Brewing, Cats, and Moving
I think I have everything unpacked that needs to be unpacked. I think.
So one more post on moving. And I must state that I have a bit to say on that, as I have lived in two different countries and seven different states (some more than once).
My move a year ago is a perfect example of how NOT to move: I realized I *had* to move (boring ‘personal issues’, trust me), and within 2 days I had my house mostly packed up, I rented a truck, I filled it up in a few days with the help of a few friends, and off I went hoping my realtor could sell my bungalow. Sure, this might seem like a super way to move, but there are few things more frustrating than unpacking boxes of mixed up, randomly stuffed in stuff. Add to this that I wasn’t even totally sure if I would be staying in that location for more than a month or two, so my stuff spent some time in a friend’s garage. AND THEN when I decided I’d stick around for a year, my apartment, the only one I could afford which allowed for two cats and wasn’t disgusting, which was to be ready in a week wasn’t vacated for TWO MORE MONTHS because my landlord felt bad for the college student staying in it. Ug!! So finally I had all of my stuff in one place and tried to go through the boxes, but…
it was just disheartening. I couldn’t do it. I kept feeling so overwhelmed that by the time of THIS move I only had pulled out what I *really* needed.
So this time I had a chance to do it RIGHT, and by golly I was going to make it so!
1) Make sure you have time, and set the environment: It’s not a leisurely thing, but feeling rushed is normally miserable in any situation. SpecSO and I took advantage of my work closing down for a week and his plethora of use-or-loose vacay, which worked out very well. I also made sure I had podcasts and music to keep me going.
2) Food: Make sure you eat well. You will be keeping track of so many things that the last thing you need is a blood sugar crash. The few times SpecSO and I got upset with each other often involved being hangry. This is especially important if you’re able to get friends (see tip X).
3) Plan transportation: What are you going to move in? If it’s a short-distance, multi-trip move, do you need a special vehicle for any furniture or appliances? Will you need a handtruck? (HINT: YES!)
4) Plan location: Where the heck is all of your shtuff going to go when you reach your destination? If you’re moving into an empty house, then do a quick once-over when you get there. Kitchen boxes go in the kitchen, but do we want to move the dresser set into this bedroom or that? If you’re melding houses, like SpecSO and I are doing, this is SUPER IMPORTANT!!! You don’t want to get to the destination and spend time and energy and good feelings clearing space for your possessions. We figured we’d use the back of his basement as a staging ground, since the garage opens into it and then cleared it out.
5) WEED WHILE YOU PACK! : Yes, I unpacked and repacked ALL OF THE NOT UNPACKED BOXES!! While you pack, each room should have 4 boxes. Essentials for (room), (room), Goodwill, and Trash. You don’t need the pile of old appliance manuals in the back of the drawer. Really. Get rid of them. Those sweaters in the back of your closet that never quite fit right but maybe someday if you got that wide belt… no. Just no. Goodwill those babies and get a tax credit. Now, your underwear and CDs and main pots and pans: those go in the Essentials boxes. That way you can open those boxes first and get what you NEED. Because, really, do you WANT to dig through 3 boxes of drinking glasses just to find the wine opener? No, I didn’t think so.
6) Books are easy to pack but a pain to move: With the wonders of the internet, don’t feel bad if you get rid of easily accessible books. A complete series of Agatha Christy isn’t going to change. But lugging those boxes up and down steps in this and future moves is a bother. Let the nice good-will people take them. I pared down my books by half to just under 2 bookcases. I only kept very specific texts from grad school which difficult to find, and a few sentimental hardcovers that I have signed or have recieved as gifts. I decided that I’ve moved that complete Joseph Conrad set too many times after finding them for $2 at a yardsale. I’m not advocating Farenheit 451, don’t worry. But there’s plenty of copies of F451 laying around.
7) You have friends, so USE THEM! – Don’t hesitate to ask your friends for help. Most WANT to help. SpecSO and I certainly didn’t use friends as much as we could or should have. At the least, we would have spent much less time driving back and forth from our places. In fact, we had a friend who was UPSET that we didn’t ask him to do more.
8) You have friends, TREAT THEM NICELY!!! – Don’t expect them to show up each day of your move or tirelessly empty/fill your walk-up. Ask them what they’re willing to do. What we ended up doing was have a friend with a truck show up one day and help us move my one load of BIG THINGS, and another show up the next to help us with the last of the stuff. Also, FEED THEM!! Have food, and treat them well to dinner or a party. We grabbed pizza for our helper on one day and went out for wings with our dude on the second, plus I bought a pitcher for the table to thank the people who lent us stuff (HANDTRUCK) and were super supportive. I’ll be the first to say that I didn’t give the friends much, I wanted to buy another one (or two) pitchers, but that’s all they wanted that evening.
9) Remember those ESSENTIALS boxes? Unpack those first.
10) You are awesome, TREAT YOURSELF NICELY!!! – This is a MOVE! Whether it’s across town or across country, you’re starting something new. You could have a new job or be dealing with a forclosure, either way you need to practice some self-love (speaking of something to put in the ‘Essentials’ box. Thing’s are going to flub up. Something will end up broken. Toes will get stubbed. You can’t help that. But you can help by getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, listening to fun music, treating yourself to a glass of wine or a chapter in a book for every 3 boxes you empty.
11) Unpack till you’re done – Get the furniture and essentials out first in each room. The kitchen is normally next for me, then the bedroom, the office, and finally the living room. It might not be completed by the time you planned, but that’s ok. And remember all those boxes that you donated? Aren’t you glad you don’t have to find space for those knicknacks? Yeah! You’re done sooner!! Isn’t that awesome? I think you need another glass of wine.