I just moved in with my husband-to-be during the first week of March! I wanted to share my moving story, just in case anyone else was nervous about moving for the first time in their early-to-mid-thirties!
Experience With Moving
Being one of those millennials, I had lived with my mom since coming out of college because I could not afford anything else. I am lucky enough to both have a mom that would allow me to live with her, and also have a family life that is stable for my mental and physical health.
Of course, I have always wanted to move out and live on my own, but we live in California, where the rent is about the same amount as my monthly paycheck, and that’s being generous. My mom is a good enough housemate and no one I knew was desperate to move out just yet, so I waited.
So, no, I had never really moved before. I did go to school out of the state, and that was not really moving, as I brought only clothes and electronics, not furniture, to the dorms. It was more like a long vacation than moving, really.
First Time Moving In Together
To get some perspective, here’s a little insight into my view on relationships.
Since I was little (middle school is little!), I wanted to live with my future boyfriend before getting engaged and subsequently married. I always thought living together could make or break a relationship, and I still think that. There are just some things that you cannot know about a person until you live with them; how messy they are and what their threshold is before cleaning, their daily habits and routine, their needed alone time and mood swings (I’m talking about me, by the way).
Taylor proposed to me on an amazing vacation to Portland and I, of course, said yes, because I want to be married to him in the future, despite not having lived together yet. When people asked if I was surprised that he proposed, I said yes, because simply that I always imagined I would be living together first before getting engaged. This is my weird headspace.
(And, a note to those looking to propose, you should already know, with 100% certainty, if they are going to say yes when you ask; the surprise should be when you are asking, not if they will say yes. We had talked about getting married already, so Taylor knew I was very likely to say yes.)
Finally, The Move
We were always planning on moving in together March 2021, as that was when Taylor’s lease on his previous apartment was finished.
I assumed the timeline would be: we start looking for places at the beginning of February and spend a month or two applying. I thought it was going to be like a job: they email you back after a week, you have to clarify or resend your application, you both set up a time to view the listing, maybe they have to look at other people and maybe you have to also look at other listings. I thought this process would take four weeks.
No. We found a place we liked and applied. Within a day, we received a response to look at the listing, and within the week, we got the place. It was really that fast! By the same time the following week, I was already starting to pack (coincidentally, it was President’s Day weekend, so I got a whole day off to start).
As someone who had not packed to move before, packing was not hard, but it also wasn’t easy. I lean towards being more organized, so I picked a theme for a box and ran with it. Deciding what to bring and what to throw out was kind of difficult, because I get really sentimental about certain things. But ultimately, we picked a bunch of things to donate and throw away. I definitely needed more time, although even if you gave me two full months, I think I would somehow still need more time to pack.
The physical act of moving was definitely the hardest. Taylor had moved house twice before, and this would be his third move. He had hired a moving company, so all the really tough stuff from his residence was taken care of (bed, couch, etc), but since we were consolidating two separate entities into one apartment, we still had a lot of stuff to move.
We physically moved into the new place on February 28th and both took the entire week off after that for the move. We definitely needed it. We were going back and forth a lot, still needing to get a lot of things from both old residences. We moved less than 10 miles away from both places, but it was still a lot of driving to do.
I had too many boxes, but since I had been the one to pack them, they were all relatively okay for us to pick up and carry. And of course, even if you think you’re done, you’re actually not, and somehow I had more to pack than I originally thought! It was the same for Taylor as well.
I was extremely sore after the first day, and pretty sore the rest of the week with all the moving. We also had the added bonus of being on the second floor of this apartment building, so we must have went up those steps at least 5 times a day. I definitely recommend moving as a full body workout, because it sure was one.
One of the days, I had to spend at home waiting for an Ikea delivery and putting the furniture together, which I always really enjoyed, but then I forgot we didn’t have the toolbox from Taylor’s previous place yet, so it was a lot work arounds.
Of course, there were many other things that were not great. We both had moving anxiety before the move; Taylor says it’s normal and I entirely unprepared for it. I was anxious about the new place, nervous about living together (the previously mentioned “things you cannot know about a person until you live together”), worried about leaving my mom alone, concerned about the cost of moving, annoyed about having so many things (why do I have so many things!), and many more small, dumb issues.
The last part is the unpacking. This is the most fun because you’re in a new place, and you want to make it your own by making sure all the things you have are all in the right place. I still have some things I want to buy, but we’re 90% of the way there.
And before you ask, the actual living together part has been wonderful. We have adapted pretty well over the course of the month. We check in every week to make sure we aren’t getting on each other’s nerves too much, and it’s been domestic-freaking-bliss!
After a year or two, I may get around to planning that wedding that’s supposed to happen…