The Seven Stages of Packing Up Your Life (Even If You Didn’t Think You Had Much of a Life to Pack Up)
I did it.
I quit my job and my life in Buffalo.
I packed up everything I own and shoved it all into my beige old lady car.
And I drove from New York to Michigan just in time to catch this sunset.
And listen to an impromptu ukulele concert at the rest stop.
And eat a melty cupcake while reading about my new state.
Because doesn’t a new life in a new state deserve a cupcake?To be honest, it wasn’t nearly as easy I thought it would be.
Well, the sunset and ukulele concert and cupcake parts were all pretty easy. But all the other parts were kind of, I don’t know, hard.
I liked my job in Buffalo a lot, but I didn’t think it would be all that difficult to quit it. Because, you guys, do you know how many jobs I’ve quit in the past fifteen years? At least eleventy-jillion. I’m not even lying.
And that whole quitting my life thing? I do that almost as often as I quit my job.
That should have been easier than the cupcake.
I mean, I spent an entire year living out of a bag the size of a smallish golden retriever.
You’d think I could just throw a few things in a duffel bag and be done with it. After all, I haven’t owned any furniture in over four years. So what did I even have to pack?
But, still, it took me at least four million years to pack. And by “four million years” I mean “two weeks.” Which I’ve handily broken down in seven stages for your reading pleasure. Here goes:
The Seven Stages of Packing Up Your Life (Even If You Didn’t Think You Had Much of a Life to Pack Up)Stage 1: The I Don’t Have That Much Stuff So This Shouldn’t Take Too Long So I’m Just Going to Go Out And Enjoy Myself Stage
This was definitely the funnest stage by far.
Mostly because it involved absolutely no packing.
And a whole lot of self-delusion and alcohol. Because WHHHEEEEEE! I’m mooooooooving! Let’s all go have a drink.
Okay, let’s have even more drinks!
Just don’t ask me if I’ve already started packing. Another question you really shouldn’t ask me: if I’ve already found a place to live. And don’t you dare give me that “Maybe You Should Actually Do Something Besides Sit Around and Drink Because You’re Moving in Two Weeks” side-eye.
Just let me wallow in my self delusion a little bit longer.
It’s all part of the process, okay?Stage 2: The Maybe I Should Actually Start Packing Because Everyone Keeps Asking Me If I’ve Already Started Packing Stage
Oddly, this stage didn’t result in any packing.
It did, however, end with my bed piled in about seven hundred pounds of clothing.
Which was surprising because I didn’t even know I had that many clothes. I mean, if I have so many clothes why am I always standing in front of my closet wondering why I NEVER HAVE ANYTHING TO WEAR EVER?Stage 3: The I Packed Two Whole Boxes of Stuff — I Can Stop Now, Right? Stage
This stage was also super fun – at least the stopping part was fun.
Plus, I got to feel like I’d actually done something productive. I mean, TWO WHOLE BOXES, YOU GUYS. I’m like a machine or something.Stage 4: The I Just Need a Few More Things (And By “Things” I Mean “Shoes”) Stage
Because, seriously, a new city deserves a few new pieces of clothing, right?
Or, more accurately, three sweaters, a handful of new blouses, a fancy-pants dress I will probably only wear once, a fall jacket and at least two new pairs of shoes. Because, seriously, I can’t just show up in a new town wearing the same old pair of shoes I wore in my old town. That wouldn’t be right.
This stage was also followed by the Let’s Dump All the Clothes I Just Packed Back on the Bed and Try Them All On with the New Clothes and Have a Fashion Show in My Bedroom and Take Lots of Mirror Selfies Stage.
Again, totally part of the process.Stage 5: The Stage Where I Actually Start Packing Stuff. For Real This Time.
This stage was hot and sweaty and horrible and resulted in screaming at all the inanimate objects in my apartment. It’s possible I yelled at the toaster for being a total jerkball. It’s not my fault really. It was being a total jerkball, trust me.
This stage also involved some crying and throwing and unpacking of boxes I had already packed because how could I possibly pack colanders and cleaning supplies together in one box?
That doesn’t even make any kind of sense.Stage 6: The One Where You End Up Drinking Wine Directly From the Bottle
There was the matter of this one last bottle of wine that needed to be finished off before I moved. I mean, I couldn’t just throw it away, right? It was a gift from a friend. AND IT WAS WINE. Throwing it away would just be wrong and rude and probably illegal in most countries.
But all the glasses had been packed at that point, so I kind of had to swig the wine directly out of the bottle while watching a Toddlers and Tiaras marathon.
Don’t hate me. Hate the process, you guys.
And stop looking at me like that.Stage 7: The That’s It? This One Measly Pile? I Spent Two Whole Weeks Freaking Out About This Itsy Bitsy Pile of Stuff? Stage.
Seriously, you guys.
This is what I spent two weeks of my life doing:
The pile was so small that it all fit into my car aside from a box of teaching supplies. But who needs teaching supplies when you have new shoes? Really.
Besides, those teaching supplies were being a bunch of jerkballs.Have you ever packed up everything you own? How long did it take you? Did I miss any stages?