Why I Hate Moving

Longing For the Younger Days

When I was young, I really didn't have that much stuff; some clothes, a bed, a dresser, and a few odds and ends. I really didn't own much of anything. Moving wasn't that big of a deal. It was just stuff. I am convinced that all that stuff is secretly procreating and making more stuff. Every time I move, I have even more stuff than I could possibly imagine. I have no idea where some of it came from. That's the reason why I think that my stuff is secretly getting together and making little baby stuffs, and hiding it amongst all of my own stuff. Why do I have a cheese grater?? I have never bought one, never needed one, never used it, but there it is, all the same. I blame the toaster and the can opener for that one. I found the cheese grater in the same box.

As time has gone by, I have accumulated a lot of stuff. It doesn't matter how much of it I throw away, donate to charities, sell at a garage sale, or burn out of anger and frustration on my front lawn at midnight in an attempt to appease the moving gods. I still end up with more and more stuff. I don't know what to do with half of it, so it ends up following me around for years and years, like a strange stalker that just wants to take up space in my house and watch me all day long, or sit on a shelf in my closet taunting me.

This is pretty much what I look like by the end of it all
This is pretty much what I look like by the end of it all
This year's offering to the moving gods
This year's offering to the moving gods
I don't even know why I have one of these things...
I don't even know why I have one of these things...

A Packed Box is a Happy Box

My mind reals, thinking about the countless hours over the years, that I have spent packing my life, into untold numbers of boxes, and dragging it to the next location, only to unpack it again. In the years of my life that I can actually remember, basically anything after age three, I have moved eighteen times!! I didn't do much, if any, of the packing for the first four moves, but I was involved either in part, or in total for the other fourteen moves. Let's just say that I have packed my fair share of boxes. Sometimes I feel like I should get a job at UPS with all my experience.

You would think that with all of that moving, I would have a pretty good system in place by now. A way to get everything done as quickly and efficiently as possible, but sadly, I don't. I am a procrastinator of extreme proportions. If it can be left until tomorrow, or next year, it will be. Boxes sit scattered everywhere, half packed, wrapped nick-knacks sit in piles here and there, all waiting for that last possible moment, when they get thrown in, completely at random, to be dealt with later. I have no system and there is no method to my madness. It's all just chaos.

I recently moved down to Florida. I have boxes stacked up in my garage. One box said kitchen stuff. My boyfriend opened it to find a pair of pants stuffed in on top. Do those pants belong in the kitchen? Obviously not. They still managed to get shoved into a box of kitchen stuff for one reason or another. I blame the crock-pot this time. I am pretty sure the crock-pot moved my pants when I wasn't looking. Who else would do it?

Truth is, I hate packing! I always end up with boxes I can't fill, stuff that is too big to fit into the box I need it to, and a whole host of other problems. I start off with good intentions. I always do. I gather boxes, packing tape, newspaper and other packing materials. I label a box, and start to fill it. I may finish that box right away, or I may run out of things to fit into that box. I always intent to put only bathroom stuff into the bathroom box, but there is always that one thing that doesn't fit, or that little bit of space left over at the top. I hate wasting space in a box if I can help it. So, what am I to do? I grab something handy and shove it in. As evidenced by the pair of pants in the box of kitchen stuff. I can't really blame the crock-pot.

Eventually, everything ends up in a box. A mountain of brown cardboard looms over me, crowds me in and threatens to drive me insane. I want to be ready for my move, so I pack and pack until my fingers are bleeding from all the paper cuts that I have received from wrapping each tiny, little, fragile thing so it won't get broken, and my back aches from moving one heavy box of books after another. I end up needing something. What box did I put that curling iron in? Where is that pair of shoes? It drives me nuts. I end up tearing off the packing tape of box after box of haphazardly packed junk looking for one stupid, little thing that I NEED right NOW!

Make sure you have plenty of boxes, stacked neatly
Make sure you have plenty of boxes, stacked neatly
It may look like white cheddar cheese puffs, but please, don't eat it
It may look like white cheddar cheese puffs, but please, don't eat it
Good advice
Good advice

Moving Day

Whether you are moving up the street, or across the country, everything you own needs to be loaded into a truck or a vehicle of some sort. You may be able to make more than one trip, but it is still a skillful art to load as much as possible into a small space and transport it without breaking anything. It's like a life-sized version of Tetris, with really weird shaped pieces. Instead of L shapes, lines and boxes, you have couches, lamps and odd sized boxes. You can't put anything really heavy on that box of lampshades or they will get crushed. You don't want that box of fragile antique salt-and-pepper shakers balanced precariously on top of a mountain of other things. It all takes careful thought and a lot of hard work.

I hate this part a little bit less than I hate packing. Wedging this here, and that there, hoping nothing bad will happen to any of your stuff. If your stuff got broke, how can it go on to make little baby stuff when you aren't looking? We wouldn't want that to happen, now would we? We need to protect all that stuff we have grown attached to, for one reason or another. I have grown to love my cheese grater, despite the fact that I have never used it, and didn't want it in the first place. I can't get rid of it. I may need it one day.

After you have managed to get everything you own into a truck, you have to drive it to it's new home. If you are lucky, that move is only across town, at the most. I was not so lucky.

We had a 1,300 mile trek from Illinois to Florida. The only thing that did hold up for most of the trip was the weather. We had nice weather for most of the ride. It took two full days. We only stopped once to sleep. The only other stops we had hoped to make were for fuel or food. We got a later start than we had wanted, and had to make up time. We spent time visiting family along the way, and spent more time there than we had wanted. Then the real problems started.

It started with a simple problem with the lights on the trailer. The covers off the back lights had come off and were probably in a hundred tiny pieces somewhere miles and miles behind us. We had to stop and fix it. No one had the covers we needed, so we settled for red lens tape. Then, the lights didn't want to work. Glad we fixed that lens problem! We tried to fix that. So, we stopped again.

Then we hit Georgia. Now, Georgia is a lovely state. I have nothing bad to say about it. Most of Georgia was a breeze. We had just driven south of Atlanta, when we were low on gas. We got off at the next exit and pulled into a gas station. Gas was well over anything we had paid anywhere else on the entire drive, but that wasn't the problem. They had no gas! None! We tried the other gas station with the same result. No luck there, either. We went up a couple of exits. Only one gas station was open, and they didn't have gas, either. The person behind the counter was less than helpful when we asked if and when they were getting more.

We sat there. Four-thirty in the morning, out of gas, with no way out in sight. My boyfriend called roadside assistance, and they offered us some hope, so he took a nap while I pondered the problem. Do I know anyone in Georgia? Yes, but I don't have the phone numbers on me, and I really had no idea how far away that person was from where we were. Sunrise came, and ideas were brewing. Maybe another gas station would be open now that it was morning.

It had been almost two hours since we called for help, and still we were stranded. Another phone call revealed the depth of our dilemma. Our rescuers could not rescue us because they couldn't even find gas to bring us. Thankfully, a short walk up the road was all we needed. Another gas station had opened up, and they did indeed have gas, but they were even starting to run low. We raced over as quickly as we could, filled up, and hit the road.

Thankfully, we arrived safe and sound. I have no idea if everything I own arrived in the same condition. That remains to be seen during the long unpacking process. I look forward to hours of fun-filled surprises as I open box after box, unwrap everything and find a place to put it all. The cheese grater, however, will probably just stay in a box. Who knows, it may get together with my crock-pot and I will end up with a garlic press. Stranger things have happened.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I was scared that this would be my new homeOut of orderSomething always manages to break
I was scared that this would be my new home
I was scared that this would be my new home
Out of order
Out of order
Something always manages to break
Something always manages to break

I'm Moving Out

© 2008 Anna Marie Bowman

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Comments 37 comments

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 3 years ago from Florida Author

cheapmoving- I could not imagine doing that for a living!! Much respect to you for that!

cheapmoving profile image

cheapmoving 3 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

Yeah I can definitely relate haha I have been a professional mover for over 10 years now and I can't say its my favorite thing to do. It pays the bills though! Thanks for sharing.

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 4 years ago from Florida Author

I love shopping a lot more than I like moving!

bryanbaldwin profile image

bryanbaldwin 4 years ago from Los Angeles

I feel the same way about moving as I do about shopping. Hate the process, LOVE the results.

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 4 years ago from Florida Author

Bzl-- I can totally relate!! I have had boxes of stuff stored for years, moving it from one place to the next, because I have no place to put it. It is depressing having all my books boxed up for years, instead of up on shelves, because I don't even have room for a bookshelf.

Bzl 4 years ago

Hi! I am on my laptop, among a disorganized mass of belongings, in the midst of my seventh move of my life (I'm 39) wondering if I somehow missed inheriting the "Genius Mover" gene. I've been convinced that moving is easier for EVERYONE ON EARTH than me. I sit and wonder "is there some trick, some magic spell, that makes this controlled and organized for everyone else?" I had to find out, so googling I began, and it brought me here, and I am heaving a sigh of relief to know that my disdain is universal. I was at my current place the longest--7 years, and now I'm realizing just how settled I became squeezed in this tiny space. I THOUGHT I was keeping accumulations at a minimum these last few years, but all it takes is a move to learn just how comical that idea really was. I do have one depressing aspect that drags me down. Every single move is for life-changing reasons but NOT to step UP into roomier space. I ALWAYS land in standard one-bedroom apartments (various factors have prevented buying larger property; one such factor being the unlikelihood I'd be staying put long enough to make the hassle worth it.) I still have stuff stored in a family home, which also depresses me. Can anyone relate to that situation too? I realize this is an old discussion. But timely nonetheless!

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 5 years ago from Florida Author

estee-- Someone who shares my frustration!! Glad I could cheer you up a little during this stressful time in your life. Just remember, there is never enough tape, something will more than likely get broken, and it will all be over soon! Best of luck!

estee 5 years ago

Wow, out of my own frustration, I typed in Google, "I hate packing" and in an instant, I do not feel alone anymore! I started laughing and my misery went away. Hahahaha! I'll go back packing!!! : )

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 6 years ago from Florida Author

Stefan-- I have another move in the near future, as well. I am going through all my stuff, planning on getting rid of as much as I possibly can. I don't really think I need all this stuff. Best of luck with your move!

Stefan 6 years ago

OMG, thank you very very much for this article. I never laught like this in years, and I am a very happy person myself. I understand the actual frustration as I have moved 8x in less than 4 years, so I believe there is a moving course above me. Another moving awaits me soon, so I just "cannot wait" and will be thinking of your funny lines, while dragging all my well important items down and up the stairs in my reusable shoppers.

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 6 years ago from Florida Author

unknown-- It's fine! No need to apologize. We have all been there.

unknown 6 years ago

srry for being so rude yesterday i was in a really bad place at the time.

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 6 years ago from Florida Author

unknown-- I was merely commenting on the physical aspects of moving. The packing, etc. I would feel the same way if I were moving down the street. Same friends, different house. I have managed to maintain most of my friendships, and try to see my family as often as I can. I do agree that moving, leaving behind people you care about does take an emotional tole on a person. Thank you for that reminder.

unknown 6 years ago

all you guys are worried about is stuff? not even the slightest thought of leaving behind friends and family? just worried about your things! Leaving behind memories? How can you guys deal with that i sure can't

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 6 years ago from Florida Author

bukan-- Moving companies are great!!! When my ex was in the military, they took care of everything, they even said that they would come in, pack up all of our stuff for us, and everything, but for the average person, moving companies can be a bit pricey. Although, I do have to say, one of the best parts of moving is all the bubble wrap! LOL!

bukan profile image

bukan 6 years ago from India, Kolkata

Yes moving is a stressful work, but the good moving companies make this stressful work less stressful than others. :)

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida Author

Krista-- I am sorry!! It wasn't my intention to make anyone feel bad. I hope your move goes well.

Krista 7 years ago

I'm about to move. This made me feel worse.

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida Author

realestateuk-- Thank you!! I have let go of a lot of the attachments I have to stuff. There are some things, family keepsakes, pictures, that sort of thing, that I hold onto, but the rest is just stuff.

realestateuk profile image

realestateuk 7 years ago from United Kingdom

Great tips. We all eventually accumulate so many things that we get forced to evaluate their importance when we have to move to a new place. I'm into real estate, and although I don't have to worry about that aspect of the house owner who's selling his house, or of the new owner, I had always wondered how they go through it. I am pretty zen with my belongings so I don't worry about is as much as other people.

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 8 years ago from Florida Author

Princessa- I am starting to think that just dumping everything and starting over might just be a great idea!! Thanks for commenting!!

Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France

I have move so many times I am starting to loose count! It was scary the first few times but now I just enjoy getting rid of everything and starting from scratch again. It works out cheaper (as moving for me usually involves moving countries) and gives me the chance to buy everything new and decorate a new place to the current fashion :-)

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 8 years ago from Florida Author

hot dorkage- I once had a move like that!! Brings back some interesting memories!!

hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 8 years ago from Oregon, USA

Ah yes. When I was 25 or 26 I was thrown out of my place and I crammed everything into my car and was moved inside of 2 hours. Those were the days. But I do use my cheese grater, a lot actually. :)

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 8 years ago from Florida Author

agvulpes- best of luck with the decluttering process!!

spryte- Loved the video!!! I LOVE George Carlin!!! It fits so well!!

spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

Hey Anna - I feeeel your pain. LOL! Your hub reminded me of one of my favorite George Carlin skits..."Stuff"... (link added below)


Loved your hub!

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Hay, thanks a lot Anna. Swmbo says I must start TODAY!!!!!!

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 8 years ago from Florida Author

agvulpes- It really does boggle the mind how quickly it all builds up. Here's to decluttering the fox hole! LOL!

ripplemaker- Thank you!! Yes, I arrived safe and sound, and am going through that mountain of boxes, slowly but surely!

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I have moved only thrice in my entire life. :) Yes packing and unpacking can be a daunting task. Whew! But as I read through your hub, I could also sigh thankfully that you arrived safe and sound! :) Good luck to the unpacking thing.

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Right with everyone there. Its just Amazing how much stuff one accumalates in ones fox hole.

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 8 years ago from Florida Author

SweetiePie- I know the feeling. Every time I consider moving, I feel this sense of dread wash over me!! I use it as a factor in deciding if I really want to move that badly.

Brainstormer- Those are some great tips!! Maybe I should have done this as a how-to as part of the hubmob...oh well!

Amanda- I envy you!!! Ten years in one place!! I don't think I have ever spent ten years in one house in my entire life!!

Jerilee- WOW!!! I cannot imagine moving that many times!!! I thought I had moved around a lot! I do understand the effect the military has on moving. Thankfully, they will come and pack you up and move everything for you! I miss that!!

Christoph- Thank you so much!! I am a huge fan of yours, and your comments are always appretiated!!

bobgnote- Yeah, I think it might have had something to do with Hurricane Ike, and I guess there was some massive price gouging in Georgia, as well. I agree with you that we need to start looking into more alternative fuels. I have heard talks of hemp as an ethanol-type fuel, similar to corn. I might look into that a little more!

bobgnote 8 years ago

Hurricane Ike must have taken gasoline supplies.

Keep burning gasoline instead of hemp alcohol, and you get to move from Florida, with everybody else! Good luck.

Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

I think everyone has been through this at least once. I've had my share and your article really captures the frustration and discombobulation well. Not to mention sadness and excitement, colored with anxiety. Well done!

Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

After reading this, I counted up how many times I've moved in my life-time. Thanks to jobs, the military, and stupidity I've moved 61 times! More moves than years on the planet. Every time I swear I will never move again, especially after this last time. The worst part to me is the unpacking, as I have lots of helpers when we move, and in a family of four, I always end up being the only one unpacking and putting everything away. My solution this last time was to get rid of everything non-essential -- that's a hub in itself. Great hub!

Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

It's nearly ten years since we last moved, and although I have aspirations towards a bigger, better house, I can't summon up the will to move out of the one we have. I feel the same about decorating. There's just so many things that I'd rather be doing!

Brainstormer profile image

Brainstormer 8 years ago from Australia

Oh I am so with you on this one. I have devoloped my own system.

Tip 1. Keep the coffee tin and jug in the car or truck cabin with you.

Tip 2. Leave the rest in boxes in the garage.

Tip 3. Don't move.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

I so hate moving so I can relate! I have fortunately not had to move in two years and I am thankful for that. Now I am thinking about buying a condo in a year or two, but I dread moving again. Too much packing, and I hate to pack.

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