Moving Lessons

I moved to a new apartment, hoping third time’s truly a charm. So far, so good, and I wrote this with natural afternoon winter sunlight seeping through the window. And no, I didn’t just wax poetic on you. I literally described the current situation of my study table.

One of the many reasons why I love my new apartment.

Moving has always been an exciting and gruelling experience for me, in Taiwan. I suppose, it will always be so wherever I am. The hardest part is starting to take an inventory of items for moving, leaving me aghast with how I managed to accumulate a junkyard.  
A year and a half of living in Zhongshan got me face to face with 12 freaking bags of items to move. At first, I thought I’d do it all by myself. I thought about the logistics in my head. When I remembered my new apartment is on the 4th floor, without an elevator, I took my phone out, dropped all plans, and just dialled Steven the Mover’s number.
DIE or pay 3,000 to live another day. I chose to pay.

I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I move to a new apartment (technically my 4th, if I count the first place I stayed here in Taiwan), I feel that inevitable feeling to nest. I take one sweeping look at my new place and just mentally draft a blueprint—mini kitchen can be placed there, this space would be for after-bath rituals, that nook would be a treasure trove for my books, and there’s where I would place a mini sofa.
But then I realized that doing all that is not really good. And I also realized that buying all that stuff, and trying to make a home out of my previous apartment, was an indication of how I was trying to mask its truly horrible quality. Anyway, all’s good now. I’ve moved and learned some pretty good lessons along the way, which takes me back to the time that I tried to move using the MRT only. Took me 8 freaking trips, back and forth. Never gonna happen again. I must’ve been high on wet socks at that time. 
Here are some important nuggets of wisdom that moving to a new apartment has imbibed upon my soul, thus far:
Buy furniture that can be easily taken apart. – I love LOVE LOVE IKEA. I wholeheartedly hope that we would have one in the Philippines. If I don’t buy from an IKEA, I still check if the furniture or item can be taken apart before I buy it. In case it’s fixed, but I really need it, I decide on the premise of being able to leave it behind in case I move out.
Ended up selling this IKEA sofa, but can you imagine how I managed to bring home all 30kgs of this, then assemble, all by myself? Me neither.

Note the voltage difference between your current place and your home country. – Before getting crazy over buying appliances, make sure your home country and your current one has the same power voltage. This is the reason why I am not that keen on buying appliances here, since I know I’d still have to buy a converter and always remember to use one if I bring my Taiwan appliances back to the Philippines.
Consider selling stuff before you move out. – To be honest, this practical tip is probably the hardest I had to do. I had to sell my folding bike, my IKEA sofa, my electric stove, my PlayStation, and orange chair mattress. I would have even sold my luggage, haha kidding. But yeah, sometimes the most practical thing to do would be to just sell items you hardly use or would not be able to use in your new place. Tough, but it also teaches you to be more considerate when buying things that will stay in your new apartment.

Allot 2-3 days of moving time between your old and new apartment. – Even if you have a moving service, who can literally take on the load in a few minutes, it’s wisest to move on a weekend. For one, you have 2 days off work/school. The extra 3rd day is up to you, depending on how many stuff you have. But once you get settled in your new apartment, you would most probably need a full day to soak up the situation and get yourself moving to take out items from boxes and bags. Of course, I write this remembering how I spent about 5 hours gaping at my boxed stuff after the movers successfully dropped them in my new apartment. I had an existential crisis. To unbox, or not to unbox. To sleep was the answer I pretty much succumbed to at that time. 
Be careful of buying small items, they can breed like Gremlins. – It’s pretty tempting to try to get more comfy in your apartment, but sometimes you wouldn’t notice that five pieces of hangers have eventually become two dozens.  What was intentionally an oven toaster ended up being a full-blown brick oven with freshly-chopped oak wood. Of course, I’m kidding. But then again, not so much at the time when I realized my original idea of buying salt and pepper to taste (in my then mini-kitchen) grew to include cayenne, bay leaves, cinnamon, light soy sauce, corn oil, olive oil, and about one pack of tefal-like spoons and forks. I don’t even know how it all evolved from a kitchen that’s supposed to be able to fry stuff to a kitchen that can whip up gourmet food for 4 to 5 people, tops. The lesson? Don’t buy items you think you’ll need in the future. Live in the present, and buy based from just what you need now. Now, people, not the maybe-I-will-eventually-need-a-cheese-grater future.
These days, I simply enjoy my weekends being a hermit/laundry woman on Saturdays, I suppose I’m still enjoying the quiet which my new neighborhood (and concrete walls) bring. 
Oh and did I mention that the reason why I mainly moved out of my old apartment was because I woke up at 3AM to the sound of a couple making…those cute people that storks are supposed to drop on your parents’ doorstep?
It was done 4 freaking times, Buddha have mercy. Sharing, just so you know. 

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