There are thousands of reasons to move, but only one important one: you. It sounds selfish, but who else is going to make your adult life their priority? Whether it’s a new job, a new development in your relationship or your lease is expiring and you have the itch to jump neighborhoods, a move is (or should be) 110% about what’s good for you as an individual; I know mine is.After I graduated from UCSB in ’08, I had an executive decision to make: apply to grad school and pursue a career based on my field of study, or listen to that voice in my head that’s never stopped dreaming. So I packed up my troubles and followed my heart to LA, which led to an incredibly hectic, and admittedly not very well thought out, move to my first apartment in Koreatown by myself. And please believe – I say that not to harp on myself, but because I should have had more of a plan. Between my lack of income and unfamiliarity with the city, it might not have been the best choice – but it did a beautiful job of reminding me to define my intentions and embrace the reasons why I live my life. Every damn day, I wake up blessed that I listened to that small tinge of inspiration that I’ve always held onto, because it’s brought me exactly where I am today and I couldn’t be any happier.
As I prepare for fourth move in five years I have a snazzy mental inventory that I can refer to – I know what I love having around (people, amenities like bars, markets and a gym within walking distance, and last but definitely not least freeways) what I’m willing to deal with (like volume, messiness and a general level of respect), what I’d like to avoid and what I really consider a priority (my relationships, my profession, etc) –
Work Life: Even though I do most of my work from home, one of the perks to my move is the decreased travel time to the office. Because it’s Los Angeles, it doesn’t make sense to give you the mileage so just know that currently – the drive time ranges from 30-50 minutes depending on traffic, and the second I move that’ll drop down to a mere 15 minutes. Oh, yes!
Social Circle: The majority of my social circle resides out of Southern California and is mostly scattered up the Western Coast of the United States; but for the friends that I do still have in Los Angeles, most of them are living pretty on the East Side of town and I cannot wait to join them!
Love Life: First things first, I’ve never lived with a significant other; this is the first time my love life has evolved to the point that it simply makes sense to live together. We spend pretty much every waking moment together, and lately we’ve both felt like we just have a really well furnished storage unit on the other side of town. Don’t get me wrong, it was all fun an games until we factored in travel time and traffic. Los Angeles is one of the few places where you can actually be in a long distance relationship with someone who lives in the same city as you, and I can’t wait til we start a new chapter in the relationship.
Moving is like an earthquake: you can prepare, prepare and prepare for it but there’s simply nothing as chaotic or physically draining as an actual move. So here are a few tips to help =)
(1) Before things start getting crazy, review your lease and get your “30 Days Notice” to your landlord ASAP to ensure a seamless exit
(2) If possible, try and get a small overlap of time where you have both places; moving out and moving in are a lot less stressful if they don’t happen simultaneously
(3) Consider the pets – are you combining furry, four legged families? If so, get a strategy together for how the animals will get acquainted. Another idea to consider is shampooing or deep cleaning the carpets to get any layers of pet hair out before you bring more in.
(4) Submit your change of address form to USPS to get the mail moving to your new abode
(5) Color code your furniture so you know what’s moving, what’s getting stored and what you can toss; personally, I’m a huge fan of the Stoplight method
(6) Give your closet a heavy dose of reality and finally get rid of those capris/bellbottoms/high-waisted shorts/crop-top that you one time could have worn to that strange party but you never did so now it’s just staring at you with an ostentatious look, taking up precious closet space. Limit the nostalgia items to five or fewer and get into the groove of getting rid of things – it’s good for the soul, I swear! I love donating mine to friends, because at least I can still get some vicarious enjoyment out of the object, but if you’re feeling adventurous – try your hand posting your duds on Tradsey for some serious cash.
(7) Whether you’re moving with friends, or in with a significant other, take a few moments to make the new place your own. Maybe that means hanging up brightly colored tapestries, or covering the fridge with drawings from friends – either way, make sure you put your mark on your spot, both early and boldly.
(8) Last, but certainly not least, get lost. Maybe not literally, but take some time out of your day and explore the neighborhood – find a new bar, some yummy hole in the wall food, an art gallery or a park fit for a picnic; you never know what’s just around the corner!