How To Move In Your Thirties- Part 1

If you’re moving in your thirties, there’s probably something tumultuous happening in your life. At least that’s been my experience with moving. But then again, that was my experience in my twenties too. So I guess moving is usually accompanied by some kind of major upheaval, no matter what your age.

I hate moving. I hate it more than almost anything. I practically have to be dragged out of a place in order to leave it. Yet, I guess life is pretty good at dragging me out and keeping me moving, because I’ve moved 8 times since college (I actually had to count my moves multiple times because the number seemed so high). So I guess I should be quite the moving authority by now.

Since I’ve changed places so many times, I guess I have a couple of moving moves I use over and over, even if I don’t really feel like a total expert at moving because I hate it so damn much. I actually think that moving only felt harder in my late twenties and start of thirties, because I want so badly to stop and call a place home for as long as possible. So I’d like to share a few tips that will hopefully make your moves less harsh than mine have been…or at least somewhat smoother. Here’s a few I’ve learned the hard way:

1) The emotional part is hard- embrace it and move on

One of my moves happened because I went from living with roommates to living with a boyfriend. I loved my place with the roommates and was very attached to my huge room. My boyfriend at the time said to me: “But the room you’re in is only a box. It’s just a box of space. We’ll find a new box of space to live and we’ll make it home.” At the time, it felt like a harsh and almost cold thing to say. However, those words have stuck with me throughout my future moves. Where you live now is only a box. It was once cold and empty and it will be cold and empty again one day. You will find a new place to live and you’ll be the one to make a home for yourself. The place won’t be able to make you a home. It never could. it’s only a box.

2) Craigslist is awesome, but sometimes it helps to phone a friend

I love Craigslist. I used to use it for everything, even jobs (though now the jobs area seems to have become somewhat of a sketchy operation so I don’t recommend it anymore). I do still love the apt listings on Craigslist though, and I found all of my roommates through the site. For my last move, however, Jane actually gave me the number of her former broker, who was amazing and found me the place that I’m in now. I never would have found my apt without her. Let friends know you’re looking for a new place to live- a lot of times someone will have a recommendation, or a great broker, or at least know a friend of a friend who’s moving.

3. Get movers. Get movers. Get movers.

I can’t repeat this one enough. Moving is tough enough without having to drag your bed and dresser up 4 flights of stairs. This is one of those times where you need to throw money at the problem- budget it in. Even if you barely have much money (I’ve been very stressed about money in the past, but I still budgeted for movers because I’ve also moved without them before and it’s been AWFUL). Movers are worth every penny. Here’s a recommendation for my favorite movers if you’re moving to or within New York City.

4. If you’re renting, or even buying, especially in a bigger city, be ready to move fast

New York apartments are truly here and then gone in a New York minute. Other large cities are likely to be similar. If you really like the place, put down the deposit and say yes. I ‘ve actually looked at places with a check in hand for roommate situations. Shopping for homes is a little different with brokers and full apartments or houses, but you need to be ready to commit ASAP, or you can lose the place to someone else.

5. Make a top 5 list of what you’re looking for in a home.

Try to keep the list under 6 items tops. Your list should be what you REALLLY don’t want to compromise on in a home. There was one time where I was looking for an apartment and kept subwaying around to dozens of places and checking them all out in person. It was exhausting. A friend said to me, “you should narrow down what you’re looking for BEFORE you go and see the apartment. Try to make sure it has what you want as early as you can, and THEN go trek over and check it out.” This advice has helped me IMMENSELY…in fact, it might be the best tactic I’ve ever used to help me find a better apartment faster. Here’s my old list as an example:

  1. Must be near the subway (ideally under a 10 minute walk)
  2. Good size room (or good size full apartment if I was going the non-roommate route at the time)
  3. No mice or bugs (hard to figure out at first glance, but some places seem more likely than others)
  4. No crazy or bad roommates allowed (you can only use your best judgement with this one…until you eliminate having roommates entirely)
  5. Elevator building (I travel a TON for work and dragging suitcases up 3 flights of stairs 50 times a year SUCKS).                                                                         Then I had a bunch of preferences that weren’t deal-breakers, such as
  • Modern place preferred
  • Close to Manhattan preferred
  • Neighbors can’t hear me walking on floor preferred (I used to have a landlord that lived under me and would bang on the ceiling with a broom at night when I was walking to and from my desk. That was very unpleasant…I guess for both of us.

Anyway, I can go on and on with many more tips, especially ones for after you’ve moved and are figuring things out in your new space, so I’ll just call this part one and end it for now.

Meanwhile, I’ll simply link to Ikea. Because.

You’re welcome.

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The Paradox of the Unpacked Box in Your Thirties

I’ve been thinking a lot about boxes lately. This is probably because I just moved.

There are boxes all over my new apartment, most of them still neatly taped up. I’ve been beyond exhausted this month, as I talked all about in my last post, Is The Saturn Return In your Thirties A Real Thing?  So, the last thing I’ve wanted to do is unpack. image

This is unlike me, as I usually like to get things done fast, and all at once. But it seems I used the last of my energy to get the boxes packed, and now I can only stare at them listlessly and hope for them to magically put themselves away.

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Alas, it’s been four days in the new place, and nothing has put itself away yet. So today I decided to crack open a bunch of boxes.

And everything got a lot more messy.

The nice stack of boxes all sealed and piled up was so much neater than the messy pile of clothes and nonsense that I pulled out and didn’t know where to put.

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And for awhile I just wanted to put it all back into the boxes again and seal them up. Or I wanted to jump to the end and have everything all be done.

The hardest part is being in the middle of the unpacking process (still there now), where I have to make things more chaotic in order to progress.

Tonight, I was talking to a friend about how if you’re feeling sad or upset, you need to feel your feelings and express them in order to grow and move on from them. And to move through them. Fake positivity all the time just leaves you in a state of stagnation and  annoys all your Facebook friends.

Then I thought about the boxes, and how in your thirties, all you want is to feel like you’re on top of things and like you have things figured out. You want things to be neat and squared away. Boxed away, perhaps? But the real truth is that in order to get things squared away for real, you have to get messy and uncomfortable. It’s not going to feel good and is not going to look good when you take things out and they get everywhere for awhile. And maybe people will judge you when you’re in the middle of that. But screw those people. You have to unpack the neat boxes, get messy, and see what’s inside.

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It’ll likely look like chaos and maybe feel even worse, but only then can you begin to put it away.

And move beyond it.

What are some of the boxes in your life?

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What If I Lived Nowhere?

The Detroit Auto Show is going well…I’m more than halfway through working it. When I return from the show, I’ll have 2 days off in New York and then will leave again for a 10 day show in Philadelphia. When I return from that, I’ll leave again for a 10+ day show in Chicago…and so on and so forth.

I travel a lot for work. I work as a professional speaker and product specialist at tradeshows, conventions and auto shows. I used to think I’d simply book work in New York, and then that expanded to simply booking work in the Northeast, then the East coast, then the entirety of America, and then I even began to occasionally book international work.

The blog I used to write before this one was a blog about travel. I enjoyed traveling for work and sharing tips and tricks about how to travel easier, smoother, and cheaper. Travel is so innately built into my life- I can’t really do my job without it- that it has also accidentally become a major part of my identity.

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So after my ex-boyfriend and I broke up last summer, I thought about living nowhere. It seemed like the absolute right thing for me to do at the absolute right time. It seemed to fit perfectly with who I am. I’m away from home so much anyway that it seemed pointless to pay rent every month. And I even considered blogging about my future nomadic living experience. I actually see a lot of travel bloggers of all ages living nowhere- they put their stuff in storage and just travel for a year or more. Sometimes it’s simply cheaper for them to travel the world than to stay in their city and pay the exorbitant rent prices (cough NYC cough SF cough).

Since I’m thirty, it seemed a bit late to start such a major lifestyle change (complete nomad seemed more of a twenties thing to do), but I was ready for some major changes. It seemed like the right time to live nowhere if I was going to live nowhere.

A few of my coworkers at tradeshows/auto shows were already living the nomadic lifestyle and just traveled from show to show without having any kind of home base. They would occasionally crash on friends’ couches and/or with their parents between shows. Or they’d use their numerous hotel points to practically live at the Hilton or the Marriott. It sounded like a fascinating, yet exhausting, life.

Yet after careful consideration, the exhausting part of it led me in search of a nice, peaceful apartment in New York to call home. Some soul searching lead me to the realization that the glamour of living nowhere didn’t hold a candle to a space that’s all mine.

And I thought about something one of my friends said as I had been weighing my options: “you call living nowhere the ‘nomadic lifestyle’ but some just call it ‘homeless.”

Touché.

I love my new little Queens apartment and cannot be happier. Even though I have to pay rent for it every month. Even though I’m not there right now. Just knowing I have a place to call home lends weight to my otherwise very up in the air lifestyle.

Sometimes something may seem like the absolute right thing to do at the absolute right time. But it may not actually be the right thing at all.

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Best Things About Being In Your 30s- The Lists

Ah, the ubiquity of Buzzfeed lists…love ’em or hate ’em, they’re all over Facebook and Twitter, and links to them seem to pop up everywhere. But are Buzzfeed lists (or lists along those lines) just click bait, or can they actually tell us something about our lives?

Jane and I are always looking for lists of descriptive thirties traits, findings and meanings- anything thirties related really- and when we do searches for the thirties, invariably there’s a Buzzfeed list or two right on Google’s front page. So today I read through a Buzzfeed article titled “27 Underrated Things About Being In Your Thirties.”

As I read through a list of statements and memes capturing those statements, I started to feel more and more confused and anxious..mainly because everything seemed so perfectly tied with a big red bow, and my life didn’t seem to be where it should be compared to the list. My god, it’s Buzzfeed! BUZZFEED! Buzzfeed shouldn’t make you upset!  But yet, dammit, it did.

And it wasn’t just me! The comments below were achingly funny and painful..starting with someone saying, “This made me feel a whole lot worse about my life.” Which was followed up by 186 likes and a whole lot of agreement, including “You are not alone, friend. I’m really depressed now about everything every other 30-something is having/doing that I’m not” and “I’m 40, and most of this just made me want to crawl into a hole and die.”

So below are some of the statements that stuck out at me. Try not to want to crawl into a hole and die. You’re not alone, friend 🙂

3. Chances are that you’re making more money now.

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I’m making more money now, yes, but I know a lot of people who aren’t, and this statement still made me nail-bitingly nervous.

4. Which means you can afford actual furniture that’s not from Ikea.

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What? ALL my furniture is from Ikea! Ikea is AWESOME! (Ok, IKEA isn’t awesome, but it is frigging CHEAP!) And what is that Soho loft pictured above with the vintage-chic walls and exposed brick? I mean, come on now!

8. You give zero fucks, so you dance however you want!

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Umm…not yet at that ZERO fucks stage…maybe LESS fucks? And me dancing however I want wouldn’t be good for anyone..

10. At work, you’re not some assistant bitch anymore, you’re a BOSS.

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Though I know people who’ve climbed the career ladder and match this description..I also know lots of people who are assistants, or who still aren’t sure about their career yet.. I am not necessarily a BOSS, though I am self-employed, so maybe this fits me more than I believe..I can play around with it..

12. Any dating you do is less messy, because you know what you want and you demand it.

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Umm, no?

13. And you wind up in much healthier relationships.

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Hmm…this one just feels presumptuous. Also, this is such a random photo! You think it’s the author? Are these people two random celebrities I don’t recognize?

17. You’ve found a group of friends who are the most amazing people you’ve ever met.

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Also a random photo. And I think the author got this idea from a Sex and the City binge…in fact, this photo should’ve been Samantha and Charlotte and Carrie and Miranda. The thirties are where I hear the most gripes about LACK of friendship. People are all like ‘where have my friends gone??’ Umm, babies, marriage, moving, high-stress jobs, people giving ZERO fucks…these things steal friends…

24. You’re no longer afraid of change…

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Damn it, change is STILL the the boogeyman in the closet for me! The people who aren’t scared of change don’t know the horrors of when it jumps out and grabs you! It’s so big and bad and mean sometimes…

I’m only sort of kidding here… but change still = mucho scary.

But all jokes aside, when it comes to figuring out what the thirties are to you, I want to just say: Beware of Buzzfeed lists! And stereotypes! And bragging disguised as positivity! And funny memes that are actually bragging disguised as positivity hidden in sadness wrapped in stereotype! (As fun as they may sometimes be.)

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