//Worst Thing About Moving//
The process of moving is awful. Packing takes a ton of time and effort. If you hired movers, then you’re paying an obscene amount of money for a few labourers to play Tetris with your belongings. If you haven’t hired movers, you’re going to have a sore back. I moved this week. (In anticipation, I completed all this week’s articles on the weekend so I’m actually just predicting that I moved this week. I’m also going to predict that I did it for a low cost per kilometer.) But I still haven’t discussed my least favourite activity associated with moving: changing my address.
Every time I move (and, thankfully, this is going to be my last real move until I have to deliver my trademark sass to nurses in an old folk’s home) I change all of my addresses. I realize that everybody has to do it, I’m just saying that it sucks. I try to do it all online, but there are lots of archaic organizations that require a phone call during business hours (because that’s how everybody wants to spend their time off — changing addresses). Worse, I actually had to attend a place of business to change my address with one important organization.
Canada Post offers a service that redirects your mail. It sucks and I don’t use it. First off, the service is simply a stop-gap — you still need to change your address anyway, it just gives you a six month grace period. Second, they can’t forward your most important mail if it’s marked “Do Not Follow”, e.g. letters from tax authorities. Third, you need to pay a fee. Fourth, I’ve heard horrible reviews of this service from friends that alleged spotty coverage. If I don’t trust the government monopolies that I am forced to use, why would I voluntarily rely on the competence of one such organization to complete a task as sensitive as changing my address? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question.
Here’s where my post turns from a rant into actionable advice. After graduating university, I started a list of address changes I need to make whenever I move. Every time I opened an account with a new organization, I added it to the list. It turned into a quick, 10-second habit that has made “moving time” less stressful. Despite the indignities of contract work requiring me to move from place to place, I’ve successfully minimized the inconvenience of changing addresses without giving money to Canuckistan Post.
I simply copy-and-paste the address change document to create a fresh checklist for my new address and then, some day around the move date, I go at it for a few hours. I invariably miss a service because I forgot to list it (my habits are imperfect — sorry Canadian Blood Services, you’re on the list now), but the process alleviates some of my neurotic “move anxiety”. I backup my “master list” by putting an encrypted copy on an external hard drive in a fire-proof safe and, more recently, in the cloud. That might seem excessive, but I simultaneously backup other important documents, e.g. my “lost wallet list”. Such systems are successful for me because — unlike most bureaucratic machinations — they are simple and require a minimum amount of effort to maintain (so long as I remember to update them). On a day-to-day basis they only provide peace of mind. During certain outlier events, such systems offer an exceptional amount of irreplaceable value.