What Does Your Moving Style Say About You?

What Does Your Moving Style Say About You?

Colleen Quinn
Jun 7, 2010

My sister and her roommate are college friends who have lived together for the last few years but are now ready to trade communal living for the joys of solitude. After spending one full day sorting through the kitchen and bathroom splitting up tupperware, toilet paper etc, they then retired to their individual corners to begin packing- an experience that highlighted exactly how different moving styles can be.

My sister isn't moving for another week, but she has been culling clothes and accessories, making trips to Goodwill, and packing boxes for weeks- ever since the day they started looking for new apartments. She measured every inch of her new space, drew up a detailed floorplan, experimented with furniture layouts online, and made a shopping list of things that she needs to pick up before the move. She also measured and photographed everything she doesn't want to move with her, and has that stuff posted to Craigslist.

Her roommate is moving today, and was up all night frantically packing boxes. She made a small effort to cull when my sister did, then decided it would be easier to do it after she moved. She had friends over this weekend, not to help pack but to help celebrate the move with pizza and video games. She too has things she wants to sell, but didn't get them cleared off in time to list ahead of the move, so hopes to sell on Craigslist after she's settled in the new place.

Truth be told, though I am glad that I'm scheduled to drive the truck for my sister's move rather than her roommate's, my own moving style definitely involves more frantic last minute packing than organized preparation. I move every couple of years for work, and yet each move somehow gets more chaotic than the last. Though the fact that my husband is more like my sister will undoubtedly cause problems when we try to move together for the first time, I have come to accept that my moving style is not an indication of laziness or apathy, but rather a core element to my personality.

If left to my own devices, I would happily pack up everything in a frantic rush, making the hard choices about what to keep and what to discard at my leisure in my new place. Four moves in ten years- three of them international- have taught me that I am who I am, and trying to adjust my moving style just creates stress and feelings of failure that make the whole moving process more miserable than it needs to be.

Of course, my sister, mother and husband (all organized, prepacking types) think I'm crazy, and that a little extra effort and focus could transform me into the perfect nomad. What are your thoughts on moving styles? Are they learned or instinctive behavior? Have any of you successfully transformed your moving style?

(Image: John Benson licensed for use under Creative Commons.)

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