Sunday, July 29, 2007

Incentive to Move Lessens as One Accumulates Stuff

I hate moving. And yet, here I go again. It’s moving day.

Some people, after they reach adulthood, get a job, and move into their first house or apartment, pretty much stay put for years. As their career takes off and they make more money, get married, and maybe have kids, they may want a bigger house or a different neighborhood, so they move.

For many people, this relocation of the family may take place two or three times during their entire lives. For others, though, it may take place two or three times in any particular year.

I fall somewhere in between those extremes, but the trend for me has been much closer to the latter scenario. This was especially true when I was a young adult.

Let’s see, after I graduated college and joined the real world of work, I moved from my parent’s home in Edinburgh to an apartment in Indianapolis. Length of stay: about 3 months. Then it was off to a second apartment where I finished out a year.

Then I got married. So we moved to another Indianapolis apartment where we lived about six months. Then it was about 3 months in a duplex and six months in a rental house before I got a new teaching job in Goshen on a temporary contract. We were there a full year, wow!

After that, it was back to Edinburgh for three months then to my new teaching assignment in Lake County. We lived in a small rental cottage for a month then moved to a mobile home in Portage for eight months, then back to Edinburgh for three months, then back to Portage for a year.

We then moved into a duplex in Lake Station for a full three years before moving to another rental house a block away where we stayed about a year or so. Then we moved across town to another rental home for about two years, then to another duplex in New Chicago for a year before moving back to the previous house.

After that it was a mobile home in Valparaiso for a year. Finally, I decided it was time to buy a home. We bought a small vinyl-village home in Hobart where we stayed for three years. We sold it and moved to Franklin after I changed jobs again.

A year later, it was back to Edinburgh. We lived in a mobile home for about three years in a park south of town. We then moved the mobile home to another park in town where we managed to stay for a whopping eight years. That made 11 years in the same dwelling.

When I went back to my teaching profession and got a job for Indianapolis Public Schools, I rented a house in the same neighborhood I lived in the first time I rented a home in the city.

I’ve lived there for three years, but then I felt ready to buy my second home. This one is on the south side and has never been lived in before. Who knows how long I’ll stay there; I’m holding out for 12 years. By then, I’ll be ready for retirement.

So, even though my length of stay at any one place has gradually increased over the years, so too has the amount of stuff I’ve accumulated and must therefore move or throw out. The packing and sorting is no fun. So my incentive to stay put has increased proportionally to the amount of stuff I’ve acquired.

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