So, I'm taking a breather from packing the house to blog about packing the house. I feel like I am becoming something of a pro at moving. I'm not thrilled about that, but it's true. And I've kind of got a system by now.
I didn't move at all as a kid. My parents decided they wanted us to stay in the same school district when we were growing up, so we were lucky that we didn't move when I was young. My parents moved into the house I grew up in a few months before I was born, when my dad was still in the Army, but he retired from active duty when I was about 3, and we stayed until my parents divorced about 16 years later. By then, I had started making up for lost time myself, as a young adult.
I moved a couple times before going to college, and 4 times while I was an undergrad. Nothing extraordinary for a young person starting out...we start out renting cheapo little apartments, our needs change, we want to live somewhere else or we get restless, or we have bad roommates. Whatever, you live and learn.
Once I got married and then later divorced, I decided I wanted to stay somewhere for a while, and I bought a condo. I lived there, in my condo in Seattle, for about 3 years before I decided I wanted to become a travel nurse. I packed most of my belongings in my best friend's garage, and started taking contracts around the country. I lived in about 6 different places, moving about every 6 months, and enjoyed it. Then I ended up in Portland, and met my future husband there.
I'm not sure why, but we've been moving ever since. Most of it was within Portland, a couple of the homes we had were actually second homes, times that he was working in a different city from where we lived, so we were actually renting two places. But by the time we had been together 1 year we had lived in 3 different places already (4 if you count the second place we got in Seattle when he worked up there). Now we are preparing to move to home #9 for us, in just 6 years together.
I think I might be a little crazy this way, but all this moving has made me a box hoarder. I never throw out my moving boxes until they are no longer usable. I stash them everywhere (this time we have had a great basement where I could flatten them all and put them under the basement stairs, but we had to be pretty creative at our last place). I write on the tape that I close the box with, so I can rip it off and re-label it the next time. If the box is actually written on itself (I always use a black Sharpie) then I just reuse it for the same thing next time.
Every time I have to move again, I see these little idiosyncracies that I've developed over the years of moving, and it makes me wonder if other people are this way. I know we aren't the only ones who move so often. It hasn't really been for any particular reason, and we aren't in the military (obviously), but just one thing or another. I sometimes wonder if we will ever just buy a home and settle down, but I don't know. Even when you buy a home, you rarely end up just staying in it forever. I mean, how do you know it's your last move? You don't.
So, I'm doing it again. It's tiring, but in some ways I like the organizing that packing and unpacking forces you to do. We've reduced our things about as much as we can at this point. Usually I use several weeks for packing, from the non-essentials to the last-minute things, but this time I had to force myself to keep studying, and trust that we could get it done in a week when I was done. It is the kind of lifestyle that my grandparents' generation couldn't really imagine, but it seems pretty common these days. Home is where you make it, I guess.