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Moving sucks, yes Nailbunny, upon this we can all likely agree, but I'd like to propose that moving a) without a car, b) into a much smaller physical space, c) in super-stylish city where people look at you funny crossing the road with two duffel bags and a backpack, all conspire to make it even worse. So what if the idea of resorting to U-Haul or a yard sale to lighten the load fills you with dread? Here's the solution:

1. Secure bottle of Bombay Sapphire Distilled London Dry Gin, the blue bottle with the "we are not amused" portrait of a scowling Queen Victoria (mine came with "4 - Bombay Sapphire Garnish picks"). Incidentally, ice, tonic, lime and a glass (or a mason jar if you've already packed the glasses) tend to add a touch of class to the affair. Begin drinking immediately.

2. Unplug your phone. This is an ordeal. A Nietzchean test of will. A confrontation of the Abyss. For that you need to cultivate uncommuncativeness. Be strong, be dour.

3. Pack only what you absolutely need. Give/throw away everything else: the key here is to be brutal in your appraisal. Do you really need an armchair? Two kitchen chairs? Four identical black roll-neck sweaters? A six-foot long sofa? There is likely enough second-hand furniture floating around in this hemisphere to put IKEA, with its $35 Korben™ storage units and $49 Flota™ bookcases, into bankruptcy. Keep this motivational thought in mind.

4. Avoid the temptation to busy yourself with the little things. Don't Zen out and start removing all the nails and picture hangers in the apartment just to avoid getting on with carrying stuff. Don't start lint-brushing your clothes. Don't start sweeping compulsively between trips. Focus, dammit.

5. Drink (for fortitude) while making the difficult decisions; the gin should provide you with the precise mixture of nostalgia and disassociation you'll need to distinguish the relative significance of an ugly wooden carved totem given to you by a dear friend vs. a somewhat cool candleholder you picked up at a rummage sale. Given that you have no car to drive from Flat A to Flat B, you needn't worry about being able to drive. The simple ability to locomote is really all you're shooting for.

6. Don't leave the tonic or ice out on the counter between trips.

7. Secret moving cheat #1 : if you're a compulsive picture-plasterer, with literally hundreds of photos, postcards and pictures taped up all over your wall, fridge and cabinets, then the process of removing all that tape, then re-taping it in your new place is actually an incredible waste of time. Solution? Take the stuff down and affix it to sheets of wax paper, then just roll up the sheets into a poster tube and remove them for re-positioning at your new place. Note: the Wax Paper Industry has clearly gotten wind of this and jacked the prices accordingly, so brace yourself for visit the grocery store, where upon you will may find yourself, reeling from drink, mumbling under your gin-soaked breath while peering suspiciously at the price of the Reynolds' Microwaveable 200m roll™.

8. Listen to nothing but Joy Division's 'Unknown Pleasures' while you pack. Or Jesus and Mary Chain's 'Psychocandy'. Or the first half of 'OK Computer'. Or Sonic Youth's cover of Madonna's 'Into The Grove' on repeat. Which should set the mood nicely.

9. Secret moving cheat #2 : If you have a pet/familiar/animal companion, they'll probably start getting a little freaked once the favorite sleeping cushion or scratching chair suddenly disappears. You'll need to explain the situation rationally. Take time out to logically outline the necessity of the whole uproar. Apologize for the inconvenience. If none of this works, bribe them with tasty treats to mediate the guilt.

10. Don't try to hang pictures after you've had five stiff G'n'T's.

11. Remember: the stereo should always be the last item moved. Your speakers will probably sound great in an empty room anyway. And (this should go without saying) always keep the component boxes, moving is hell without those perfectly-fitted Styrofoam inserts. Don't let anyone try to tell you otherwise.

12. Secret moving cheat #3 : Keep in mind you don't actually move locations all that often, so you may as well avail yourself of the few opportunities it does offer. If you have any annoying creditors or student loan people on your back, don't notify them of your address change. While you're at it, why not cancel that maxed out credit card and brush VISA off as well. Close your bank account. Use a different version of your name for your new utility bills and get a new phone number. Then drop all your magazine and CD subscriptions to boot and watch as your junk mail vanishes and telemarketing calls drop way off.

13. If and when you cut yourself, just let the blood dry. That way people will move around you on the sidewalk. Grrrr.

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