I've moved...more times than I'd like to count. I've lived in apartment complexes, cabins, homes, dorms, fraternity houses, and three-story walkups. Each has many fond memories, except for the first and last few days. Why? Because to live there, I had to move... in the state of Michigan.

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I've never met someone who enjoys moving, regardless of their state or the one they are moving to. Moving is an exercise in going through your life and weeding out the things you find worthy of moving to the following location or into a storage facility where they await their seasonal appearance.

Why Moving in the State of Michigan is a Month-Long Nightmare

Moving in Michigan

Before we get into the fever dream that is moving in Michigan, you should know that this isn't just a brief interlude of a nightmare; the terror begins roughly a month before the moving date. That's when you look around your home and realize how much STUFF YOU HAVE and that IT ALL NEEDS TO GO INTO BOXES.

Where are you going to get the boxes? Will you stake out grocery stores waiting for the produce shipment and beg the clerk for the best banana boxes? Maybe you have a friend who works in a restaurant, and they promise to hook you up with a motherload of cardboard. A week goes by, your stuff remains unboxed, and you have no boxes. Panic has now set in.

Moving in Michigan

You never thought you'd purchase cardboard, but here you are in a store with a cart full of boxes that really don't fit in the cart. You're balancing them like a circus performer on their first day at the job when you run into neighbors who now play Columbo and deduce, based on your newfound clowning skills and the boxes, you're moving to Florida to join the circus.

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You have zero ability to laugh; all joy has been sucked out of your life as you are now in moving mode. Michigan has no pity. The state will circle your moving day on the calendar for one of its famous "out of the blue" weather events, like a blizzard, heat wave, or volcanic eruption.

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Regardless of the obstacles you encounter while moving, things will settle down. Eventually, the scent of cardboard and dust will leave your new home, and it will feel like home. Just do yourself a favor: Put those boxes in storage so that you're not freaking out grocery store employees at 3:30 am asking for cardboard.

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Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

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Gallery Credit: Stephen Lenz