The Moving Meltdown

We’re moving. Unexpectedly and suddenly. The why is a story for another day. First, we’ll talk about what it’s doing…

We’re moving. Unexpectedly and suddenly. The why is a story for another day. First, we’ll talk about what it’s doing to my head.

Anyone who has ever moved understands the stress and pressure it puts on your life. Anyone who has ever been a teacher understands that August – the week before school starts – is not the time to be moving. Anyone who knows me well knows that I’ll make it work – I’ll do what needs to be done and I’ll get through to the other side – but knows that first, I’ll have a meltdown.

Take this box:

In true Tina fashion, this box took me down.

This box caused the meltdown.

It wasn’t a typical anxiety-attack meltdown that led me to crawl under the covers in bed and avoid life. It was a meltdown that left me wandering around the apartment aimlessly for hours. Wasting precious time. Growing increasingly more frustrated at the situation, at the amount of shit we have in our apartment, at how rushed, unorganized, and overwhelmed I was feeling.

I wasn’t pleased that the box was random. Up until this box, every other box had a purpose: “N desk: 3rd Floor,” “Linen Closet: 3rd Floor,” or “Pictures: 2nd Floor.” But this box had everything from extension cords to candles to old pictures. Because that is what fit in the box. Because I was trying my hardest to not make the box too heavy. So I couldn’t put the seashells and living room knick-knacks in the box with the candles and pictures – which would have made sense. I couldn’t put the electronics in the box with the extension cords – which would have made sense.

And the fact that there was still empty space in the box was making my skin crawl, my chest tighten, my fists clench, and my breathing heavy. Because the stuff inside the box was so random and it was only going to get more random.

The thoughts went a little like this:

What floor in the new house does this box go on?

Where does any of this random shit fit in our lives?

What else goes with this random box of shit?

Can’t I just throw all of this out?

But what if I need this stuff one day?

Those baby pictures of dad are just so freaking cute. I can’t get rid of those.

And those letters from family when I was the Army. There’s some good advice and memories in those letters. I need to keep those.

I have no idea what these cords are for. I could probably toss those. But what if I need that phone cord in the new house?

Oh, and those 6th grade pictures of Danielle, Ray, and Jon. Those are staying around for decades.

But seriously, how do I label this box?


Because “random” wasn’t doing it for me at that moment.

“Unpack last,” I added.

Because seriously, nothing in this box is so important that it needs to take up space on a shelf somewhere.

Well, shit. In 6 months from now, I’ll forget what is in this box. And knowing me, I’ll just toss it without opening it (I’ve done it before). And then, damn it. Won’t I be fucking pissed at myself when I realize I tossed the letters and pictures.

So “ but don’t throw away! Army letters and old pics!” was added to the side of the box.

That should suffice. I won’t toss it a year from now when it’s still packed at the back of a closet somewhere in the new house.

And now that I’ve wasted two hours of precious packing time on this box, I should probably get back to packing.

Update: I just went to move said problem box. It weighs about 100 pounds ??‍♀️

How do you stay organized when moving?


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