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Moving: It Used to Be in the Top 3

What happened? I looked it up and it’s been demoted since I took college psychology. There’s the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale now ( that scores death of a spouse or child as 100—the worst thing that can happen. Moving is given a mere 20! I think that, in our demographic, it rates significantly higher. It’s much harder to move house when you have a disability of any kind, hidden or visible.

I’m moving as we speak. I went from the depths of despair just before Christmas to achieving a goal I’ve been working toward for 5 years—getting a tiny house. And this is no “starter tiny,” this is the stretch Escalade of tiny houses. It will serve me well for a long time.

My tiny house will be mine in a way that this condo has never really felt mine, and if my neighbors turn out to be a problem, I can move it someplace else. I’ll be living in accordance with my values as they’ve evolved in the last 10 years. No longer will be I the one in the group who doesn’t invite people over because I’m embarrassed by the 20-year-old carpet I could never afford to replace (nor could I move all my furniture to make replacement possible). My home will be a showpiece and my friends will line up to see it.

It’s the moving part, though, that simply blows. I’ve been preparing for a long time and I’ve done a lot of the worst chores already. Last summer I “ripped” over 200 music CDs to iTunes and donated the CDs themselves. I destroyed piles of old data disks after verifying that I didn’t need the files on them. I mucked through bales of paper and scanned anything I needed to keep.

I still have a lot of stuff to jettison. I’ve been here 12 years, after all. It’s the longest I’ve lived anyplace in my adult life. It made sense to keep most of my things while I was in this space, but suddenly, having 7 hoodies is not okay. (Hoodies take up lots of space.) I have to get rid of all my free-standing furniture except my computer desk and a favorite reading chair. I’m storing a lot of things I’m ambivalent about—it will be much clearer in 6 months what I will want to filter into the tiny house and what needs to go.

I still have to do my regular work while I’m packing up. I sit at my desk for 20 minutes, then pack for 20 and rest for 20. I still need to do my physical therapy or my pain skates out of control. And then there’s the preparation work—insuring the tiny house, finalizing the loan (for the portion I needed to finance), arranging repairs to the condo so it will get a better sale price, arranging for internet where I’ll be, renting a PO box, working with my land host to plan the site and prepare for delivery…there are more things, my brain has just gone on spin-dry thinking of it all.

It’s a lot of work for one person, and my friends keep offering to help, but the the idea of directing another person as they go through my stuff is too exhausting to contemplate. If I were moving out of state and needed to wrap things, like sets of dishes, that’s something a helper could do, but I’m going 2 miles. The dishes I take with me will be stacked in a box on my car seat.

For me, doing the emotional labor in double time more than negates any help with the physical work. Other people have their own opinions about what I should keep and how I should do things, and this is not the time for that push-and-pull. Once things are boxed  and bagged and ready to go, I’m happy to have friends load them into a truck and take them over to storage or my donation dropoffs.

My pain is through the roof and I missed my pool time yesterday. My cats know something’s up and they’re in anxiety mode. I’m glad I have the whole month to get ready for my house to be delivered, but this month can’t get over with quickly enough. I just keep visualizing what it’s going to be like walking into my gorgeous new house, free of clutter and ready to be lived in rather than enslaved to. Is anyone else moving, or do you have a good moving story to tell?

Moving: It Used to Be in the Top 3

Kristin Noreen

Kristin Noreen lives in Bellingham, Washington with two cats and her vintage touring bicycle, Silver. Her triple passions are animal rescue, long-distance bike touring, and writing. Her book, On Silver Wings: A Life Reconstructed, is about reinventing her life following a catastrophic injury.

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APA Reference
, . (2019). Moving: It Used to Be in the Top 3. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2020, from


Last updated: 9 Jan 2019
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