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Moving Has a Bad Rap

If you’ve ever been in Boston on the last day of August or the first day of September, you’ve probably wished that you never left home. August 31st and September 1st are, by far, the two worst days of the year to be in Boston; everyone is moving. There are more moving trucks, vans and trailers on the streets than cars and the vast majority of them are double-parked with flashers on. In fact, it almost seems like a competition to see who can block the most traffic without causing an accident (usually). The craziest part is that the vast majority are moving to a place that is less than a mile away from their current residence. That’s right. We Bostonians willingly pack up and move across the street on a yearly basis.

To an outsider, we must seem insane; why would anyone want to put themselves through the trouble of packing and unpacking so frequently? To be fair, it is every bit as terrible as you probably imagine. You spend hours getting your life into boxes only to unpack it all a day later.

Why do we do it? I think most of us, myself included, are excited by the idea of new surroundings, new people and a new room. It’s fun to settle into a new place and check out your new neighborhood. Plus, just when your new surroundings get old it’s time to move again. Of course, there is also something truly liberating about seeing everything you own and care about packed into a tiny U-Haul truck that you pray won’t fall apart on the five minute drive to your new place. It’s a great feeling to know that you’re not bogged down by a mountain of stuff, most of which you’ll never use.

For whatever reason, we as humans seem to be constantly collecting crap. Yes, crap. Things that we think we should hang on to just in case one day we might need it again. Things that, in all likelihood, will just sit somewhere in our home and collect dust. One thing I can say for sure about Bostonians is, that while we still accrue crap, we’ve created an efficient system for cleansing; move every year. If we don’t need it / it doesn’t fit in the truck it gets sold, donated or, in most cases, left on the side of the road. In fact if you’re in the market for a new bookshelf, TV, dresser, dining room table, couch or pretty much any piece of furniture or appliance, all you have to do is drive down any Boston street and have your pick of the litter. It’s amazing how fast stuff that’s on the streets on August 31st disappears.

I think we all need to give moving a break. Sure, it’s a pain, but the end result is more than worth it; just ask anyone who lives in Boston.

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