Seven Phases of a Relocation

I’ve always been a bit of a mover. It’s difficult for me to live in a predictable surrounding for an extended period of time. While to many familiarity is a comfort, I tend to start feeling suffocated if the status quo doesn’t change on regular basis. Three to four times a year, I re-arrange my apartment. It’s not a pre-determined thing. It comes on all of a sudden. Something would trigger it off and I would be shifting furniture in the middle of the night. Since moving back with my folks, the rearrangements are mostly limited to my bedroom nonetheless they always re-energize me. It gives me that fresh…almost explorable vibe! That and living in different parts of the world; shifting several times within the same city and managing some relocation projects for work has made me somewhat of an expert re-locator (Yes. I am self-titling myself here but for someone who has her twitter handle as ‘Maharishi’. This should totally be acceptable.) Once I had even been paid to ‘relocate’ someone and their spouse out of the paying-party’s flat. (No guns were used)

So for the past 3 weeks I have been assisting a family associate to move their offices. Since I have such an expertise in relocations, I thought it would be an easy breeze to earn some cash. However with my recent minimalist lifestyle, I’d forgotten the years when I spent so much time and energy to pack and move cartons and cartons of paper-back books, pretty cups and candle glasses and big lumpy sofas that I hardly sat on. Also it seems I’d forgotten what files are and the endless cabinets full of them in offices. I’ve been in a state of déjà vu for the past couple of weeks and it has dawned on me that despite the type and size of a relocation, a mover almost always goes through the same emotional phases. The seven phases of a relocation –

1.   The Decision

Whether it’s catalyzed by a to-vacate notice, a break-up with someone you thought you’d be spending the rest of your life with or a pressing change in your spacial needs; some take time to ponder and others grab it by the neck. But once you’ve made the decision to move, you can kick back on the couch and dream of mauve feature walls and hot new neighbors. And by all means pull out a cold beer and start decorating your new corner office in your head!

2.   The Magnitude of Work Involved

After a floaty few days, one must roll their sleeves and get down to the business of packing. It’s a loadful moment you stand in the middle of a room not exactly sure where to start. The sheer magnitude of effort it requires to shift to a new place deters many from ever venturing out of their 15-year old apartments. The packing, the cleaning, changing of your mailing address, applying for new electricity, water, internet, cable, heating, directing your Natgeo subscriptions…..there’s a lot of work to be done.

3.   The Reminiscing and Cleanup

Initially you’ll spend more time reminiscing about the things you keep finding in the back of your closet than actually packing. I feel sorry for your poor friend who kindly offered her Saturday afternoon to help you pack. Seriously she couldn’t give a rat’s arse about your broken rag doll and how your childhood buddy, Jaz spilled milo on her. To be honest, it really should be going in the rubbish pile. Do it!

4.   The Mini-Breakdown. The Halfway Mark.

So you’ve been packing for days. There’s boxes everywhere. You’ve got nowhere to sit as your chairs and stools are all tied up. You’ve been eating out of takeaway boxes and would just like to make a nice cup of coffee but you can’t because all the goddamn cups have been packed away! You’re exhausted and dirty and nowhere making any progress with this moving fiasco you’ve got yourself into. The whole thing was a mistake! What were you even thinking? Anddd…it hits you and you crumble on the kitchen floor sobbing your tiny heart out. The world is a cruel, cruel place and nobody really cares about you…gawddddd why am I still singleeee. It’s like your PMS’ on triple time, man. That’s right you’ve hit your halfway mark. Without doubt, it happens to the best of us. Chin up and keep at it.

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5.   The Moving Day

It may have taken you 15 days to pack but it’ll only take about 15 minutes to clear out your old place and load everything up. Before you know it, the place will be swished empty and you’ll be handing the keys over. I’m the kind of person who says goodbyes to buildings. I usually hang back a minute or two say thanks. I know. Don’t judge.

6.   The New Place is Shtye 

Everything you loved about the new place during inspection, you’ll hate when you move in. I mean why the hell wouldn’t someone put power points in the bathroom. Where is a girl supposed to plug in her hair straightener????! You’ll be banging into doors that swing the other way, the cable guys don’t turn up for weeks and you’ll miss most of season 3 episodes of Revenge. Of course, you’re not complaining about the view though.

7.   The Falling of into Place

You’ve worked out the oven settings in the kitchen and now spend many an evening perfecting your banana breads. You’ve also discovered a cosy cafe around the corner that opens till 10.p.m and the landlord’s agreed to install that extra power point in the bathroom, too! So just like that, things will fall into place. And before you know it, you’ll feel like you’ve been there for forever!

Come to think of it, life’s a bit like that. Any change you go through can seem like a relocation; be it taking small baby steps to learn…discover or plunging into the deep end. Whether you are trying to free yourself from the grapples of a failed relationship or traveling to the other side of the world to start an expatriate life, change is inevitable and this blog is and always will be an endorsement for change and positivity. And you don’t really have to relocate somewhere new to find them…

So go on, Autumn is on its way. Throw those windows wide open and give your living spaces a good shakeout. And while at it, why not re-arrange your furniture. I swear by it. A re-arranged living room, spun around with a good dose of spring autumn cleaning is almost as good as a vacation!

How to re-decorate the same space for different uses.

PS. It also is a wonderful antidote for a broken heart 🙂

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