Life has a soundtrack. Some songs take you back to a season—a summer by the beach, a long road trip, or your first year away from home.
Other songs are timeless: no matter where you are, they make you stop what you’re doing, turn up the volume, and sing your heart out.
When it’s time for a move, the right songs can make the process of packing up everything you own feel a little less lonely and a lot more fun. With that in mind, we’ve put together a playlist for your next move.
Has Moving Got You Feeling Blue?
Somewhere around filling up the twentieth box, you may start to feel like packing will never end. Music for packing can remind you that you’re not alone. Other people have gathered up cardboard boxes, filled them with everything they own, moved, and lived to sing about it.
Loudon Wainwright III, comedian, songwriter and American folk singer shares his moving woes: “We’ve got so much junk it’s a joke.”
“I had to pull up roots once again…” sings Paul Pena, “I’m gonna move away from here / You can find me if you want to go there.”
Only Johnny Cash can make a list of 91 places (plus Winnemuca Road) sound this good.
Sometimes listening to the blues can help banish your blues. Mississippi Fred McDowell will get you tapping your toes while you’re packing boxes.
This Music Was Made for Packing up and Moving On
The best thing about packing is probably unpacking once you get to your new place: it’s a new beginning, whether you’re moving up, moving out, or moving on.
Eliza Doolittle’s sweet song encourages you to “Pack up your troubles.”
Whether you remember the TV show or not, you probably know The Jeffersons’ theme song: “We’re moving’ on up, to the East Side… We finally got a piece of the pie!”
Billy Joel sings, “If that’s movin’ up, then I’m moving out” in a song that will—we warn you—get stuck in your head.
Stevie Wonder makes moving seem poetic: “Like a branch on a tree, I keep reaching to be free…”
Music for Packing Your Roommate’s Stuff
When it’s time for your housemate or significant other to move, bring home some moving boxes and turn up the volume on these helpful hints.
“So go ahead and get gone,” Beyoncé sings, and then asks,
“Could you walk and talk at the same time?” If you’re considering kicking someone out of your home (and your life), you might want to start humming, “To the left, to the left…”
This is as clear as it gets: “Don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, more!”
Patty Smyth and Scandal don’t mince words here. “Guess it’s better to say / Goodbye to you / Goodbye to you / Goodbye to you.” Your roommate should get the hint.
Music for Packing That Will Energize You and Your Friends
Friends who help you move might be the best friends on Earth. When they arrive, have food and drinks ready, and put on these moving-day hits.
Whistle while you work with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros in the background. This is the song that begins with Alabama and Arkansas, and progresses to “Moats and boats and waterfalls / Alleyways and payphone calls / I’ve been everywhere with you.” If you feel like taking a break from packing boxes, this video is good enough to watch over and over again.
The “it” that’s being moved in Reel 2 Real’s 1994 hit is not exactly a moving box… you get the picture.
This isn’t about moving, but it is about friendship.
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