Maybe it’s just part of being a young adult, but I feel like I’ve moved around way too much. For almost my entire life I lived in the same house, so the act of packing up and moving is pretty foreign to me. Yet in the past year, I’ve completely packed up and moved four times. I packed up and moved out of my college dorm and back home. I then moved from my home to my first real apartment in Orlando. When my lease was up, I moved all of my stuff out and back home again (putting about half of the stuff in storage). I then temporarily moved into my aunt and uncle’s house. And now I’m preparing to move to New Orleans for graduate school. I’ll probably only be there a year before I move again, but only time can tell. For someone who lived in one house their entire life, I’m starting to feel like a nomad . . .

So here are my thoughts on moving. The stages that (probably) everyone goes through when they have to move:

1. Denial
You tell yourself, “I don’t really have that much stuff. It’ll be easy.” You decide to sit down and eat some cake. Watch some Netflix. Call your best friend. Upload some pictures that you forgot about. Just about anything besides packing.

2. Attempt to organize
Maybe you can start putting things in boxes. You have a plan, everything is going to be organized by category. Kitchen stuff in one box. Desk stuff in another. It will be perfect. Planning commences.

3. When the hell did I get so much stuff?!?!
You realize that all of your kitchen stuff will not fit neatly into one box. Or two. Or three. Maybe four will do it. Whoa, where did this stuff come from?! Maybe you can consolidate two small boxes into one big box . . . which doesn’t work at all, so you divide it back up again into two boxes. Except this time the stuff doesn’t fit neatly like it did last time. WHY?!? Ugh. You question your initial decision to procrastinate because you don’t think you have enough time to get everything together before the moving truck arrives.

4. It’s time to throw things away
That’s it, stuff has to go. You grab a garbage bag and decide to throw away anything you don’t need. You take a look around. “I don’t need so many tupperware,” you tell yourself.” But then it takes 20 minutes to figure out which pieces to toss, so you decide to keep them anyway. What about the stuff on your desk? Do you really need all those papers? What if you need to look back at your senior thesis one day and your computer crashed and you have no access to internet because aliens have taken over the planet and you need to know the information contained in that paper in order to save the world? Yeah, better keep that paper. It might be important.

5. Sentimental stuff
Aww look, you found your nametag from your first day of orientation! It’s one of those stickers that says “Hello my name is,” and it brings back memories. It must have been hiding under your desk. You start to throw it away and realize it’s pretty cool that you still have it. Maybe you can stick it in a scrapbook one day. You decide to keep it. How can you throw that away?? THE MEMORIES. You’re going to look back at it one day and be glad you have it. Obviously you can’t throw it away. (If you had thrown it away on day one that would be totally different, but now you have it so . . . )

6. Break time
You feel pretty accomplished because you have a nice stack of boxes. You figure you’re probably halfway done, so you deserve a break. *5 hours later you’re still binge-watching Netflix, or writing a blog post . . .*

7. More stuff appears
You finally realize you need to get back to packing. You manage to throw a handful of things away and feel good about yourself. You put everything else in semi-organized boxes. You look around and realize there’s still so much stuff . . . like, where did it all come from?? You start shoving things randomly in bags, because you have no where else to put it and you’re tired of packing.

8. Cleaning?
Now that your place is devoid of (most) stuff, you realize how dusty it is. And where did those fuzzballs come from? You debate whether you should clean or just leave it. Are you going to get charged if you don’t clean? Probably not. But wouldn’t cleaning be the nice thing to do? Do you even care? You debate while taking another snack break.

9. The moving truck
You realize now that your entire life is boxed up, it has to all make it into a truck and trekked to your new place. Ugh. Why is life so hard?

10. Unpacking
After successfully getting all your worldly possessions into a truck, you have to unload everything at your destination. At this point you just put stuff in random corners because you don’t care. As long as your bed makes it to its designated location. Everything else can wait . . . indefinitely. You decide that unpacking is definitively worse than the initial packing process. It’s time for some wine. And a nap. You deserve it.