Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A List of 10: Moving Madness

1. Start early. Time will get away from you. Even just one box a day for a month is a tremendous head start.

2. Declutter. I am a clutter queen, and I am NOT proud to say that. I am actually really embarrassed at some of the things I have recently found in my efforts to declutter and reorganize. 10 year old paycheck stubs with my social security number on them? Yep! Tax returns from 1998? You Betcha! Lease from 5 apartments ago? Check! But not any more. Thanks to my handy shredder, I am now about 10 lbs. lighter on paperwork. Declutter: The Sequel can be found under #7.

3. Make multiple reservations. I made our first truck reservation the week we found out where we were moving. I've made 2 more since then -but currently have just one locked in. I recommend multiple reservations because the prices fluctuate tremendously. For the same weekend, same truck, prices have ranged from a low of $500 to a high of $893. Wow! I don't know about you, but I can think of MANY things to spend $393 on instead of an already-overpriced truck rental.

4. Stock up on supplies. You will need more than you think. Wouldn't you rather have too much packing tape on hand than have to run to Wal-Mart at 11pm the night before your move? Oh yeah - and good luck finding boxes at 2am! Sharpies, tape dispenser, and packing paper are all indispensable for moving (newsprint is dirty & leaves smears on my clean glasses). If you want to get fancy (or smart), I also recommend going to U-Haul and buying the special dish boxes for packing glasses & dishware. I kept the little foam envelopes from our last move - Totally worth it.

5. Pack smart. Don't pick the biggest box and decide it's perfect for your Encyclopedia Britannica collection. And your grandmother's china doesn't belong in the same box as your dumbbells. One of my best moves? Pack a box of "necessary" items and make it the last thing you load into the truck. Include clean sheets, a few towels, toilet paper, shower curtain, soap, plastic cups, plates & silverware, and maybe some cleaning wipes. If all else fails, when you get to where you are going you can clean yourself up, eat takeout off a clean plate, and fall into bed.

6. Label, baby. You don't need a full description of what's in there. At a minimum, you should label it with the room it belongs in and a general description.

7. Reduce, reuse, recycle. I hate to throw good stuff away. So I have become BFF with craigslist. I find that my guilt/anxiety is greatly reduced if I can find a good home for my "treasures" - and get someone to pay me for them, too. The key to a good craigslist ad is to be descriptive and to POST PICTURES. I can't reiterate the last one enough. And what doesn't sell on CL ends up at my friendly neighborhood Goodwill. You're welcome.

8. Garbage bags can be your friend. This has a two-fold meaning. First, moving seems to generate a lot of trash. See Declutter above. Next, when appropriate, I do use garbage bags for moving. They are perfect for throw pillows, comforters, blankets, sheets, towels, and even some clothes. Slap a piece of masking tape on the bag to label what's in there & you're good to go. Yes, it's a little ghetto. But it works.

9. Call ahead. I once moved to LA. My roommate, who arrived a few days prior to me, was supposed to set up all the utilities for us. She did not. It took over two weeks to get a phone line turned on. Two weeks! Not so awesome when you work from home. In this age of everyone having a cell phone, that wouldn't be such a big deal.... unless you forget something critical like ELECTRICITY. Sitting in a hot, dark house for 3+ days is not my idea of a good time.

10. Never underestimate the power of help. Do you want to spend two days lugging boxes up and down three flights of stairs? If so, feel free to be "independent" and do it on your own. But if you'd like to get that truck packed in 90 minutes, call for help.

1 comment:

Chrissy Jo said...

Amy I couldn't agree with you more on these. When we moved out here I was lucky enough to inherit my parents moving boxes and packing paper, but I still spent a wad on packing tape, mattress bags, and furniture blankets. I gave away the boxes, but that mattress bags and furniture blankets are tucked away in the attic.

Something I would add is that you can never use too much padding when packing your dishes. If you love them, wrap them up like a baby. Another one is loading the truck... what's the point of taking stuff with you if it's going to break in the truck along the way? Don't stack things too high... in fact find a Tetrus master to organize the truck loading...