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Eli’s Tips for Moving

We’ve officially hit moving season. As April creeps to an end, so do leases (and friendships; RIP to that one bad roommate). Moving out of dorms at the end of the first year of university, though, is an entirely different experience from moving later in your uni years, especially as stuff accumulates. Here are some of the lessons I have learned from moving a few times in the past four years!

Don’t start packing too late.

Don’t leave packing until the day before, especially if you’re moving out of a house. You’ll be surprised at all of the stuff that’s accumulated over the year (or however long you’ve lived there). Start with things that you don’t absolutely need—the roasting pan, knickknacks, that one sweater from your grandmother that you never wear—and then, as the big day nears, slowly pack up the rest of it. That said..

Don’t start packing too early.

This sounds silly, but seriously, don’t start packing halfway through March if you’re moving out at the end of April. You’ll find yourself missing important items and wind up unpacking them anyway. Do yourself a favour and wait until about two weeks before move-out.

Use your clothes as bubble wrap.

Skip the step where you buy a ton of packing materials to keep your stuff from breaking and use your clothes instead. I haven’t broken a single knickknack in the moves I have under my belt, and that’s because my socks keep them nice and cozy.

Clean your current place. And then clean it again.

You heard me right. I know that putting in extra work to a place you’re leaving behind may seem counterintuitive, but trust me: you want that security deposit, and the extra mop is worth it. (Don’t forget to wash walls and ceilings if they need it!)

Leave some stuff aside.

About a week to five days before the actual move, lay out the clothes you want to wear between then and moving day. This allows you to pack up the rest of your wardrobe with minimal issues and means that you’ll only have about one laundry load to do the day before moving. 

Get rid of what you don’t need.

Go through all of your belongings. Moving is a good time to admit you’re not going to do anything with those notes from first-year English, so you might as well recycle them. Once you’ve done that, recycle them, set them out on the curb, or donate them. Make sure your belongings get the long life they deserve making someone else happy.

Be prepared for things to go wrong.

Moving is inherently stressful, so don’t be surprised when the day goes downhill. Things will break. Wires will get crossed. Roll with the punches, and let what happens happen. Remember, moving will happen one way or another, so there’s no point in stressing (I say as a chronically anxious person).

Bonus: Give yourself a week or two (or three) to settle into a new routine.

I always expect moving to fix all of my problems, but living in a new place with new people is actually incredibly stressful. Don’t be surprised if the first couple of weeks involve a lot of exhaustion and tears; it’s all part of the process.

I hope these help! Happy moving season!

Eli Mushumanski is a queer Writing and English Honour undergrad in their fourth year at the University of Victoria. They specialize in fiction and poetry. Their work has been published by The Albatross, The Warren, and Flare: The Flagler Review, and they are a fiction editor at UVic's literary journal, This Side of West. When not caught up by schoolwork or reading, Eli plays Stardew Valley and chats with their mom on the phone.
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