Why I Moved

woman looking at sunset

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I moved 4 miles and a world away.

Whenever people visit my new apartment, they ask why I moved four miles to a worse neighborhood. I explain that this apartment is cheaper and larger and closer to my office. It’s a good explanation because it sounds plausible. But I loathe moving, and I loved my old place. Further, I just hate change.

But change came for me. After almost two years of a long-distance relationship, my fiance was moving into town. We had toured some very hoity-toity apartments and picked the best one. We were planning to move in mid-August. I remember worrying a lot about the overlap with my existing lease. Those wasted days of rent! Perhaps I should have spent the time being more excited than worried.

Despite hating moving, I enjoy the preparation. I like decluttering. I like building boxes. I like packing. I had made a spreadsheet of all my possessions so that I could eliminate redundancies when we combined our stuff. These little tasks kept me distracted from the gnawing worry that my fiance still hadn’t reserved the apartment. It was -mid-July.

In late July, my fiance said he was having second thoughts about moving in together. He would move into the apartment complex that we had chosen and I should find another place. My current apartment required two months notice before moving out and they told me my apartment had already been rented out.

So I had to find a new place before my move-out date on August 14. I figured it made the most sense to rent a place near my fiance. It didn’t have to be too nice because we would move in together soon.

On the morning of July 31, I looked at apartments and settled on one that was the most similar to my current apartment. I was driving back home from another appointment when a car in front of me stopped on the highway and my reflexes reacted like molasses.  I became the fourth car in a four car pileup, my very first car accident.

My car didn’t sustain that much damage but the airbags went off. It was an 18-year old sedan, so it was totaled. This was poor foreshadowing for my upcoming move logistics.

The last time I had been involved in a move, I had helped my fiance move from the Upper East side to downtown. I remember thinking at 2am when we were still unloading furniture from the truck in a dark, wet alley, well, it’s not like we could have hired movers. I asked him how much money we had saved from doing it ourselves, expecting to get a number so astronomical that I could justify my ire. He estimated a few hundred dollars. We had worked the entire day and into the night to move. We were both lawyers at big firms. Also, I have the strength and build of a medium sized house cat. I wanted to kill him.

I was definitely going to hire movers for my own move. My friend gave me a recommendation for awesome movers, but, it turns out, awesome movers aren’t available on short notice in August. I went down the list of Yelp reviews until I found one that was finally available.

Sometimes you don’t get what you pay for, but instead, get what you expect when you don’t plan ahead. The movers drove me crazy because they only brought very small dollies and spent most of their time moving each box down the hall to the elevator, rather than piling them up together and moving them all at once. They were being paid by the hour but I found it hard to believe they were milking the time while ruining their bodies. I wanted to tell them, literally to save their backs, that I would pay them whatever they wanted if they just got it all done sooner. I only had the loading dock for three hours but the move took the entire day.

$602 on movers

$40 on lunch for movers

Unfortunately, the movers took too long and they required more of my assistance than I anticipated. There was still a lot of stuff left in my apartment after they left. I picked the highest rated and most expensive Taskrabbit, who also had a van, to assist me. I can’t say enough good things about my Taskrabbit. He was on time, polite and, most importantly, efficient. I wish I had paid for him to take care of everything. I felt like I had a lot going on in my mind; it was nice to have someone else figure things out for once. I was most grateful for that.

Cleaners for old apartment $180
Taskrabbit $250

Miscellaneous things for new apartment: ~$100

I moved four miles and it cost me $1200 and took two days. I’ve lived in my new apartment for over a year. I don’t plan to move anytime soon. The view from my window doesn’t seem that different but I know it’s a world away from where I was a few years ago.

2 thoughts on “Why I Moved

  1. sounds like me when I went through my first divorce…moving in the rain, no less. But it was my own place and my daughter and I recovered, and met an awesome friend for life. We had a building relationships with a lot of the people there and bonded as we were all the same age. Moving sucks, but moving forward in life helps. Love your columsn.

    1. I’m glad it turned out to be a good experience for you! I hope the same for myself. Thanks for your kind words.

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