Moving sucks. Most of you are agreeing and cringing with me right now because you know. You know how much it sucks to have to pack everything up, haul it out of your old place, get it into your new place, get everything back out of boxes (maybe), and figure out where to put it now. No matter how often and how fervently you promise to yourself that you’ll become a minimalist so that next time will be better, it never quite works out that way. It’s almost as if your stuff breeds inside closets and cabinets and boxes, and multiplies as if you’d fed it after midnight. But there are a few upsides to moving…
The process of cramming your things into boxes and crates, or getting them ready for a mover (how decadant!) means needing to consider every physical item you own and live with. It means opening up all the drawers and peering into all of the back corners. It means coming face to face with that awful birthday present you got one year, and what were you thinking when you bought THAT shirt? It’s also an opportunity to toss things in the trash – or donate, recycle, or sell them – with the inarguable excuses of “it just wasn’t worth moving” or “I don’t have space for it in my new place.” Not to mention the possibility of rediscovering a treasured possession temporarily forgotten or thought long lost. And regardless, you’ll be able to pick and choose what is most important to you as you narrow down what must come with you, and what has to be packed last and unpacked first because it’s so vital to your life. Some of it will be mundane, like your toothbrush and your cell phone charger, but some of it may surprise you: a piece of art, a special book, an irreplaceable mug. Spring cleaning never has quite the same effect of really forcing you to decide what the necessary trappings of your life really are.
Then when you get to wherever you’re going, whether it’s down the block or across the world, you get to have a fresh start. Everything will be newly clean and the shine of the new and unexplored not yet worn off. Sure it can be a little intimidating and scary to have to find all new places to eat, shop, and play, but it’s also your chance to escape being the regular in a rut of the same order every Friday night, to never again see the cute barista you totally embarrassed yourself in front of that one time, to get away from that really annoying neighbor who doesn’t know the meaning of sleeping in. That first time in a new neighborhood pub might feel awkward, but might also be where you meet one of the best friends you’ll ever have. It’s may be true you’re moving away from your favorite hole-in-the-wall Asian supermarket, but it may also be true that you’re moving towards your new favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican grocery. And leaving behind that really lovely park probably won’t seem so bad when you find a new spot to sit and watch the sun set.
It’s certainly an adjustment, and change is always hard. It doesn’t matter how excited you are about it, and what excellent things you know will come of it. It’s going to be stressful, and that’s okay. Just remember to take a moment to appreciate the good parts even while you mourn what’s going away.