10 on Tuesday: Tips for Moving

As if in anticipation of this post, this was at the foot of the ramp into the office today.

While I’ve been in my current place for going on six years, I moved 12 times from college graduation until I landed in this apartment, so I have more background than I probably want for today’s 10 on Tuesday prompt: tips for moving.  Yes, 12 moves in 13 years – is it any wonder I’ve stayed put for so long now?

(I know whereof I speak.)

1. Hire movers. Unless you are seriously destitute, for an in-town move, this will be the best $200-$300 you ever spend. I waited way too many years, and relied way too heavily on friends/family for moving, before I went this route, and it is nothing short of life-changing. I’ve never hired the ones that pack for you, too, but I expect they are even more magical.

2. Always pack your bedding in a separate, easy to find location. I’m not talking all your sheets/pillows/blankets, just the ones you’re going to need the night of the move. The worst moving-related moment is the one where you’re dead exhausted from a full day of work and can’t find anything to make the damn bed.

3. Purge as you pack. Really, there is absolutely no reason to cart the crap you don’t need from one home to the next.

4. If possible, move when the weather can be relied upon to be decent. Life gets in the way sometimes, but after moving once in an ice storm that grew into a snowstorm that closed the city for three days – and left my just-vacated apartment flooded – I’ve tried to move in the spring/summer ever since.

5. Label things. Accurately. In the moment “misc. kitchen” may seem perfectly appropriate, but when you’re trying to fill the cabinets in your new place, it means nothing. Possibly less.

6. If you can, get into the new place and to paint/do any desired upgrades in advance. This kind of stuff is so much easier in an empty place than one full of boxes… or one that’s unpacked.

7. If you own something that is sentimental/precious, hand carry it. This is kind of self-explanatory, no?

8. Do all your paperwork/phone calls/online updates in advance. That is, change your address, switch over the cable/gas/electric, etc. before you’re in the new place, on the offhand chance you have connectivity issues. (Learned this one the hard way, with a six-week gap in phone service. It’s my “why I will never give Verizon my money ever again” story. If you’re lucky, I’ll bore you with it some time.)

9. Plan ahead if you have pets. When I moved from Troy, NY to DC, I thought I had this handled – I went to the vet and got tranquilizers for my cat so he’d be chill for the seven-hour drive in the UHaul. Well, I forgot to try them out in advance, and was rewarded with a cat that became so manic he chewed his way out of his crate. Before I was 50 miles down the New York State thruway. Yes, it was cardboard, but still…

10. Be kind to the people who help you. Whether they are free labor (friends/family) or paid, do not underestimate the importance of providing water, coffee, food, beer… whatever keeps the team happy and productive. And say thank you, a lot.

Did I miss anything?

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3 thoughts on “10 on Tuesday: Tips for Moving

  1. Mom March 28, 2012 / 6:58 am

    I can only think of one thing — and that’s probably cuz I’ve been the “helper” to do this many a time. Again, it is $$$ dependent. HIRE someone to give the new digs a thorough cleaning before the movers get there AND one to go in and give the old place a once over after you leave. This will seriously help with the exhaustion level too! Otherwise, a good list 😊

  2. mk March 28, 2012 / 1:52 pm

    Great list! I totally agree with #1…

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