My roommate just got a big job promotion and skipped town on me, which means that while I am thrilled for her, it’s time to move again.
I have moved 13 times since I started college in 2008. I went to school in Chicago, and so each year, I moved all my belongings up in the fall and then back down in the summer. Then my senior year, I moved to Manhattan… and then back to Chicago. And since I’ve been back in Central Illinois, it hasn’t been much better.
So you would think I would be a pro at the nomadic life, right? Wrong.
Moving still stresses me out. They say moving ranks high on the list of life events that cause the most stress, among things like death of a family member and divorce. I don’t know if that’s true, but by the time you get to lucky move number 13, it definitely starts to feel like it.
I’ve already signed a new lease and have until April to get everything out, which puts me in a pretty good situation. But I can feel it hanging over me like a storm cloud.
Even though you’d think the most stressful part of the process would be finding a new home, the truth is for me, that physically moving all my stuff is what I dread the most.
So here it is.
My Plan to Stay Sane for My ONLY Move in 2015
(No, really, I mean it. I refuse to move again until 2016.):
1. Make a list.
I’ll make the biggest list you’ve ever seen, so I don’t forget anything. I’m going to make a schedule, so I know which days I need to pack which rooms. Plus, this will remind me to set aside time for things like setting up my electricity, water, and renter’s insurance.
2. Do a little every day.
I’m going to plan it just right so that I get a load of stuff moved in each day when I commute before the big final furniture push. Because moving one load a day sounds totally doable, right?
3. I’m going to burn all my books…
That’s a lie. I love my books. But moving them for the 13th time will make me reconsider my life choices the next time I’m having trouble leaving Barnes & Noble without 6 new hardcovers. It’ll be great for my wallet! Positives people, focus on the positives.
4. Take my time.
I have two and a half weeks to make the switch, no need to go crazy trying to do it all the first weekend.
5. Clear out the clutter.
Each time I move, I swear I eliminate at least 3 boxes of stuff when I realize that half of the things I move, I WILL NEVER NEED AGAIN. What will go this time?! Round and round it goes! Where it lands, nobody knows…. DingDingDing! We have a winner! It’s time for those college notebooks to GO! (It’s wise to do this before physically moving them to the new place and discovering you don’t have anywhere to put any of it, trust me.)
6. Get help.
I’m going to wrangle every innocent passerby into helping me with the offer of cookies and all of the FREE things that I was planning to throw away or donate! Okay, not really. (Warning: Don’t actually welcome total strangers into your new home.) But I will torture all the family members who are still talking to me 13 moves in.
7. Stay fueled.
I’m going to get plenty of sleep and eat well. This means I will not binge on TV shows instead of sleeping. (Must not start House of Cards. Must not start House of Cards…) And I will eat a proper number of (preferably) healthy calories. Then I will have enough energy to move without replacing all bodily fluids with coffee, as I have in past moves.
8. Don’t fight the elements.
I will pay close attention to the weather, which I’m usually really bad about, so that I don’t try to move my mattress in a snowstorm and so that I do not fall on ice and break my hip.
9. Stay safe.
I will protect my back by packing correctly (heavy items in the right size boxes and on the bottom, not overpacking, etc, etc.), not falling on the ice from #8, wearing a brace when needed, and lifting with my knees. Also by having very little furniture.
10. Control myself.
I will not unpack EVERYTHING the first day I get there. My more obsessive habits usually take over, and I must have everything perfect before I will sit down. It’s exhausting. I will not do this.
11. Focus on the positives.
My, what a wonderful, long workout this is! My new apartment is newer and nicer and will therefore be much warmer than the older house I’ve been in, (my feet will finally thaw!). My complex has a gym! And pools! It is about five minutes from my work, getting rid of my long commute, wasted gas, and added miles on my car. And because I have almost no furniture, this is a wonderful opportunity to reinvent my home. Would I like to pretend I live on the beach? In a Frank Lloyd Wright house? The future? Or perhaps Downton Abbey? The options are endless! (Or, you know, whatever’s cheapest.)
12. Treat myself.
This means that I am buying ice cream post-move. Oh, and a terrarium. What is a terrarium you ask? They’re these awesome little plant ecosystems that you keep in glass jars and bowls in your house that look kind of like this:
They’re adorable, they never grow too big, and you only have to water them like every two weeks. Much better than a houseplant.
13. Find my normal.
Then I will resume my schedule of working/eating/cuddling my dog in bed to Netflix/sleeping. And then I can focus on my 2015 goals of finishing my novel, getting fit, and actually watching every Oscar-nominated movie of 2015 (and 2014… and 2013…)
So there you have it, the perfect plan, ready to go for your next (now) stress-free move! You’re welcome.
It’s been a while since my last post, and I’m guessing my flu shot isn’t at the top of your mind anymore (just let me think it was at some point), so here’s a bit of a re-intro.
I’m a Health Alliance project coordinator-turned-copywriter, who sometimes follows her own advice to get healthy. I usually lay off red meat, except for the little-more-than-occasional hamburger; I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs, and sometimes I even exercise. I think coffee is gross, and I rarely have soda. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have my own unhealthy vices.
I’m a self-diagnosed candy addict (hey, at least I realize I have a problem), and I’m not very good at avoiding cakes, cookies, or brownies, either. I don’t get a lot of sleep because I feel like I’m just starting to hit my stride at about 10 p.m. I like fast food more than I’d like to admit, and I choose TV or Netflix over exercise about nine times out of 10.
(OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little. I can do sit-ups and squats while watching my favorite shows, but I tend to skip the working out part more than I should.)
I’m a wellness writer at a health insurance company, surrounding myself with fitness tips and disease info every day, and I still don’t care enough about my health. If I struggle with it, I’m sure you do, too.
So here’s my plan for 2015. I’m not going to pretend I set a bunch of health-related New Year’s resolutions because I didn’t. Instead, I’m going to start making better lifestyle choices overall.
It’s time to take action, like cutting back on sweets, exercising more during TV time, going back to Zumba class, and starting to cook at home (more than my usual menu options of spaghetti, fish sticks, and frozen pizza). Maybe I’ll even use my crockpot that’s still in its box from two Christmases ago. (Sorry, Mom!)
I might not meet every goal, but I will start taking little steps now so that someday I might be able to quit talking about my unhealthy quirks and start giving advice I actually follow.
Will I stop eating bite-sized chocolates or jelly beans? No. (Are you insane?) Will I stop eating the entire bag in two days? That sounds doable. Bring on 2015.
It’s that time again to start picking out your New Years Resolutions. If you always go too big and forget about them within the month, each day this week we gave you some little changes and healthy resolutions you can stick to.
The hardest one is to quit smoking. It’s hard to do, but it’s standing in the way of your healthy life. We can help members connect to resources and support with our Quit For Life program.
Today’s resolution is to get more sleep. Sleep is when your body and mind heals and prepares. Find more info about sleep on our Pinterest.
Stress has been linked to big health problems, like heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Find info on ways to relieve some of your stress on our Pinterest board.
Resolve to get yearly checkups with your main doctor and dentist. It helps catch problems early and keeps you up-to-date on things like shots.
Floss your teeth! It sounds simple, but only half of Americans do it. Yet smiles are the first feature we notice. Take the time on your teeth, and people will notice.
Dieting sounds like a lot, so instead, focus on only eating healthy portions this New Year and watch your health improve!
Make a routine and stick to it. A routine in the morning can help you get up to workout, and one at night can help you go to sleep.
I don’t normally make resolutions for New Years. But this year, in the spirit of My Healthy Journey, I’m beginning fresh with goals that I both think I can succeed with and that would make me really happy for 2015.
Try yoga. It’s good exercise, and can help my back, which I have some problems with. Plus the meditation and stress relief would be great. Starting small with podcasts and free videos counts! I want to get comfortable doing it before I consider being seen by innocent people passing by.
Cook at home. I’ve gotten much better about this the last six months, but I want to keep it up, so it is definitely a big goal for 2015.
Finish writing my book. I have been working on a novel since my junior year of college, and I’m about half way done with it. Now that I have a job where I have a set schedule and free time, I’m determined to finish it in 2015. (This is one that is such a personal goal that I know it’s hard to see in your own life. But think about something you’re passionate about that you want to do or finish this year. Finish knitting a blanket? Learn to build furniture? There’s so many possibilities for you to make this sort of goal your own!)
Read more. In college, I got to read fiction all the time. I still take in news all the time, but I don’t get around to books enough. This year, I need to read more!
Spend less time on my phone and computer when I’m not working. All I do at work is look at screens, websites, and social media. When I leave work, I still spend about an hour of my time reading my own social media feeds each day. I really want to cut this back, and replace it with things like the books above.
Be active with my dog. I can swear this won’t happen until it’s warmer out, (because I am cold when it’s 70 degrees in my house.) But once we change seasons again, I really want to get out there with my dog. She would love it, and it will help me get off the couch and keep us both healthy.
Save money from every paycheck. While working at Starbucks, I started saving my tips, about $40 a week, and after 9 months, I had the down payment for my car. I never really noticed not spending that money, but it added up really fast! I want to continue this good habit.
Mark one thing off my bucket list. I saw this idea online, and I think it’s a great one. I can’t promise you which thing it will be, but this year, I will go somewhere or do something I’ve always wanted to.
Use my food tracking to eat healthier. I want to build it into a habit that helps me make healthier choices based on what I’m actually doing.
Treat myself! I spend a lot of time running around, working, being stressed out, and then trying to recover by cuddling with my dog in my bed. But this year, I want to make a special effort to boost my mood with special things, even if it’s just making an effort to get my favorite coffee once in a while. For example, in January, I have plans for how I’m going to make my bed super cozy (all courtesy of this Buzzfeed article,) that I am really looking forward to, so I can improve my dog cuddling time.