Fall Rituals: Move It!Posted: Fri 09.02.2011
As a little kid, the end of the summer was marked by shopping trips for new shoes, replacement school uniforms, and new pencil crayons. Labor Day weekend meant one last flurry of summer fun and my mother trying (in vain) to get us kids to bed earlier. And even though I protested vociferously to the contrary, I was secretly relieved to be going back to school and to see my school friends after a long summer spent in the company of my brothers and sisters and the neighborhood kids. As an adult, the end of the summer still means new shoes, perhaps a new fall outfit or two, and definitely some Labor Day fun. However, as a doc candidate, fall also signals that most perennial of student experiences – moving.
Although I often joke that I wish Scotty could beam my stuff over in the transporter room, I actually enjoy moving. Yes, there’re things about moving all of your possessions from one place to another that range from irritating to infuriating – making yet another trip to the liquor store for boxes, cleaning out the oven, and movers that turn out to be not so professional after all. However, there’s also the novelty of a new place, the chance to gift, donate, recycle, or just plain get rid of stuff you don’t need or want, and the small, unexpected pleasure of finding things you’d thought were gone forever.
To make moving more bearable, even enjoyable, make sure you have more boxes than you think you’ll need. Use the weeks leading up to the move to weed your possessions (and rediscover buried treasures). Clearly mark the box where you’ve packed “essentials”. Everyone’s list will differ. Mine includes bed linens, hairdryer, tooth paste and coffee maker – not necessarily in that order! Mover’s Edge recommends packing a suitcase as if you were going on a 3-day trip and keeping it separate from the main move items. Among their 100 other moving tips – preparing an “Unpack Me First” box for each room. Move.com lists 12 things you should pack last, such as duct tape, a bottle opener (or corkscrew!) and paper towels. Of course, as a doc student, it goes without saying that you need to keep track of all your dissertation “stuff” during the move (mine went with me in the car), but it also helps to know where you’ll set up your work space in the new place.
To ensure you receive your security deposit back, not to mention score a good recommendation from the property manager, pay particular attention to cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms. Wipe the fridge down well and let a thick layer of oven cleaner work it’s magic overnight. On moving day make “It’s all just stuff” your mantra as the movers drop your favorite (admittedly overstuffed) armchair in the mud. Finally, don’t forget a bottle of wine to share with friends at the end of the day and remember to toast your new space.