I’ll come right out of the gate and say sorry for the BuzzFeed-style clickbait article. That said, I figured I’d break up my usual text heavy articles with a bit of a fun one. If you know me, you know I love this millennial meme that keeps popping up. I just find it so funny because everything gets blamed on us. That said, I’m not really sure it even applies to this article, but I figured any form of whining is considered a part of the millennial stereotype. Anyway, I wrote this article to chat a bit about the stresses of moving as I’ve just concluded my move to Atlanta. I hope you enjoy it!
Table of Contents
My Move History
For those of you who haven’t heard, I just made the move from Erie, PA (my hometown) to Atlanta, GA. I already wrote a bit of a blog about why I decided to move, so I won’t waste any time here. Instead, I just want to chat about some of the stresses of moving.
Moving isn’t really that new of a concept for me. However, I had spent most of my life in the same house. That was until I went off to college in another state. Moving is just a part of the college experience. You grow to be a minimalist pretty quickly as it becomes tiresome to move all your things every 6-12 months. The following is a sort of general movement schedule of mine for the past 5 years or so:
- August 2012: Move from Edinboro, PA to Cleveland, OH
- May 2013: Move from Cleveland, OH to Edinboro, PA
- August 2013: Move from Edinboro, PA to Cleveland, OH
- January 2014: Move from Cleveland, OH to Manchester, UK
- June 2014: Move from Manchester, UK to Edinboro, PA
- August 2014: Move from Edinboro, PA to Cleveland, OH
- May 2015: Move from Cleveland, OH to Edinboro, PA
- August 2015: Move from Edinboro, PA to Cleveland, OH
- May 2016: Move from Cleveland, OH to Erie, PA
- July 2017: Move from Erie, PA to Atlanta, GA
That’s quite a few moves! Now I was planning to plot these up on a map to get a little perspective, but unfortunately Google Maps fails once I put in Manchester. I guess you’ll just have to imagine what this map looks like or perhaps you can share one with me in the comments. Anyway, let’s get to the list!
The Stresses of Moving
None of those moves listed above were really that stressful, so what’s the difference this time? Well that’s the whole point of this article, right? Let’s get started.
It’s no surprise that moving is expensive, but the cost of a move can vary wildly. Perhaps the two most important factors are how much you have and how far you’re moving. Moving from the US to Norway with nothing but a backpack is probably going to cost just as much as moving down the street with a U-Haul full of furniture.
In either case, it’s not going to be cheap which means it certainly won’t be easy. Something that requires this significant of an investment is sure to bring stress to you and your family.
For me, a lot of the stress came down to receiving no support from my job. Typically, if a business needs to relocate you, you get some sort of support. Unfortunately, I had to take on the entire cost of the move. That included a U-Haul that ran me around $1200 as well as the all the transition costs like maintaining two sets of utilities, paying security deposits, etc.
If you’re a renter like most millennials, then you probably own some form of renter’s insurance. When you switch apartments, you have to transition your coverage to the new location. That’s typically not too bad. You just have to make a call and sign some forms.
The hard bit is when you have to change your car insurance. This simple process kicks off a chain reaction of stressful processes. For one, you typically have to hand sign a bunch of papers and mail them back within a thirty day period. This can be difficult to even remember to do in the middle of a move, so it’ll definitely bring on some stress when you start receiving calls.
After that, you’re old state will be notified of the switch. This promptly kicks off another set of stressful events which require you to return your license plate and registration.
While insurance could have been placed under finances, I decided to give it its own category because it’s quite the process when you change states. I kicked off this process by calling my insurance company. They happily moved over my renter’s insurance.
When they asked if I wanted to switch over my car insurance, I let them do it. Within a few days, I received a letter saying I had 30 days to mail back my license plate and registration. That’s a bit hasty! Right now, I suppose I’m in the process of getting my vehicle registered in the new state, so I don’t face any fines. Overall though, insurance has been quite the hassle.
Packing & Downsizing
One of the biggest stresses of moving is realizing you hold onto way too much junk. Naturally, there’s this period of time spent downsizing, so you can save on load time and general moving costs (boxes, bins, trucks, etc.). Downsizing is just stressful because you have to detach yourself from the sentimental value of whatever you’re tossing. If it makes you feel better, you can always hold a little yard sale. However, be aware that that adds another bit of stress into the mix. Sometimes it’s just easier to box everything up and take a trip to your nearest Goodwill.
If you know me, you know I’m a minimalist by nature. I just prefer to spend my money on experiences rather than material objects. I would much rather go out to dinner than buy a new toy. However, I will buy computer-related things which is probably pretty obvious. I’ll gladly spend money on digital downloads and whatnot since they don’t take any physical space. The less you have to move the better. You should have seen some of the things I got rid of. I ended up trading in an old PS3 as well as all my old Xbox games. I also dumped all my trophies from growing up. Most of that stuff just sat around and collected dust. Besides, I still have the memories (plus I took pictures of everything in case I do get a little sentimental)!
Morgan, on the other hand, is a bit of a pack rat. She’s not the worst I’ve ever seen. I mean she doesn’t belong on an episode of hoarders, but she does have that catch phrase: “I might use that someday.” That said, I think the move really got her to change her mind about a lot of things. We don’t have nearly as much junk as we had.
Among the 6 stresses of moving, travel probably clocks in along the easier side of a move. After all, it’s usually a straight shot that can be handled at one time. Unfortunately, it’s almost never that easy. No matter how you handle a move, travel has to factor in somewhere. Even if travel only involves relocating yourself and letting movers handle your belongings, you’re still going to struggle a bit. Indeed, flights get cancelled, travel gets rough, and families argue. I always think about the Griswold family trip to Walley World. The movie may be a bit of hyperbole, but it wouldn’t have been funny if it weren’t so true.
For me, the travel bit was two-fold. Morgan and I traveled down to Atlanta in a U-Haul first. Then I ended up flying back and staying for a couple weeks. The main reason was because of the test I had scheduled at the end of the month. That, and I suppose it was just easier to study in the peace and quiet. Regardless, I ended up driving down separately with our cats. That’s at least 24 hours of driving for anyone who’s counting.
Neither trip was really that easy. The first trip we hauled almost everything in our apartment in addition to a trailer with Morgan’s car. If you’ve ever tried to drive that much stuff through West Virginia, I have mad respect for you. It was definitely not the most fun drive I’ve ever had. We also ended up getting shafted by our land lord on the way down, so we were stuck grabbing a hotel. Beyond that, the drive was pretty smooth. The second time I had to drive a much older vehicle without any AC. Granted, I love the heat, but I did have to haul cats this time. Overall, I completed the trip in three fewer hours, so that was nice.
For those that don’t know, culture shock is an emotional response to being placed in an unfamiliar situation. This is one of those things that you don’t really think about because you’re too busy thinking about the physical move. It’s not until you actually arrive at the destination that you start to experience a bit of culture shock. In fact, there are actually stages to this process. At first, you’ll go through a bit of a honeymoon stage where you’re excited to be taking in all sorts of new experiences. Eventually, however, you’ll start to get depressed or frustrated as you try to do normal everyday tasks. This can be a really stressful period of time as you start to settle in, so you’ll want to be ready for it.
Fortunately, for me, I just got to Atlanta, so I haven’t really had a chance to get a frustrated. Even the crazy driving has been interesting to me. I haven’t had a chance to settle down yet, so I know I’m still soaking up my surroundings. That said, I’m aware that things will likely come up in the future that are going to start to frustrate me. Especially since I’m in a period of my life where I’m just starting to figure out how the world works.
If you didn’t post about it on social media, did you really even move? I mean, honestly, moving is stressful enough, but in 2017 we’re required to constantly update others about it.
My advice: link up your Instagram to your Facebook and Twitter, so you can easily triple post. Then all you need to do is take hourly selfies while driving and add them to your Snapchat story. If you want to go the extra mile, you can dig up an old app like Vine. I’m sure someone still uses it.
If successful, your brain will be releasing loads of dopamine from all the likes you’ll receive. That’s the stuff.
Alright, I couldn’t resist with that last one. Obviously, that was satire, but I figured I’d ride it out for the sake of millennial bashing. As a fellow millennial, not very many things make me laugh more than the incoherent bashing of us. Just for reference, here are a few of my favorites:
- Millennials are influenced more by dogs than marriage, children when buying a home
- Millennials want a hotel room that looks good on Instagram, rather than a cheap one, says HotelTonight CEO
- The Timelessness of Millennial-Bashing
- Are Millennials Killing Beer Now?
As usual, thanks for taking the time to read through this. I hope it gave you a laugh! I like to post silly stuff like this from time to time as a way to cope with the stresses of life. And let me tell ya, it’s been pretty tough lately. Maybe you can expect to see more of these types of articles. Though, I should probably finish off my data structures material. Until next time! 🙂
Poetry was life changing for me as a Python developer. You really ought to try it.
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