I swear I won’t post too much more about the move, but it is a big event in our lives, obviously. And since I blog about our lives, it may have a few more appearances. In case anyone is gearing up for a move, I thought I would post some things that we did, or really wish we had done for the move.
Some things we did:
I did a moving log. Turns out, I didn’t really need this. To be fair, it got to be about a week before, and my parents were doing some of the packing, and at the very end, we resorted to putting things in the nearest box, so it didn’t turn out to be very useful at all. If you’re going to do something like this, you should start earlier than I did, and be committed to it for it to work, because truthfully, you’re not going to be looking for “books” after the move. You’re going to be looking for hardware for the bookshelf and your son’s birth certificate. Ahem.
We went cheap on the truck. And I’m not sure if I would do it again. We compared truck prices, and Budget was by far the cheapest and included unlimited miles, which is rather important when you’re moving 14 hours away. But there are definitely some trade-offs for the price. Truthfully, I could never have afforded the other companies, but using Budget was kind of a trying experience. Not terrible, but anxiety-worthy.
You are probably going to end up purchasing at least some boxes and some packing material. I found Home Depot to have the cheapest bubble wrap and paper, and Walmart to have the cheapest boxes. If you live close to the store, you can do what I did: buy what you think you need, and then go back again (and again) to replenish. If not, buy double what you think you need.
Schedule a donation pickup with Vietnam Veterans of America. They will often come with only 24 hours notice, and are very reliable about coming when they say they will. Be warned that if you have more than 25 items, you will need to schedule two different pick-up appointments.
For the final clean-out, purchase construction-grade trash bags of at least 3 mil thickness. These are great for those last minute things that you decide will not be going on the truck, and they are sturdy enough to withstand weather and animals in the days on the curb after you move.
Use Facebook and Craigslist to get a few bucks out of your bigger items that aren’t making the trip. We did a garage sale and it was rather a waste of time. I sold most of our bigger items to friends via Facebook and people on Craigslist. Be smart about it, and you can make some decent cash. We earned enough for our gas and hotel on the way down!
Some things I wish we had done:
Try to do as much paperwork as you can in advance. Just about everything is online now, and you can look up what you will need to do to register your kids for school, get a new driver’s license, etc. in advance. Do this and locate all of the necessary stuff while you know where it is. Put it in a brightly colored folder that you take with you in your vehicle, and don’t let it out of your sight. I didn’t do this, and I am stuck until I can find all the documents I need (if I had a nickel for every time I say to myself, “but I saw it just the other day!!”…).
Be ruthless about purging before you pack. I actually did quite well with this, but there always seems to be more stuff, doesn’t there? You will most likely have donations and trash before and after you move, but it’s a lot easier if you can get rid of most of it before you have to find new places for all your stuff in your new home. This is especially important if you are having anyone come to help you pack your stuff. You may know that the bin of old clothes isn’t intended for the move, but your helpers certainly won’t, and may end up packing it up for you.
Be realistic about space planning in your new home. Empty rooms seem so much larger than they really are. Make sure you are being realistic about how much stuff can actually go into a 12×10 room…
Don’t kick yourself if it doesn’t go perfectly. It won’t. And you will be just fine. Be prepared for things to go wrong, and then when they do, you can handle it with aplomb. Think of it as an adventure rather than a task on your to to-do list, and try to have fun!
I hope these tips help. Feel free to add more from your own moving experiences in the comments below!