A Crazy-Sounding Trick for Surviving a Move

A Crazy-Sounding Trick for Surviving a Move

Tess Wilson
Jun 4, 2013

When your apartment is torn apart, when there are more boxes than seems possible, when the bubble wrap is everywhere and yet somehow insufficient, and when your to-do list is a mile long (but you can't find it or a pen), the best thing to do might be the most counterintuitive: start another project. 

I'm in the middle of a double-move right now — I'm packing up my apartment in preparation for moving cross-country and we're packing up the SFMOMA pastry kitchen in preparation for a 3-year expansion project — and it's a little overwhelming... okay, a lot overwhelming. I don't like stuff underfoot, I don't like things out of place, and I definitely don't like adding scavenged and saved cardboard boxes to my schlepping, but it must be done. It's expensive, and tedious, and headache-inducing, and so, to soften the blow, I've started a side project that's making me very happy.

It's nothing big, just a mix CD for a gift, but it's the perfect project. I've been listening to tons of new music and forgotten favorites, a great soundtrack for packing. It's nice and neat, all contained on my laptop — no mess or piles or scraps. It's so satisfying to find just the right song, satisfying in a more immediate way than taping up a box is. I can work on it late at night or early in the morning, times when I really shouldn't be making packing/keeping/tossing decisions. 

And best of all, I theorize that it uses a completely different part of my brain than moving does. Most of my time is spent planning, strategizing, list-making, thinking ahead: Will I use this? Is it worth it to move it? What do I need to keep out? What can be packed away for a month? Don't forget to (fill in a million blanks here)!! Making a mix lets my mind dance around: What about that guy? Maybe there's a cover of that song... oh right, I heard they had a new album! When I just can't make another decision or list or plan, I sit down at the table, listen to a pretty song, and daydream about what's ahead.

Do you have any counterintuitive tips for getting through the packing and moving process? 

(Image: 7 Unique Ways to Prepare Your Home For Guests During the Holidays)

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