They say the 3 biggest stressors of life are:
While I couldn’t agree more, I have to say that moving across the country from New York City to Los Angeles takes the cake (as far as domestic U.S. moves go. I’m sure if I was moving to another country I would be totally screwed.) Yes, moving sucks. Packing sucks. Unpacking sucks – BUT! You don’t have to stress about it alone. I’ve been through it, am still going through it and I have a few tips that I think will ease your moving pains.
- Quickly establish your “why?” for moving. A new job? Better school district for your kids? Better cost/quality of living? Whatever it is, write that sh*t down and keep it close to your heart and your mind. It will be what gets you through the tough times. 3 weeks before I moved out of my Manhattan home of 3 years, I was in a cab and I just started hitting down some notes: 5 Things I’ll Miss About NYC & 5 Things I’m Looking Forward to in LA. When my mind would spiral out of control about leaving from everything I’ve known on the East Coast, I could look at the LA list and feel some peace.
Top 5 Things I’m Going to Miss in NYC:
–24/7 Food Delivery for whatever I want, whenever I want + Bodegas 😭
-Watching the seasons change & being able to dress for every season (especially fall & winter) ❄️
-Being so close to my family and bestest friends 🏡👭♥️
-Having all of my favorite places to go and do in close proximity to each other. Things in LA are so spread apart! 🙈🚘
–The people. I’ve learned to really appreciate the New York hustle and get-to-it mentality. The NY drive and determination is unmatched 🙌🏽
Things I’ll Love About LA!:
–Healthier lifestyle & healthier eating. Being able to grocery shop without having to lug my heavy bags down 4 avenues just to get them home 🙄 Also groceries in NYC are too damn expensive. I can’t wait to put groceries in my car in LA and put on my mismatched shoes just to bring them in the house like a normal human being 😂🙌🏽 And just a better work/life balance
–Seeing palm trees everyday. They’re my favorite 🌴
–Having a car!!! 🙌🏽 People say that with LA traffic this will be a love/hate relationship, but I can’t wait to sing at the top of my lungs in my first car that I actually picked myself. (I had a car in high school – RIP Optimus Prime – and I loveddd him but he was a family car that I was given to use. This car will be my choice 😬)
–More spaceeeeee. I’m still on the Apartment hunt, but I’m looking forward to finding a unit that has space for Biggie Smalls to run around and play, and more room for all of my sh*t 😂
–THE MALL!!!!!! I love going to the mall. I love mall food. I love mall’s. I’m excited to get back to that kind of lifestyle where I’m not covered in sweat walking from one block to 10 others to shop 😂🛍
2. Give yourself time to accept the fact that you’re starting a new journey, elsewhere. Don’t be like me. I was so busy and consumed with the move and work and life that I didn’t allow my emotions to truly breathe into the fact that I was leaving a place that I love so much, which resulted in a full on fetal position meltdown the night before my movers arrived until 3am bawling myself to sleep in my boyfriends arms. Don’t be that person. Cry about it. Weep for it. Feel it. Let it go & Start looking forward to all of those things on your Top 5 list! There’s SO much more to your journey than where you’ve been thus far.
3. Ok so now that we have accepted it – IT’S TIME TO MOVEEEE YAYAYAYAYY! By now you should have already been getting quotes from movers or at least researching a few companies & getting recommendations from friends. I have to say, I used Roadway Moving Company to handle my cross-country move and it was hands down the best experience I’ve ever had. They literally took care of everything for me with the exception of the packing that I did myself which were normal items like some of my clothes, toiletries, bedding etc. They packed my artwork, TV’s, dressers, tables, wardrobe (still on hangers for easy unpacking!!!), disassembled my bed (& put it back together again in LA!), etc. I felt so bad because when they had arrived, I literally looked like I had just attended a funeral. My eyes were bloodshot red and SUPER puffy 😂 My best friend was like, “can you please stop acting like you’re being deployed to war?” #dramatic I know. But the Roadway guys (shoutout to Jesús! He’s the man!) saw how distraught I was and assured me that they would handle everything. I sat in a corner sulking and before I knew it – everything was out. I think it took them about 4 hours total, and by the end they had me smiling and looking forward to my new beginnings. I did do a social media collaboration with them, so I got a discount off of my move which of course helped tremendously. They were nice enough to offer me a code to share with y’all so that you can have a stress-free move as well! CODE: KAMIE
4. PURGE & DONATE! Before you even think about packing anything – purge that closet, those drawers & that pantry. I “spring clean” about 3 times a year, so I had PLENTY to give away that was just piling up in a corner of my apartment. No car in NYC makes it a little more difficult to trudge heavy bags of clothes and shoes to a donation spot 🙈 I usually donate to local young women’s shelters, but I had a lot of really nice work dresses and blazers, shoes and accessories – so I decided to donate everything to Dress for Success! Any shelter or charity you donate to should be tax deductible as well so that’s a plus – but I like to do it because a) it feels good to give to others and b) it frees up space in my place. Issa win, win for everyone! Another really cool service I found literally the day I was moving out was Junkluggers. They will take your furniture items that are still in good condition and donate them on your behalf (for a fee). I thought this was awesome because I was having a hard time finding shelters that would accept furniture donations because it was the height of moving season and they were getting too many offers + most of these shelters don’t have moving vans to transfer everything to their facility – even though my amazing Roadway movers offered to take the furniture pieces downstairs at least to make it easy for them, which was so kind of them! Junkluggers ended up being my saving grace. I paid $400 for them to take my large sectional couch, glass coffee table & a nightstand. As they donate the pieces they send me a tax deductible receipt! Easy peasy.
5. PACK, PACK, PACKIN’ IT UP! *Cardi Voice* – You’re going to need boxes. More than you think. I ordered the Medium Box Moving Kit from Home Depot which came with a roll of tape, a marker (that never came 🙄) and a roll of bubble wrap. The tape it came with sucked so I ordered Scotch tape, because for a move of that distance – you want everything to stay durable and intact! I know Amazon also has boxes, but when I saw some of the reviews I was worried they wouldn’t withstand the move. U-Haul is another great option but the Home Depot boxes were cheaper so I went with those, and they made it to LA without a hitch!
6. LABEL EVERYTHING! When it came to organizing the boxes, I used a tip from my girl Kelly of Mimosas & Manhattan who also made the move from NYC to LA recently. She said to mark your boxes with numbers rather than noting what each box contains and keep a list of what each number represents. For example, “1” could be handbags and shoes. “2” could be accessories and underwear. “3” could be blouses and so on. It allows you to keep a level of privacy with your things. I didn’t do this for my entire apartment but I did do it for my clothing items and accessories. For instance, I fully labeled my kitchen items “FRAGILE – KITCHEN – POTS & PANS” but coded other things as “BEDROOM 1”, “BEDROOM 2” & so on and kept a note of it on my phone that Bedroom 1 = Bags. Bedroom 2 = Clothes from the living room closet. Now that I’m unpacking, I know what’s in every box without having to open it or having it written out for everyone to see. My mom also made sure I wrote my last name, “CRAWFORD” in big letters on every box. Depending on which company you move with, you likely won’t be the only person whose entire life is on that moving van. God forbid the truck makes a few abrupt stops and your sh*t goes flying everywhere, you don’t want your boxes going to Tucson when they should be going to San Diego. Putting your last name on the boxes will avoid any confusion regarding whose boxes belong to who, unless you’re last name is Watermopolus and coincidentally, so is the other person who is moving their stuff in the same van as you. Then you’re f*cked. Kidding. But not really. Roadway was super proffesh and had label stickers with my first initial and last name + the to and from moving locations on them. I don’t think that’s the same with all moving companies though, so do yourself a favor and put your name on it *Rihanna voice*
7. WHILE YOU WAIT… Make sure you also pack some things to use and wear in the meantime until your movers arrive. I packed 3 suitcases full of clothes and shoes (which looking back on it was totally unnecessary because when you’re moving, you just interchange the same 4 outfits anyways LOL. I know – gross but relatable). It took Roadway 2 weeks to drive from NYC to LA – so I wanted to be prepared for anything 💁🏽♀️
8. Enjoy your last few days as a resident of your old city! Have a going away soirée, or a dinner or even just a drink with a close friend to cheers to your new start 🥂 Nothing makes a move easier than knowing you have so many people supporting you and your dreams. It will be hard to leave them, but that’s what planes, trains and cars are for. They’ll come visit! & you’ll be back.
You/We have so much to look forward to!!!! Honestly, even though I’ve only been in LA for two weeks, I can already see why this is the best decision I’ve made in my adult life. It was a damn near traumatizing choice to come to, but sometimes the best ones are. I just want to let you know that I commend and respect you for making such a big life decision for yourself – even though it’s difficult. You’re not alone, hunty! Wishing you the best & passing you a virtual tissue.
You got this