Moving: A Tutorial

April 19th

Sunday Funday

A tongue in cheek guide to moving:

1. Visit a place you’d rather live. Or don’t. Pick a spot on a map, out of a book, do the “spin the globe and land” game.

2. Tell your friends and family, “I’m moving!”

3. Say it again for 4 years or so. Convince yourself slowly. Make yourself promises you’ll do something about it.

4. One day, actually do something about it. Start by telling your boss. Ask for a transfer.


5. In the meantime, look for jobs online. Don’t be proud. Apply for anything you think will make you happy. That’s the whole point of this little move, after all. Want to be a barista/knitting store worker/bartender/taxi cab driver/nanny? Well. Good for you! Let’s do it!

6. Send your resume to your smartest friends. Ask them to review it. Then, ask them to send it to their friends who may know someone in your new desired city.

7. Apply for more jobs.

sheila, kelli -- class five rapid

8. If you know someone in the new city, ask to crash at their house for a bit. If they are incredibly generous and wonderful people, they’ll agree. Begin sending them gifts and notes of thanks immediately. If you are making a new start without knowing a soul, God bless you. Look in the newspaper for homes available. Talk to your realtor friends about a referral in the new city. Someone will want your business. Be picky.

9. Cry. Laugh. Schedule happy hours in your home town. Give yourself whatever emotional space you need to feel whatever you need, and don’t let guilt take hold. Laugh some more. (Stop yourself on occasion to think, “HOLY SHIT I AM ACTUALLY DOING THIS!”)

Home, sweet home

10. Organize your home. If you haven’t seen or used it in a year, someone at Goodwill can. Donate generously. Give friends books. Give friends plates of cookies and pitchers of sangria and make them promise to return them to you in your new city (built in guests). Give friends anything you think they can use. Find boxes and start packing. (I started packing 2 years before I called a moving company.) Call a moving company. Have a stiff drink before they hand you the estimate.

11. Make a pledge to pack a certain number of boxes every day. My number is 5.

12. Keep applying for jobs.

13. Check out the newspaper for your new hometown and find an event you want to attend when you arrive. For me, it’s Ray LaMontagne at Red Rocks. I am dreaming of this show.

14. Pack five more boxes. Apply for more jobs. Say goodbye to those you love. Cry. Laugh. Remember not to burn any bridges, especially those that may prevent you from returning to the hometown you still very much love.

15. Rent your current home. Pray your renters aren’t really sociopaths waiting to turn your casita into a meth den.

Siblings, Grand Lake, Colorado

16. Consider what you what this new life to look like. For me, it includes dogs, chickens, babies, a big chunk of land, a dirty Outback, a messy kitchen, an all loving church, an indie bookstore, a masters swim team and many, many happy meals shared with my baby brother and Colorado family.

And with any luck, your hometown friends will throw you one heck of a going away party and have plans to come see you before you even leave.



Posted in
Follow the comments.

12 Responses

  1. Sounds like a pretty darn good plan to me! The best of luck to you, chica.

  2. Step 17: Your friends try desperately to feel only happy for you despite hearts overloaded with a cocktail of emotions like sadness that you’re leaving and a profound sense of inadequacy because we weren’t enough to make you want to stay. But your friends know logically this is not about them, it’s about you and this adventure you need to have. They recognize their own selfish emotions and try their damnedest to move past them. They also know they’ll see you often and talk to you just as much as they did before. And they’ll have a new destination to visit and a connection, through you, to a new and wonderful place. They are happy. They promise. Ignore the tears running down their faces.

    • andrewkfromaz April 20, 2011

      This is exactly how I feel every time anyone announces that they’re leaving Phoenix.

  3. I’m really getting excited. We are going to have some fun!

  4. This post breaks my heart a little and gives me all sorts of excited little fluttery butterflies at the same time! I really am so excited for you Kelli!!! Eek! 🙂 Thanks for the tutorial! xo

  5. Yay thanks for the tutorial! I have also been eying a long distance move for way too many years. Congrats on your dream coming true!

  6. I wish I could be there for the Ray LaMontagne concert!

  7. Oh Kelli, all the best to you!

  8. This is GREAT advice and I’ll consider it as we move forward with our plan. Congratulations on following your dream. Enjoy every crazy, happy, sad, stressful moment of this journey. Keep your eye on the prizes, especially the puppies! Good luck!

  9. Giddyup!

  10. This is the best tutorial I’ve ever read.

    Well done.

    I am THRILLED for you!


    p.s.- can I come to Ray with you?

  11. Jane Ryan May 22, 2012

    Spot on — I moved from Rhode Island to Hawaii Jan 2011 after 9 years of saying I am going — only add: visit at least one other location for a few weeks so you have practice in a new strange land and a contrast to your final choice, then go home say a long goodbye to all your loved ones and GO.