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Imagine this scenario about life after graduation: after tedious months of applications, interviews and job-hunting, you landed a job worth writing home about. For the last four years you’ve been an official resident of University City, and the next move might be a bit trickier without the help of your parents or classmates. The new job is in the next state over, six hours as-the-Honda-drives.

Most jobs that require you to relocate will give you time to find a new place to live, sign a new lease and move your things. So, with the goal of moving everything you’ve accumulated over the past four (or twenty) years from Location A to Location B, it’s time to pack.

In the previous installment of this series, we talked about what it means to embrace adulthood – the kinds of choices you need to think about, the change of mindset you need after  college – and it may very well begin with packing boxes. Packing might seem like a particularly dull step in this transmutation, but it actually presents an opportunity to decide what matters most to you in life.


You are what you own! Maybe that’s a bit too philosophical, because, no, your possessions don’t define you. But they do say a lot about your passions. When you remember growing up, you may think of that clay vase your mom made in college, the circular saw your dad has owned since high school – and those heirlooms represent a certain feeling of “home.”

The question to ask yourself is: What possessions of mine create that feeling of home? What possessions don’t? And when you figure that out, you’ve already begun to condense.

Why get rid of your stuff? When moving, you should have two goals in mind:

  1. Move from Location A to Location B affordably.
  2. Make moving easier by getting rid of things you don’t need.

When you streamline your personal inventory, you’ll also save money on moving costs.

There’s a deep satisfaction that comes with realizing that there are very few things in life you actually “need.” So while you want to hang onto your old yearbooks, you can probably get rid of your favorite teen idol posters as you being your adult life.


You’ll need lots of boxes. Use small boxes – ideally in uniform sizes, for easier stacking. Beer boxes are a great choice for moving because they’re sturdy, and many liquor stores will happily give them to you for free.

Don’t just throw all your stuff into boxes; you’ll want to be organized and pack your belongings efficiently. Label your boxes. If you have a rental truck, load it for both space-efficiency as well as organized unloading. You’ll be unloading these boxes in the next few days (hopefully), so think about how you want to pack them while thinking about the way you’d like to unpack them.


Travel on weekdays rather than on weekends. Have a dedicated song or album to play when you leave town (there are a lot of good traveling songs out there). See your friends before you leave. On the road, stop as few times as possible – that’s what your dad would tell you – but if you’re moving a long distance, stop every three hours to stretch your legs.

Once you get to your destination, pat yourself on the back for getting rid of some things you didn’t need!

Do you have any tips for moving on with your life after graduation?

Featured photo credit: Sint Smeding via photopin cc