Sunday, May 12, 2013


I hate moving.  Yet I am getting super good at it.  We are on day 12 in our new place, and we finally have everything that was initially moved IN to the garage is now out of the garage.  It's not quite perfect, but let's face it; moving is like a typical college semester.  At the outset, you start out doing everything perfectly. Perfect materials and a totally unrealistic idea of exactly how long it's going to take. Then the assignments start to overlap, you throw in a few, "Awww, that would be so fun!" activities and suddenly you find yourself living in sweatpants and greasy hair while you start living off of Doritos and (name of your favorite caffeinated beverage here). Moving is like that.

I have learned a few tips and tricks about moving in all my years of experience.  And please, feel free to add your own ideas here.

1. Move the art.  It is the first thing that can come down off the walls, and is best transported in your own fair vehicle. Bubble wrap and boxes at high end prices will still leave you with a very lovely cracked frame, statue, favorite porcelain statue.  Move the art, and get it into a safe place.

2. Avoid cardboard boxes.  Boxes are expensive, and are only good for ONE thing; the ride from one place to the next. It is the "insult to injury" of moving.  Having to buy boxes that you have been trying for YEARS to get out of the house is mind-bending.  Especially once you see the prices.  Then once you have boxed up all of your crap, you must UNbox it, and, as if that weren't enough, you must now deal with the boxes. Yes, it helps movers to make a TON of money off of you, and it makes everything nice and tidy, but if you are moving locally - skip the boxes and start getting creative with garbage bags.  THOSE, you will reuse!

However, if you MUST use boxes, then arrive at your new place and immediately find a way to get them OUT of y our new place.  Don't place boxes in some random area with the idea that you will "deal with these later." No, just dump them out in the approximate room where they go, and then hustle the boxes outside with a "Free to a Good Home!" sign.  You will pick up the stuff on the floor, you will never develop a desire to unpack a box. EVER.

The upside, is that you get very realistic about your stuff when you see it all on the floor.  If - with all of your worldly possessions scattered about, you find that you can't deal with all of the stuff on the floor- it is usually a good time to hold a garage sale, or just keep an active "to donate" pile going.  Once it fills a garbage bag, trot it off to the Salvation Army/Deseret Industries/Goodwill.  DO NOT GO THROUGH IT.  Throwing away twice is just masochistic..

3. Move the kitchen first.  I made a city-to-city move within my own state, so while the kids were at school, I started hauling over the kitchen between drop-offs and pick-ups.  Most family activity thrives around the kitchen.  And it is the absolute hydra of breakables, perishables, and necessitous spoons, cutting boards and pots. If you can set up your kitchen then above all else, at least you will not starve, and you can deal with almost anything else that comes your way during your transition. Paper plates and plastic ware will save you when you are between addy's.

4.   Live a container lifestyle.  Halloween stuff - in a container with a lid.  Christmas stuff - container.
 Kitchen pasta - pasta bucket. This has been SUCH an incredible blessing to me.  It is HIDEOUS to plan and plot buying and setting them up in the moment, but ohhhh what a dream to move a basement that was already sorted and ... contained. And.... if you have the means.... I highly recommend getting a label maker.  Those little suckers are worth their weight in gold.  It is the key to freeing yourself from being the keeper of all the family "where is it?" information.

5. Be flexible. Each place I have lived in has its good and bad attributes.  I have substituted having a garbage disposal for an incredible front yard for my kids to play on.  And a garden.  Any place can be your Eden if you have the right attitude.  Tell your kids that this is home, and that you will be going on an adventure to find those best friends that you just haven't met yet!  Moving is like opening a new treasure chest.  You look around you, and you have no idea what gems surround you.  Be open to new people and new experiences.  On one of my previous moves, I was on bed rest and this totally skinny lady in running shoes came over to watch my daughter for me. Looking her up and down, well,  I KNEW that we probably didn't have much in common.  She probably ate tofu and planned marathons for fun.  How wrong I was.  She loves chocolate, she wears running shoes for comfort, and is one of the dearest people on earth that I know.  Allow yourself to believe that things will turn out well.  And more times than not.  It will. Just like your best college semester.


Danika said...

My #1 when moving is to get rid of as much stuff as possible before tackling the packing. I make multiple trips to Goodwill and throw out projects I never got around to. A new place is a new start so don't bring baggage along with you! And ditto on the kitchen. For us it's the kitchen, bathroom stuff and books that takes up the majority of moving space. Once that's done, life is peachy!

Katrina said...

EXACTLY! In the words of the Great Aunt Beck, "Sometimes a project is done before it's finished." Let go, and move on. Unless you subscribe to the wisdom of her sister, The Great My Mom, "Never give up on a project in the middle of it! You have to get to the end and finish it before you can decide whether or not it was worth it!" You choose.

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