If you’re like me and went off to college somewhere, chances are you’ve moved two or three or maybe even five times over the past few years. It’s always a long, tedious process of packing up your untouched DVDs like Mean Girls & The Notebook, selling off your big furniture or renting a U-Haul to drag it along to the next place, and finding random items you haven’t seen in a year under your bed. it’s always blistering hot because we seem to do it around the end of the school year or the summer and the smell of a million cleaning chemicals fills the air.
It’s exciting because many times it means a new chapter in life, whether that be new roommates, graduating from college or, in my situation, moving out of my first post-grad apartment. At the same time, it’s always a little sad though. You find yourself thinking about all of the fun times you and your roommates had in that apartment. You laugh to yourself about the drunken nights where everyone bonded cooking breakfast after going out or that one time that one guy peed on the couch.
You smile thinking about how new it all seemed. The amount of time and thought it took for you and your
roommates to coordinate what furniture, dishes and decor you already had and then the additional time it took you all to decide how to decorate and make the perfect apartment. The nights you spent stressing over your new job or class and the hours they spent studying at the kitchen table. Countless times watching some show (Bachelor, Scandal, KUWTK, etc.) with countless cookies and glasses of wine. The days spent at the pool and the number of times you all started “being healthy”; working out and eating kale.
Each time I’ve moved out of an apartment, it’s been a different process. Sometimes, I was ready to go. I had my things packed weeks in advance and had moved out little by little without giving it much thought. Other times, I begrudgingly packed, whilst crawling in and out of my roommates bed, crying about how I wasn’t ready for it to be over. I remember going to help my sister pack and move last year and how she hadn’t done any cleaning and hadn’t even figured out how we were going to get it from one place to another. So, my thought is that we need to make this move, this year, a process. We need to do things here and there to keep it from becoming stressful and we need to enjoy it since things are about to change a lot. Therefore, I’ve come up with some ideas that I think will help us all to do this move right.
1. Spend time with your roommates. Whether they have driven you crazy not washing their dishes or coming home drunk at 3 am every night, you’re going to miss them. You’ve spent a lot of time with them and they’ve shaped your life over the last year or so. Make a point to get Mexican and go out one night. Clean the common rooms in the apartment together and help each other pack. On the last few nights, maybe even pull someone’s mattress that’s still left or build a pallet on the floor of the living room, each grab a bottle of wine and a carton of Ben and Jerry’s and watch your favorite movies until you fall asleep.
2. Clean everything you own or throw it away. Moving into your new place should be fun and enjoyable. You don’t want to get there with a large load of laundry to do or a shower rack that’s rusty and covered in old soap. Purge things that aren’t in good shape anymore so you don’t have to move more than you really have to. Trust me, chances are you haven’t noticed how dirty or bent out of shape things really are.
3. Search every inch of your apartment. Chances are you’ll find a full bottle of alcohol someone left from a past party. Maybe you dropped $100 under your bed… probably not, but who knows what fun things you will find. Not to mention, you don’t want to lose your deposit on account of the fact that you didn’t clean as well as you should have and how sad would you be if the apartment complex got to indulge in your cheap vodka instead of you?
4. Turn on your 90s Pop Pandora station or Summer Hits of the 2000s or whatever your guilty pleasure is and jam out. Throw open your windows to dilute the smell of Scrubbing Bubbles and Lysol and have a dance party. Who said moving couldn’t be fun? If you twerk while you work, chances are packing will go a whole lot faster.
5. Return borrowed items. If you live with roommates of the same sex and you remotely like each other, it’s quite possible that you’ve borrowed clothes, jewelry, shoes, etc. over the years. Make sure to separate these items from your own that you’re packing, get them cleaned up and hand them over. That way, you still like each other when you move out and most likely, they’ll let you borrow something again in the future.
6. Buy new things. As much as you probably don’t have the money to buy tons of home decor, you’re getting ready to start your process of moving in again. Whether you’re finally getting your own place, moving in with a boyfriend or moving in with a new set of roommates, you want this place to feel different. Get rid of your old comforter and hit up Homegoods for some cheap goodies. Take a look at all of your picture frames and see if it’s time to switch out to some new pictures where you aren’t toothpick thin, that include your new friends and quite possibly don’t have the boy you no longer talk to in them.
7. Soak it all in. For my sister, my little and all of their friends, they’re leaving college. Leaving a whole life, town
and group of people behind and it is a little sad. For me, I’m leaving my first post-grad apartment in the dust. This was the place that I cried and had an early quarter-life crisis. This was the place I finally got to live in the same town as my boyfriend for an extended amount of time and fall even more in love with him. This is where I learned how to be a professional, what it feels like to have a full time career and where I earned my everyday heel-wearing feet. So, I’m going to take my time. I’m going to say goodbye to my room with the large window and perfect walk-in closet. I’m going to laugh about the stains on the carpet from Halloween decorated cupcakes and beer. I’m going to enjoy a few perfect days at the pool under the mushroom and take an on-demand fitness class in the yoga room. Savor every moment and brace yourself for what’s coming next.
It’s time to move on y’all, but let’s take our time doing it. 🙂
C’est la vie,