I feel home.

“I feel home
when I’m chilling outside with the people I know.
I feel home
and that’s just what I feel.
Home to me is reality
and all I need is something real.”

O.A.R., I Feel Home.

They say home is where the heart is. That phrase implies “home” is wherever your loved ones are but what if your loved ones, and therefore also your heart, are all over the place?

There’s a piece of my heart left at my parents’ house, but there’s also a part of me left in the town my dad’s side of the family has called home for as long as I can remember and another part of me left at the lake where my mom’s family has always lived. I left a piece of my heart in the town I spent my middle and high school years at, as well as a long forgotten childhood part of me left in the Savannah marshes I grew up playing in.

That’s the thing about the idiom “home is where the heart is.” It doesn’t take into consideration the fact that every time you move, you leave behind a new group of loved ones who have captured your heart.  

I have moved six times in my twenty seven years and by the end of this month I will have completed my 7th move. Does that mean based on that phrase I have seven “homes?” Or perhaps I’ve moved so many times I don’t have a place to call home anymore? To be honest with all our modern inventions like FaceTime, Skype, texting, airplanes, and cars, I think that phrase is outdated. No matter where you physically move to or how many times you move, if you put in the effort you can still be connected to the loved ones you leave behind.

Home is wherever you decide to call home. If you want to move to a new city where you know no one because you got your dream job, move. If you want to limit your job search to options in one specific city because that’s where your best friends live, then do it. If you want to live in the same city your entire life because you want to be there to take care of your grandmother who raised you, then so be it. You do you. Do not let stupid idioms or societal norms define where you call home.

Regardless of how you define home or what factors you use to determine where to live, moving is stressful. It’s a pain and a hassle. Over the years, I’ve become a pro at moving and have picked up on several tips.

Start boxing things up early.

Unless your goal is to make your move as stressful as possible (or you’re a true minimalist with only five possessions), start packing earlier than you think you need to. I recommend starting the process at least a month early. Start by boxing up the things you’re least likely to need. For example, if you’re moving during the summer box up your winter items like sweaters, holiday decorations, and warmer pants first. After that, figure out what room you use the least. For me it’s the dining room. Box up that room next.

Depending on if you’re a shopaholic like me or not, I recommend starting to box up the rest of your clothes about 2 weeks before your move date. I start by going through my closet and pulling out anything I haven’t worn in a year. Those items go straight to a donation pile. Then I pull out my least favorite clothes that I do actually wear and box those up. After that I pull out 2 weeks of work appropriate clothes and 2 weeks of casual clothes. Everything else left gets boxed up.

Don’t forget to have your mail forwarded.

Visit USPS’ website to have your mail forwarded. You can file this request up to three months before your move. I recommend putting in your request as soon as your new address is finalized so you don’t risk this becoming another thing you forget to during the moving chaos.

Use paper plates and disposable forks the week before your move.

The weekend before your move, go ahead and box up the majority of your kitchen. Leave out one cup, one pan for cooking, and one spatula, but box up the rest of your kitchen including all your dishes and silverware. This means you’ll have one last thing to box up after work during your last week.

Box quality doesn’t always matter.

If you don’t own a lot of breakable things like wine glasses, vases and china then you don’t need to spend a lot of money or time tracking down heavy duty moving boxes. Buy Amazon Prime moving boxes that will conveniently show up at your front door so you have one less moving related errand to do.

Tape quality does matter.

Regardless of if you buy higher quality boxes or not, don’t skimp on the tape. Take it from me, there is nothing worse than having your crappy packing tape fail you and the bottom of your box opening up putting on display your undergarments for everyone who walks by to see. I personally recommend Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Tape.

Buy more bubble wrap than you think you need.

You may think you don’t need a lot of bubble wrap, if any, but I have always found I need more than I think. Bubble wrap electronics that you don’t want to get damaged during the move. Bubble wrap drinking glasses and plates. Don’t just bubble wrap valuable things you don’t want to get broken in the move, bubble wrap anything that could shatter.

Don’t forget about the candles.

Bubble wrap shouldn’t just be used to protect your valuable items. Even though candles are inexpensive, if they’re in a glass jar make sure you bubble wrap them too. It’s a huge, unnecessary hassle to have to clean glass off every other item in your box just because you didn’t use bubble wrap. Also before bubble wrapping your candles, put them in Ziploc bags.

If you live anywhere remotely hot once you put your boxes in a hot truck with no climate control, your wax candles are going to melt and leak all over your boxes. It’s bad enough trying to clean glass shards off everything, try getting melted wax out off of them. If you forget this step and need tips on how to get melted wax off clothes, car seats and other items, let me know. Been there, done that.

Schedule WiFi set up BEFORE you move.

Don’t forget about the WiFi. Most apartment complexes won’t handle having the WiFi set up for you. Make sure you contact whatever provider you plan on using to pre-schedule a setup appointment early so they’ll still have plenty of appointment times that will work around your schedule.

And lastly, if you have friends or family helping you move make sure you feed them.

Don’t take for granted the people who spending their free time to help you. Moving is stressful even if you’re just helping someone else move. Make sure you provide water bottles for everyone during the moving process, but also go ahead and plan on buying pizza and drinks for everyone after to express your gratitude. They’ll remember that the next time you need help moving.

Honorable Mention:

Don’t call up that one friend you’ve got who owns a truck that you haven’t spoken to in six months. I can promise you, they get asked to use their truck all the time. Don’t be a friend when it’s only convenient for you. Rent a U-Haul.

Still trying to figure it out,

Madison

P.S. Even if you’re not planning to move anytime soon, do yourself a favor and bookmark this so you can quickly find it when you need it.

2 thoughts on “I feel home.

  1. Very well said. As it goes I felt a foreigner at home, in exile when abroad, the more I try and force it the more estranged I feel from my Self. Maybe at school. Academia is where I feel at “home?” At least it’s where I find the most comfort. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just violently sadistic? Gah!

    Like

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