parental help moving to college and many had help with their move from college to the city of their first job.

But as time passes after that first major move of complete adulthood, parental help with future moves becomes less and less likely. Your parents might leave the continent, like mine, or they might just decide that they're getting too old to play moving service for you and that you're getting old enough to learn how to do it on your own.

Halp Panda

Moving is a useful skill to pick up, especially if you're someone who likes trying out new cities or doesn't get too attached to a specific place and prefers to follow opportunity. I'm moving back to Cambridge, MA from NYC for work and this is my first major move without any parental assistance and without the option of storing belongings at my parents' house (see above: they left the continent).

With the recurring millennial question of 'how can I do this grown up thing with minimal headache,' here are my tips for pulling off a snag-free major move by yourself!
1) Pare back your belongings.

I know that hideodorous knick-knack is a souvenir from that really fun trip you took in '09 and you totally need those shot glasses, even though you haven't been near a shot in years, because maybe someday you'll be in charge of organizing a bachelorette party and they'll be a few glasses short.


I know.

But try to let go of the things that you aren't using regularly. Even some of the things that you do use regularly might be ready to get the old heave-ho! Those ratty sweatpants for that time of the month when you have a sore uterus and zero desire to put on real pants? That enormous bottle of shampoo that has about three tablespoons of shampoo left in it? That laundry hamper that you think used to be blue, but you're not quite sure anymore?

Bin them. A move is an opportunity to start fresh and live the way that your dream version of yourself does. There's no reason you can't be her and it takes almost as much effort to start over and be the same as it takes to start over and be the better you.

2) Start as early as possible.

Says the girl who will have four days to pack up her life and send it to Massachusetts once she gets back to NYC. Do what I say, not what I do.

3) Send things ahead.

I used FedEx, because you know what's less fun than moving? Schlepping boxes for moving. I'm fine with just schlepping them to my doorstep in NYC, then schlepping them from my doorstep in Cambridge up to my room. 


FedEx can do the rest - it's well worth the money to me.

4) Music. For all of it.

Music makes everything better and moving is no exception! 


Put on your favorite Pandora station - I'm a fan of the new Thumbprint station, which features songs you've thumbed up in the past alongside songs Pandora thinks you'll like given the songs you've thumbed up. If you're more of a music buff, put together a special moving playlist!

Here are a few songs from my moving playlist:

I'm Coming Out - Diana Ross
Life is a Highway - Rascal Flatts
Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles
My House - Flo Rida
Beautiful - Snoop Dogg (feat. Pharrell Williams) Random, but I'm a '90s kid and bum-waggling to ridiculous stoner music is part of my culture's generation!
Wild Things - Alessia Cara

The right music can make the move the perfect opportunity to get properly excited for a new life in a new place - or, in my case, a new old place!

5) Enlist friends, if you can.

Okay, okay - I know this is a post about how to move by yourself. But the truth about doing things by yourself is that sometimes it's fun to do things by yourself with someone else! Just now it's not your parents and there's no obligation, imaginary or not, to help you. So be nice, bake cookies, and return the favor when they need help!

What are your top tips for moving?

How long ago was your last move?

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