I recently moved 1000 miles from the buckle of the bible belt to the land of giant belt buckles. If I learned anything about moving while dragging along a woman and our two kids successfully, you won’t find it here.
In no order that I care to sort these, here are the steps to take before, during, and after your big move:
1. You probably have a decent job and have been saving up your extra cash to get ready but unless you are educated or experienced in a high demand position in the city you want to relocate you need to just simply quit your job. Chances are you put in some applications on some HR website for some places you think you might find work but they aren’t going to call you while you live so far away. What are you going to do? Skype an interview for a retail management position? Probably not going to happen. Just quit your decent job, abandon your health benefits and measly company paid 401k and get out of Dodge.
2. If you are into hoarding shit like a good Christian consumer in America you will need to rent a sizeable moving truck to get all of your coffee table books, gadgets, towel sets, sofas, televisions, desks, dining tables, lamps, tools, fleshlights, and cars to your new city. Take a stab in the dark about what size truck you’ll need. Get the biggest one if you’re not sure but if you’re feeling adventurous, get the small 1-2 bedroom truck. Cram as much of your shit as you can in there and give the rest of it away on Craigslist. If you have a cool landlord you might get away with just leaving all your leftover junk in your place and he’ll sell it at his next community yard sale and not give you back your deposit.
3. Don’t bother asking your friends for help with loading or unloading your junk. They won’t come anyway. No one wants to be paid in beer and pizza for straining their backs and loading boxes that are ready to rip into your truck.
3a. Make sure you have plenty of Tylenol or Advil handy (or if you’re a baller, get some Lortab) and take it every 4-6 hours alternating between brands while you pack, load, drive, unload, and for the next week after. You’re going to be in a lot of pain. Hide your tears of pain from your kids and wife/girl. Men only cry for dogs and dead relatives.
4. Spend the entire weekend before your move partying with your friends. Drink a lot of booze, stay up late, sleep in late, and do not worry about packing. You can do all of that at the last moment. It makes it more thrilling.
5. Drive all the way to your destination. Especially if it’s more than 12 hours away. Your moving truck, despite taking unleaded fuel and having decent A/C, will not have cruise control. When you hit any sort of incline your speed is going to drop 20mph and the truckers hauling loads will laugh as they cruise past you in their 20-gear rigs.
5a. Since you won’t have cruise control, you’ll need to come up with a system to wedge your foot on the gas in such a way that you don’t get too comfortable and let your foot slip, knocking down your constant speed. I put my seat as far forward as I could stand comfortably so that my knee was on the knee bolster under the steering wheel causing my upper leg to push back into my seat which gave my foot the ability to stay grounded. You’ll need it.
5b. For real, be safe. Press your brake way before you need it. Make sure you don’t wedge your leg so that you can’t get your foot over to the brake. Or at least get comfortable using your left leg for braking. Not recommended but might work for you.
6. Stick to truck stops like Love’s, TA, Flying J, or Pilot. Sometimes they even have showers for some quick sexy time if you or some stranger are into contracting hepatitis. Truckers are lonely, maybe you can help them relieve some tension for some quick cash.
7. Whenever you see a burger joint or taco stand you haven’t eaten at in a while or ever, stop and enjoy a bite. I grew up in California so whenever I see an In-N-Out Burger I’m obligated to stop for a Cheesburger animal style, fries, and a Neapolitan milk shake. You might enjoy a country fried steak at Cracker Barrel if you’re not from the south and are craving some country goodness. You will stop twice as much as you would had you loaded up on healthy, protein heavy snacks since you’ll have the shits. The price you pay for a good move, my friend.
8. Stay hydrated. I choose coffee or sugar-free Red Bull when possible. If there’s a good deal on them, I’ll get a Monster coffee drink. Full of vitamins, yum!
9. Multiply your drive time by 1.5. If Google says it takes 10 hours to drive from your old place to your new city, it’s going to take 15 in your truck with your horrible gas mileage, no cruise control, and all the neat fun stops your going to make and crazy people you’ll talk to.
10. Try to have a place to stay when you get into town. We were lucky enough to be moving close to family so we’re going to mooch off of them for a while. I really don’t know what you’d do if you were moving to a new city without job prospects or a place to stay so…get creative I guess. But if you’re moving near family. Get your mooch on and don’t be shy.
11. The first week after you get into town you’ll be unemployed and possibly living with family. Possibly storing all your junk in a family member’s garage or in a mini-storage facility. Now’s the time to party and act like you’re on vacation before the sad reality of unemployment kicks in. Be sure to do this fast so that you’re not too concerned about your money situation. After a week you’re going to wake up and realize you aren’t doing anything with your life and sink into a downward spiral or sadness and unemployment.
11a. Apply for social benefits through your state’s health department. See if you qualify for food stamps and/or medicaid. If you do, and you will if you are female (especially with kids), eat Papa Murphy’s for dinner every god damned chance you get. They are considered grocery in most states and take EBT cards/SNAP benefits. It’s true. Sometimes apply’s for take out at Subway too. You can’t get better than that unless you just love buying cheap shit from Wal-Mart like all the other sad saps.
12. Application bomb everything you can think of. You’ll likely have to go through an HR website so don’t expect much but at least you can tell your concerned friends and family members that you’re not just facebooking, you’re also job searching.
Well, that’s about it folks. It’s a long list but it will get you where you need to go in life to some degree. It hasn’t failed me. I’ve been here not even a week and I start a new job tomorrow. If I can do it, so can you.