A week from today we’ll be packing a moving truck to move west. I’ve spent so much time focused on and working toward this day that many other areas of my life have suffered. This blog is one thing that I’ve neglected in the past few weeks. Thank you, lovely readers, for sticking with me during this hectic time.
Because of all my many health problems, packing and cleaning has been nearly impossible. For almost two months, I’ve been packing one or two boxes each day. This is all that I can do. Because the pace has quickened, my body has given out. There are only a few things left to pack and I’m glad to be nearing the end.
We’ve moved over 10 times in our 35 years of marriage. I’ve learned how to pack and prepare for each move. But, there are many mistakes that I also learned from along the way. It’s important to learn all you can ahead of time to avoid costly mistakes. Here are some things to avoid:
Don’t wait until the last minute to pack.
There are times when you have no choice. When you’re moving for a new job, these things can happen fast. Sometimes the job opening demands that you have to start right away. When this happens, everything has to speed up.
If you know you’re moving with plenty of time, start packing early. Pack a box or two each day or a few on the weekends. Store them out of the way (garage, basement, or closet). If you have time, de-clutter as you go. We made many donations during our moves.
Don’t pay for moving boxes
Moving boxes are very expensive. If you purchase all the boxes you need to move, you it will cost you hundreds of dollars. There are many easy ways to get free boxes. If you can plan ahead, you can get most or all of them for free.
Our best place to find sturdy boxes is at the local liquor store. We call ahead and they are happy to give them to us. They are used for heavy glass bottles and hold our stuff securely. They are tall enough to hold items that don’t always fit other square boxes. They are perfect for books!
Finding boxes is usually easy on Craigslist or Free-cycle. Facebook yard-sale groups are great places to find boxes, too. You might even find piles of them on the side of the road.
Don’t do it all by yourself
Everyone hates packing, but it’s even worse if you must do it all alone. If you’re lucky enough to have friends that offer to help, just say yes and thank you. Treat them well by feeding them (order pizza and drinks) and shower them with appreciation.
Even if your friends don’t offer, you can still get helpers. We ask around weeks in advance and get a couple of strong guys to work with us. We pay well and feed them, too. Having extra help is necessary, in my opinion. It can also prevent injuries from occurring, because with extra hands there is less chance of over-doing it and hurting your back.
Don’t fail to have a plan
We’ve moved so often, I feel like we could just wing it. But, this would not be a good idea. Many unexpected things could happen that would cause big trouble. Using a calendar (paper or phone), mark down any important dates. Then, go backwards from the moving day to make sure all important tasks are scheduled. If you don’t, you might end up running out of time to meet all your necessary appointments.
Changing your mailing address, bank accounts, internet, doctors, and others takes so much time! Some things will be done after you arrive in your new home, but you should try to prepare in advance as much as possible. Close your lock-box, return your modem, try to fit in any needed doctor’s appointments and get all of your prescriptions filled before you leave.
Don’t throw away all your food
This is hard to avoid. Do you have a freezer full of meat and vegetables? Is your pantry full, too? The last thing you want to do is to throw expensive food into the trash right before you leave. If possible, cook and eat all the food that you still have in the freezer and refrigerator. With a little planning, you won’t waste any of it.
Clean as you go and scrub the refrigerator in advance. Hire a cleaning helper if you need this type of help. We have family here and will offer anything that won’t make the trip.
Don’t count on your memory
When you’re ready to disconnect the television and other electronics, use your camera to take pictures of the back. This way you can see where to plug all the cables and wires.
Taking pictures of your rental after you move out and your new rental when you move in, can be useful to show the condition of each. This could help you get your deposit back when you move again.
What is your moving advice? Have you learned any tips the hard way? I would love to hear what you’ve learned. Saving time and money is what we all need when we go to a new home. I wish you all the best with each move.
@2019, copyright Lisa Ehrman