Moving Tips

I post­ed part of this as a com­ment in hopeev­ey’s jour­nal, then decid­ed to stick it here. Hope­ful­ly, I won’t have to learn these lessons yet again next time around. What have you learned that isn’t here yet?

1) Declut­ter! Estab­lish a place for give­away stuff imme­di­ate­ly, and emp­ty it as often as you can pos­si­bly make a run to Good­will or who­ev­er will receive this stuff.

2) You will nev­er have too many box­es. Take all you can get.

3) Small box­es (book size) are bet­ter than large ones. Nobody ever com­plained that a box was too light.

4) One good tape gun is worth 10 crap­py ones.

5) Get more tape. You’ll need it, it’s cheap, and it’s bet­ter to buy it ahead of time than to have to go out to get more.

6) Have lots of per­ma­nent mark­ers around for label­ing. Make your labels short and clear, but put them on all four sides and the top of every sin­gle box. HOPE: KITCHEN: FRAGILE! works. KITCHEN isn’t enough, nor is FRAGILE.

7) Shun “mis­cel­la­neous” for all you’re worth. It’s a trash label.

8) Keep small sandwich/snack bags handy. Every time you take any­thing apart, put its hard­ware in a bag, label it, and tape it to the piece of furniture/equipment/whatever.

9) Recruit help ahead of time. Put the move on the cal­en­dar, seduce/sweet talk/convince peo­ple to help you, and don’t let them for­get about the date.

10) Start eat­ing through your gro­ceries so you won’t have to move as many of them.

11) If at all pos­si­ble, get REALLY pre­cise mea­sure­ments of the new space. Make to-scale draw­ings of your space, and cut out to-scale shapes for your fur­ni­ture (make these out of card stock or some­thing sim­i­lar) and label them. Move the shapes around on the draw­ing ’til you have the right arrange­ment, then glue them in place. Put the page for each room on the wall in that room, so that your helpers know where the fur­ni­ture goes.

12) Start pack­ing as ear­ly as pos­si­ble, or you’ll end up at the nasty “throw it in the box and go” stage.

13) The day you get the keys to the new place, stock it with lots of toi­let paper, paper tow­els, hand soap, basic food­stuffs, and either some of your dish­es or dis­pos­able plates, cups, and cutlery. 

14) Go ahead and hang up show­er cur­tains. You will not feel like doing so at the end of the mov­ing day, but you will want a shower.

15) Put SOMETHING over the win­dows that must be cov­ered the first night you spend in the new place. Again, you won’t feel like it at the end of the mov­ing day. Redi Shades are great: cheap paper shades that hang up with their own adhe­sive strip, can be trimmed to fit just about any win­dow, and give you enough pri­va­cy to get by ’til you put up real win­dow treat­ments. At the very least, tack up some old sheets.

15) Hook up a phone and (if pos­si­ble) answer­ing machine right away. 

16) Most peo­ple we know can’t stand to be offline long, so it’s prob­a­bly a good idea to put a com­put­er (if you have a spare) at the new place ASAP, too. If you plan to get broad­band ser­vice, sched­ule the instal­la­tion as soon as you know the place is yours. You’ll need to be there for the instal­la­tion and have a com­put­er avail­able for test­ing the con­nec­tion. Being online helps great­ly when you want to get the num­ber for the near­est piz­za place and or need oth­er vital information.

17) It’s far eas­i­er to do a major clean­ing of the new place before you move in than afterward.

18) I like to spray bug killer around the perime­ter of the house, inside and out, before mov­ing in (as part of the clean­ing). I’m regret­ting that I did­n’t do so here.

19) Make up a bag for each mem­ber of the fam­i­ly and your pets. Put every­thing they MUST HAVE for 2–3 days in the bags: cloth­ing, tooth­brush­es and toi­letries, med­ica­tions, favorite stuffed toys, pil­lows, etc. Those bags go in the car with you so that there is NO chance that you’ll lose track of them.

20) On mov­ing day, get lots of ice for cool­ers for drinks and the food you take out of the fridge/freezer. Bor­row cool­ers if you have lots of per­ish­able food. (Hope­ful­ly, you’ve been reduc­ing sup­plies for a few weeks.)

21) No mat­ter what oth­er drinks you have, make sure that there’s an end­less sup­ply of ice-cold, fresh water. Push every­one who helps you to drink plen­ty of water.

22) Sched­ule breaks at cer­tain times. A 15-minute break every two hours or so for rest and rehy­dra­tion is good, with breaks every four hours for a meal.

23) Cheer­ful music is good, but don’t make it so loud that you can’t hear each oth­er speak.

24) It’s eas­i­er to do those minor repairs (patch­ing nail holes and the like) and post-move clean­ing at your old place after every­thing is out.

25) Try to set up some over­lap between when you have to be out of the old place and when you can move into the new place. You’re going to want a day or two of rest after the actu­al mov­ing day, then you’ll need to go back and patch and clean things at the old place.

Cur­rent Mood: busy
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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