Moving On Up (vol. 1)

Did you know I moved recently?


Yes, I know I have a flair for the dramatic and emotional and making everything a big “moment,” but that’s how I like to operate because otherwise life can be boring. Even though I only moved 10(on a good day)-15(on a bad day)min down the road, it felt like a big move. I mean, when you’ve lived out most of your 20s and a few years of your 30s in the same area in the same city, moving to a different neighborhood can and should be constituted as a “big move.” In my book, anyway.

Because my moving in and making a house a home process will slowly unravel over the next several months (and maybe years?), I wanted to start a series on here dedicated entirely to the evolution of my new place. The idea is to cover it all: from actually packing and moving to how I set up my place and the money I spend on making it emmasthing 2.0 (what I’m calling this new home and chapter of life). I’m no interior decorator or architect or feng shui master or any other type of profession that deals with houses, but I have an incredible team of designers and bargain hunters (my sister and mom) helping me turn this place into my oasis, and I think it’d be fun for everyone to sit back and watch.

In this first volume, I’m going to cover WHY I moved, HOW to move, and WHAT I’m hoping for in my new home (I feel like one of those memes that’s like “In this essay, I will…”).


Since I graduated college 10 YEARS AGO, I’ve lived in the same area of Dallas (save for one year). I lived in an apartment complex for about 3.5 years then moved literally a quarter mile up the street to my duplex where I’ve been for 5.5 years. When I first moved into the neighborhood, it was very up-and-coming. There were a few cool spots here and there, but a lot of room for growth and potential. Over the past 9 years, it completely evolved into one of the hippest places in Dallas, and I’ve had a front row seat to witness that evolution, which has been splendid. My duplex was very old and very… quirky… but the price and location were unbeatable, which made it so difficult to seriously entertain moving out once I was in. Sure, the windows didn’t open (no, really. They were SEALED shut), my closet was in the kitchen (but MASSIVE), it got hardly any natural sunlight, my next door neighbor’s essentially made their backyard a junkyard which invited all kinds of insects over and, the worst part—because it could never air out properly, a musty odor infiltrated everything inside, making me, Cece, and all my belongings carry around a certain scent. But I made it cute and cozy, and the price! The location!

Every year, I flirted with the idea of moving. I would get an itch, scour the internet for potential new living places, sometimes even go view them (and have mental breakdowns afterwards @whitbit), and inevitably give up stating, “The price and location is just unbeatable.” But the desire to move into something bigger and better was always there.

As I wrote in my latest Instagram post, defocusing and taking pressure off things you're obsessing over is when things actually happen (or so I’m told). Evidence: Over July 4th weekend, I wanted to take my sister to a very particular restaurant for lunch in an up-and-coming neighborhood about 15 minutes from me. While there, she couldn’t get over how great the area was. “This is like Portland or Austin. Do you wanna look at some apartments?” It was the last thing I had expected her to suggest that day, but it felt right, so off we went and, in about 24 hours, we found my new place and I was shaking hands with the broker (I am renting, btw. Did NOT buy). Something I had fantasized about for years fell into place so quickly that it honestly re-instilled my faith in all things (big and small) being fast and easy when it’s right.


Short answer: Slowly, bit by bit, over the span of 16 days.

Long answer: Some people didn’t understand my process (@whitbit), but hear me when I tell you that the only way to move is SLOWLY (if you can help it). First thing’s first: HIRE MOVERS. How you choose to utilize those movers is at your own discretion but, for me, movers are there to move the BIG and heavy stuff, not the small shit that you and a friend or two can handle easily (this is the part @whitbit was perplexed about). When the big moving day came, I wanted it to be quick and seamless (and in the allotted 2-hour timeframe) therefore I started packing and moving two weeks before my move. Luckily, I was able to work out with my landlord to get the keys early so I could start bringing things over little by little but not sleep there until the decided on date. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND doing this if you can so moving day isn’t your first ever day in your new place. This also gives you the opportunity to CLEAN your new place before you cover it in boxes and clutter, which is a major win (note: I THOUGHT I had done a good job cleaning my new place before Ellen came over the weekend of my move and said the words “CLEAN” “WIPE” “PINE SOL” “DAMP RAGS” “COUNTERS” “CABINETS” and “DISAPPOINTED” too many times to count).

With the help of amazing friends who I don’t deserve, I was able to get most of my entire life over to my new place well before my official move-in date, and the difference it made was invaluable. It was a lot of work, a lot of sweat, aggravation, A LOT of feeling in limbo between two places (THE WORST), and pretty much zero social time or restful weeknights for two weeks, but WORTH IT. The morning of my move, AB Moving showed up (WHO I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND. They were wonderful and reasonable!) and got my heavy shit out and back in in two hours and were on their way home.

HOT FUCKING TIP: DON’T SPEND MONEY ON BOXES. It’s such a waste when there are plenty free ones around for your convenience. To score on moving boxes, go to every liquor store in town and ask them how many of theirs they’re willing to give you. Then, call Trader Joe’s between 6-7am (when they unload that day’s fresh deliveries) and ask them to put some aside for you to pick up later. Then, go to Target as soon as they open and bat your eyelashes for boxes. And finally, DON’T THROW THE BOXES OUT AFTER ONE USE. After we moved almost my entire kitchen over, my genius best friend suggested I unpack it all and put it away, then reuse the boxes for the next load as to avoid having to scavenge for more boxes.

TLDR: Get the keys ahead of time if you can and use your young, able body to move as much as you can before move-in day.


This literal new lease on life has been long overdue, and it feels so amazing already. Like a fresh notebook or planner. I’m viewing my new home as a blank canvas on which I will finally create my dream oasis (ok, maybe not dream because #money but as close as I can get). No more hand-me-downs or pieces that I simply live with because they’re available and there. I’m going to invest in making my house a home and, as with everything else in life, not settle for less than I want. When my sister and I were out that day looking at potential new places, she said to me: “Get a 5, Emma. This is a big move for you and you shouldn’t settle for a 3 or even a 4. Do it right and get a 5. That goes with men, too. You deserve 5s.” When I walked into my new place for the first time a few hours later, I literally screamed, jumped on my sister, and said “THIS IS IT. THIS IS MY HOME. I CAN FEEL IT!” “You haven’t reacted like that to anything else we’ve seen today. This is a 5.” And it is.

So, that’s our focus going forward: GET A 5.

This move feels transitional not just literally but figuratively. I’m ready for the next chapter, phase, whatever you wanna call it in this new home in this new neighborhood that, funnily enough, is on the rise just like my last neighborhood was. Hopefully I get another front row seat to witness the come up. I’ll be watching from my back deck with Cece and a glass of wine.

Next time on Moving On Up: What I’ve bought for my new place so far, from blinds and drawer knobs to shower curtains and soap dispensers.