We’re moving again. This time we’ll hopefully stay put for awhile. I don’t know how many times I’ve moved in my adult life (I lived in the same house until I was 18), and it would probably be depressing to count it up, but I bet it’s close to two dozen times. One was cross country.
I’ve never used movers, and with all those moves I’ve acquired some expertise. Doesn’t it seem like the best lessons are learned in the most painful fashion? Anyhow, maybe my pain will save you some pain.
So start at the beginning. The more notice you have of your move, the more you can plan and get things done in an orderly fashion, avoiding the whole throw-it-all-in-a-box-and-figure-it-out-later issue. Or opening a box in your new house and wondering why you bothered to move something you are now throwing out.
The first step, if you have time (maybe even if you don’t), is to go through your house and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit, is broken, you don’t need, or you’re not using. Those things that you hang on to “just in case” are costing you in labor, time, and even money (boxes, moving truck or storage space fees). So be ruthless. You’ll rarely regret it.
Currently, I’m boxing up and giving away books, clothes, household goods. If you have time and weather to have a garage sale, do it. Clothes and books can go to consignments stores for a bit of cash and the rest donated.
Packing and moving is a bit like eating an elephant. It’s better to do it in small bites at a time. Take one room and go through one closet or one bookshelf at a time. Pack, give away, or toss one section at a time. Then take a break.
A couple of tips to remember through this whole process: One, while you’re doing all of this purging, collect whatever boxes you can find. Smaller boxes (think those that hold copy paper) are the best size for books. Books are heavy! Big boxes are better for lighter things like linens and clothes.
Two, keep garbage bags in the rooms you are working in. It’s amazing how much trash you have in rooms that you don’t even know about.
Next installment: smart packing!