With less than three weeks to go until our big move, we've begun the process of packing up our belongings and preparing for the day when the trailer gets delivered for loading. We are using UPack. They will deliver our trailer, pick it up, store it, and then drop it off to our next home when we tell them we are ready.
In the past, all of our moves have been corporate. A company comes, packs our house, loads it onto a truck, and then unloads it. We've done little more than clean out the empty houses and unpack.
Sounds easy, right?
Not exactly. We've had good moves and great packers, and we've had terrible moves and awful packers.
This move is not a corporate relocation. This is a family decision to move back home, which means we are paying for this one ourselves.
Here are a few things I've learned as a Do It Yourself Mover:
1.) Get the right tools of the trade
We purchased packing paper from UHaul for a good price. It is a necessity when packing breakables like kitchen cookware, dishes, and other fragile items. We are also renting blankets to wrap our furniture. We plan on getting some other moving supplies like dollies, straps, and furniture movers.
2.) Get boxes from anyone and anywhere
We pick up boxes from Craigslist listings, the grocery store...anyone who has a good quality box.
3.) Pinterest has some really great moving ideas
I found this suggestion to buy various colors of duct tape for labeling your boxes. This way, you can easily color code each box, and you will know what room it belongs in.
4.) Pinterest has some really bad moving ideas
Some suggestions sound great. Having a first unpack box. Yes. Must do. But other suggestions? Load up your suitcases with books instead of packing them in boxes? Stupid. Really stupid. You will need those suitcases for your clothes, and you will want your books to arrive safely, if you care about them at all. Wrap your dishes in towels? Sounds great, until you realize that you have to unpack your kitchen just to take a shower the next day. And trust me. The kitchen is the most time consuming room to unpack.
5.) Label everything
One of the benefits to packing yourself is that you can label each box with specific contents, making the unpacking that much easier. The "professionals" tend to write generic terms like "cookware". But if you want to know which box has your Mr. Coffee Ten Cup coffee maker, you better make sure to mark it.
6.) Get rid of anything broken, unnecessary, or unloved
This move has been a cathartic experience in so many ways. As I hold each item in my hand, I have to make the decision: keep or toss? I realize that I've been holding on to a lot of things, and it's time to let them go. A lot of children's toys. Household goods. Old camping gear. Books and movies. Holiday stuff. In the past, I've held on to some decor because "it might work in a future house." Guess what? This is my future house! No need to hold on to something for staging houses.
We are planning a big moving sale for Memorial Day weekend.It all needs to go. And the pile just keeps getting bigger every day we pack, too.
As I like to say, if you don't have to pack it, then you don't have to unpack it either!
7.) It seems like a huge task, and it is. But if you give yourself enough time and do a little every day, it will get done.
Thus far, I've packed all the books and DVDs (a fraction of what we brought with us on the last move!). I've also packed more than half the kitchen. If we won't need it in the next two weeks, then into the box it goes!
My husband and I have been splitting up the tasks. He is handling a lot of the financial calls and emails. I handle a lot of the realtor communication. He drops off the dry cleaning ( better to move clean winter sweaters in a box than dirty ones!), and I pick it up. He will drive to pick up boxes and packing supplies, and I fill them up. He is figuring out our accommodations during the twelve days when we will be homeless. I am making the calls to schedule carpet cleaning and repair services. The boys are handling their own room packing, too. Team work!
Today, I have to pack up the craft room. That will take some time!
This weekend, we will start hauling the garage sale items upstairs and into the garage so that we can begin displaying and pricing for the moving sale. Big job. I'm hoping to make a little money to defray the moving costs. Traveling much lighter...it will feel good.
Thanks for visiting the cafe today! Grab a double shot espresso before you leave...we will need it!