If I had to describe moving home with one word, I’d say it’s a very intense experience. It requires a whole lot of planning, thinking, and organization. It involves a lot of stress and takes up a lot of your time. But these are the things we already know, right?
After recently moving into the fifth apartment in three years, I started noticing other things, those that few people mention when they talk about moving home. Other than stress, excitement, planning, and organization, this significant event in your life involves some quirks, joys, and side effects that can be annoying, but also pretty funny.
When I was a kid, my parents moved home many times, both before and after having my brother and me. But I was very young, and it was always mom and dad who took care of everything.
In my adult years, it seems that I’m continuing the family tradition. In 2016, I moved to another city to live with my (now ex) boyfriend. A year later, the two of us moved to another place. Another year after that, we broke up. I moved back to mom’s, so I could find a place for myself from there, and I spent a month or two with her. And then, in May 2018, I moved into a small flat in my hometown where I lived on my own for the very first time.
In August this year, I had an argument with the real estate agent who was in charge of the flat where I lived. Impetuous as I am, I made the decision in two minutes: I’m moving out!
Here we go again: searching for a new place, visiting the potential apartments, taking care of things at the old place, planning the moving day, packing, carrying stuff, unpacking… Everything was already familiar, even though it hadn’t become anything less stressful. But this time I was able to pay attention to some smaller things, those that no one had ever told me about. These are some things that I didn’t pay attention to during my previous moving adventures. And yet, when I look back, I realize I experienced them whenever I moved to a new place.
1. Impossible food combinations
I generally pay attention to what I eat, and I thoroughly enjoy food (both preparing and eating it). But before moving home, I have only one goal: eat as much food as possible that I already have at home, so I pack less of it into boxes. A week or two before moving home is the period of the weirdest food combinations you can imagine.
Olives, rice cakes, and peanut butter? Sure, why not? Rolled oats, protein powder, chickpeas, and milk? Breakfast of champions. Adding frozen cherries to a salad? Absolutely!
Before moving home, your creativity in the kitchen will absolutely shine! And so will your tolerance to otherwise inedible food combinations.
2. Discovering that you have WAY more stuff than you thought
In my previous apartment, I had a tiny kitchen, and I still didn’t fill up all the drawers and cabinets. And yet, when I started packing the kitchen stuff, it was freaking never-ending! I think I filled eight large boxes only after emptying the kitchen cabinets, and I had five or six more boxes of everything else.
Fortunately, the kitchen in the new place is big enough for all my dishes, gadgets and knick-knacks. But I was honestly surprised that I had so many cooking-related items.
3. Overthinking even the simplest actions
I think we’re not even aware of how many things we do automatically. Once you move, unpack and find a place for everything, the weirdest thing happens. You have no idea where things are! Sure, you unpacked them yourself, but it takes a few seconds to remember where you put them. And these few seconds of thinking are required for everything; you can’t do anything “on autopilot.”
Let’s take making your morning coffee as an example. You have to remember where the coffee is, where you put sugar, and where you put the mugs. Plugging in the electric kettle requires you to remember where the power socket is. And not to mention if you want to make things fancy and add a bit of cinnamon to your coffee. God knows where that is!
4. Old, yet new noises
The sound of footsteps, voices, doors closing, traffic… They’re all familiar, right? And yet, when you move to a new place, all of these sounds seem new. The neighbors’ doors sound different from those in the building where you previously lived. There are new people in the building, and their voices are different. Every freakin’ sound is unknown to you, and if you’re jumpy as I am… Hang in there. You’ll get used to it.
5. Not knowing where you are when you wake up
This is so totally weird and unpleasant, and it happens to me for a few days after moving home. This time, it’s been lasting the longest so far! I have been in the new apartment for a week now, and it still happens every night. It occurs right before falling asleep, or when I wake up in the middle of the night (which I usually do at least twice). For a few very long seconds, I have no idea where I am.
For me personally, this may be lasting for so long now because I often sleep at my boyfriend’s place. Plus, I slept over at mom’s a few times shortly before moving home this last time. So, I changed four apartments and four different beds in two weeks, no wonder I’m still confused.
6. Bumping into furniture
As I mentioned in the third point, there are so many things we do automatically. One of them is moving through our flat in the dark. Well, forget about it for a while. Even if you move all your furniture to a new place, it will be arranged differently. So, there will be lots of bumping into things when you wake up in the middle of the night to grab a snack, a glass of water, or to hit the bathroom.
It will happen even during the day, as every apartment has those awkwardly placed corners and edges. You get used to them and know how to avoid them after a while. But in the beginning… All I can say is: ouch!
7. You’re always late
This one annoys me so very much because I hate being late. I have moved to a neighborhood that’s totally new to me. I know how to get to the people and places I usually visit because I know this city as the back of my hand. But I have no idea how long it takes. Ever since I moved here, I’ve been late to every single appointment I made.
Always look on the bright side of life
These things are funny and odd, but most of them are also frustrating and annoying. But the good thing is: they will all pass! They are temporary, and they only happen during the first couple of weeks.
As time goes by, you will gradually get acquainted with your new home and get to know everything in it and outside of it. And before you know it, you will make morning coffee without opening all cabinets to find it, and without smashing your toe against the table.