All that hyperbolic nineteenth-century rhetoric about Americans being pioneers with frontier spirit is just high-gloss spin on the fact that Yankees are a population of refugees. Pretty much everyone who lives here now either moved a long way to get here or descended from someone who did. We'd exempt Native Americans from that group, but they've probably been forced to move the most. Since we've all got it in our blood, let's translate that 'spirit' into an efficient mastery of the otherwise unbearable process of moving.

Moving is a stress-filled pain in the ass, make no mistake. Not only do you have to handle myriad details of organization, but you have to do it while enjoying the murky fear of moving to a place that you probably don't know too much about; oh, and add in all the depressing kicks of saying goodbye to hordes of old friends. Cheery. We offer this SYW on "how to move to a new city" as a semi-soviet solution to the problem: emotionless but effective.

Oh, and we've found that if you don't follow this guide, the moving trauma is liable to explode in an overloaded station wagon at some Godforsaken rest stop.


There are tons of online resources engineered to help with relocation. In fact, there may be too many; if left to hunt amongst them yourself, you may just get annoyed and overwhelmed like we did (until we remembered that it's our job to feel that way, so that others need not). The primary theme running through almost all moving guides, though, is a smart one: create a timeline. You want to assemble a list of the legion of items you need to take care of, so that you can stop forgetting to do things -- or worse, stop worrying about forgetting to do things. With this list in hand, you can move ruthlessly down it, handling tasks, checking items off, squelching free speech -- sorry, that may be a little too soviet again.

The obvious question though is, "What should that list contain and in what order?" Hakuna Matata, no worries: we've designed a prototypical checklist for you. Now, if you have particular needs, like "Where do I kennel my ferret?" and "How do I find an apartment in Azerbaijan?" you will obviously need to customize your moving protocol.

Most of the tasks that confront you in a move will break down into two classes: (a) setting up life in a new place and (b) breaking down life in the old one. There are a few issues that straddle the two and some that fall outside of them, but we'll try to cover them all.