The 5 Golden Rules Of Moving

I moved this past week. Apartments. From one in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC up to the Dupont Circle neighborhood of DC. I moved from Capitol Hill because I was sick of being near the putrid incompetence of our government. Also, I wanted to be closer to the Metro. To be honest, it was mostly the whole Metro thing. The putrid incompetence of our government, sure. But mostly I wanted to be closer to the Metro.

I’ve never been a huge fan of advice columns, mostly because who the hell am I to give advice, but I picked up a couple things over the past week that I think should be shared for your next move. Do what you will with the information.

1. Be kind.

You’re going to fail at this one. I can tell you that now. Doesn’t matter how stoic you are, how calm, how level-headed. You’re going to lose your mind. At some point or another, you’re going to stare at your girlfriend, as I did this past week, and say to her, “Babe. I love you. You are the light of my life and the moon to my stars. Without you, I was lost. You are the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and if you hand me the wrong freaking allen wrench one more time, I swear on everything that is holy I will smother you in your sleep tonight.”

It’s going to happen. The trick is to limit it. Limit the meltdowns. Smile. Laugh at the absurdity. Expect the moving truck to not have any gas. Anticipate your buddy who’s helping you to smash all your plates. It’s all going to go to crap. Just know that. Entropy, or something, if I remember freshman science. Chaos will occur. Go in expecting that, and try to be as kind as possible.

2. Remember to eat.

This is directly related to number one. When you don’t eat, you feel hangry. (Hanger = anger spawned by hunger.) Hanger is a horrible emotion. It comes from deep down in you, a bubbling cauldron of stress and caloric deficiency leading to a meltdown of child-actor proportions. You might not even think you’re hungry. Just eat anyway. This isn’t about enjoying the meal. This is straight fuel.

3. If you’re wealthy, hire someone to do all this for you.

Because duh.

4. Whatever time you think it will take, double it

This is directly related to the whole entropy thing earlier. Like a blind date set up by your aunt, the moving process is all going to go to to crap. It will. Give yourself time to deal with it.

5. Be kind

I’m repeating it because it’s the only thing that matters, actually. I don’t care what packing tape you buy or what organizational system you use or even if you remember to eat. All the other things boil down to this: be kind.

Why? Because in the midst of you moving, when everything (as we’ve discussed ad nauseum) has gone to hell, and the movers have destroyed your favorite lamp, and your friend who was supposed to help you is a no-show, and you lock yourself out of the new apartment for the second time that day, and the new building manager you’re pretty sure might have copped a feel when he was helping you move the box spring… when all that happens, it’s so easy to break down. To imagine that the entire world is out to get you and that everything is unfair, and that this process was specifically built to ruin your life. And that’s when you snap.

That’s when you yell at your boyfriend, who took the day off work to help you. That’s when you scream at the movers, who make eight bucks an hour to slowly destroy their knees and spine and help spoiled kids move their mattress up to the ninth floor of some high rise apartment they could never afford to live in. That’s when you curse at your mom, who flew down from Boston to help you set up your new place.

Don’t do that. It isn’t all about you. Moving sucks, but it wasn’t built to suck specifically for you. Nothing was. Be kind. Appreciate those who help you. Sneak a sandwich. It’s going to be over soon. And when it’s done, people will come over, and see the place that you’ve created, and love it. They will. I promise. Just get there. Kindly. TC mark

All information provided in this article is for reference purposes only.

image – Shutterstock


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  • Asmaa Faris

    I am currently moving myself, thanks for the reminder! :)

  • Jenna Coy

    I’m about to move…. such a good reminder!!!! Thank you!!!!!!

  • ruby

    oh you just make it sound so easy!

  • Angeline

    Hanger is indeed a horrible emotion.

  • Kori Williams

    I myself am currently in the middle of a cross country move (Miami-Los Angeles) and snapped today, the hanger, lack of sleep and assistance finally got to me and I lost it. That article put a smile on my face, thank you.

  • John

    You moved 3 or 4 miles, to be exactly how much closer to a metro stop (which Capitol Hill has several of)? Was there another reason? Proximity to The Fireplace?

    • Nathan Savin Scott

      Really, really glad you asked John. I actually lived out past Lincoln Park, so the nearest metro stop was Union Station, a good 20 minute walk, or a similar walk to Eastern Market, also about 20. My new apartment is a mere two block walk from the Dupont Circle Metro. That, combined with my girlfriend’s desire to be near more shopping and nightlife, were the biggest reasons for our moving. You understand. Proximity to the Fireplace was not factored in to the decision. If you want though, let’s meet for a beer there and chat about it. Shoot me an email at Thanks!

  • TheMariG

    These also apply to planning a wedding. I am so NOT joking.

  • Finn

    Oh my god. I’m currently in the middle of moving between countries. Telling myself “Just be kind” over and over again in my head until it’s done. Also, hanger gets the best of me.

  • juststartedthinking

    Reblogged this on Just started Thinking's Weblog.

  • georgie

    I am going to move into my first apartment in a couple of weeks, thank you for this! Also JOHN stop trolling

  • Rachel

    I like to see Thought Catalog has a writer reppin DC ;)

  • Michelle

    Wow, I wish I had read this before I moved from Waterfront SW in DC to Fairfax, VA yesterday. Would have saved my family a fair bit of drama.

  • derp

    I wish I had read this 5 days ago

  • haileyjane

    soo hangry

  • Stacie

    Hanger is such a great word! I experience that often, not just when moving, and I unfortunately take it out on my poor boyfriend.

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