One of the requirements of life which I most dislike is the process of moving! Thankfully, (and I mean that sincerely) it’s been almost seven years since my last move, due to the fact that I own my own house. However I’ve been around a lot of movers lately, and I have often had a boarder or two in my spare room. Obviously there are two components to the move: the move in and the move out. Both of these stages happen nearly simultaneously so it’s important that the tenet/ roommate/ partner (no I don’t like that vague terminology either but whatever), not place all of his or her attention on one stage at the expense of the other. A balanced approach is really what we’re looking for here.
The Move In:
The first thing that I find important is to define your space. I think in most cases this has probably already happened to one degree or another at the time you decided to move. If you’re moving into a house or an apartment where other people already live, this is difficult but imperative. I think the institution of marriage would have experienced a great deal more success and popularity in recent years, had it not required cohabitation. When the culture and mood of a house (meaning its occupants) already exists, keep to your designated space and don’t try to change what’s there unless invited to do so. I realize that this seems obvious, but I’ve had numerous boarders that didn’t quite get this concept. Asking of you can hang a few items of clothing in your new roommate’s closet or if you can change or place new pictures on the living room wall is probably not going to be seen as generous or helpful. Over time your space will grow as the other occupants grow more comfortable with you in the house. By keeping to your space; I mean your boxes and such. I don’t mean yourself. I don’t recommend making a b-line for the new room and closing the door. It’s important that your new roommates not suspect that they are now living with the Una-bomber. By the way I don’t recommend starting to unpack until the move out process has been completed. Lastly, don’t be afraid to throw old or unused, unimportant items away! This is a big one to me. Leave the high school letter jacket and yearbooks in your parent’s attic. Shred those ten year old checkbooks and bank statements. Trust me you’re never going to use them, and keeping all this stuff only makes you look like a hoarder.
The Move out:
If you’re moving out of an apartment the rules for move outs are firmly established at the time of the move in. Out by this date or no returned deposit. If the agreement is more flexible, then it’s important not to exhaust your friends and roommates. First off be out on the agreed upon date. You’re living with people not a corporation. Most likely they have other plans for the space you occupy. Don’t use that space as a storage container. This is why I don’t recommend unpacking until the move is completed. Any organization should be done at that time by the way. The goal is simply to get your possessions out of the old residence and into the new with as little damage to property as possible. My rule is: don’t sleep at the new place until the move is complete. I understand that’s not always possible, so I don’t consider it a hard and fast rule. But I try to observe the spirit of the law. I think it’s also important to emphasize that the move is not complete until a good cleaning has taken place. Don’t leave the space a mess for others to clean up. A good few times over with the vacuum, and a Magic Erasure for the walls will make a huge difference, and ensure that your good name is not damaged in the process of the move.
Living in the same house with others can be really difficult. Things that seem small to you may drive your roommates up the wall, and vice-versa. But with a little maturity and consideration, the move doesn’t have to permanently damage your relationships. On the brighter side, a move can help to simplify your life, if you take the time and have the strength of will to part with things that clutter it up. Remember, it’s just stuff! You will accumulate more, like it or not, guaranteed.