You’re Doing It All Wrong: What Moving Teaches Us About Work

The hardest thing about moving is that you always start wrong. You always start as if you had all the time in the world.

You might even start the process of “packing” way ahead of time, maybe a month before the move date. “This will be a great chance to sort through my things and really organize my life!” you think.

But that’s not what moving is about. Moving is about getting your shit from one place to the next. One of the most painful parts of moving is that you’re always forced into this realization.

You know this realization has hit when you start throwing things into boxes. What was once a careful game of Tetris turns into an exercise of creating contained piles of crap within whatever box is closest to you.

Sometimes there’s one breaking point, sometimes there’s multiple. It can happen on a per-room, per-category basis. But it always happens.

Your belongings suddenly seem more resilient. What previously might have earned a careful, tidy pack job (a mug, a picture frame, etc.), is now haphazardly wrapped in some newspaper and placed unceremoniously, almost carelessly, into a box.

What you’ve realized is that your job is not to do a good job packing, your job is to move.

And the only reason this happens is because you will literally be removed from your home by a certain date if you don’t move successfully.

I wonder if I’m stuck in that initial pre-really-moving state on other projects in my life. Am I metaphorically obsessing over placing things carefully into boxes in a perfect taxonomy, sitting on the floor flipping through old papers recycling them one by one? Do I ever reach the true moving state?

How can I induce throwing stuff into boxes on my other projects? What am I really trying to accomplish, and how do I start doing the thing that actually gets me there?


Sign up for my newsletter if you enjoyed this piece.
I’ll let you know when I write something new!