Moving sucks. We all know that. I’ve relocated more than the average American. How many times do Americans move in their lifetime? That is 11 times, ladies and gents.
This past relocation makes my 14th time moving. Talk about quarter life crisis. Army brat? No, not exactly. I’m just the youngest daughter of four girls, and my parents happened to move a lot.
Of course, most times it was due to economic reasons, job offers, and new environments, Then, there is the biggest one of all – moving from one country to another.
I was raised in Mexico, just across the border of El Paso, Texas for about eight years, and my parents decided to relocate to the U.S. From then on, it’s been non-stop. I relocated to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in 2012.
There’s so much you can learn from moving many, many times. It’s one of the most frustrating things you can do in your lifetime, but it also offers opportunity to close a chapter of your life and open the next one.
Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly from my most recent move.
Moving can be a great opportunity to get rid of tons of stuff you own that you don’t necessarily need. It’s about making choices of what goes and what stays behind. Think of it as “out with the old, in with the new.”
What really worked for me this move was a moving schedule and checklist. It details everything you need to do prior to your move. It includes an inventory sheet for your items, a list of items to keep or donate, color tags for your room, moving labels and more. This simplified all the things you need to do before the move.
When in Doubt, Get Rid of It
You know you’re not going to use those shoes that have been sitting in your closet collecting dust or that coffee table you hate! Sort everything out. Pack only what you will keep; make a donation pile and a sell pile.
What’s the point in taking all your stuff to a new home? It’s time to de-clutter, sort out what you really need, and what you don’t need to hold onto any longer.
Selling your stuff on Craigslist is a great way to get rid of your big and heavy stuff like furniture. I sold a whole bedroom suite, exercise equipment, kids playground structure (sorry niece and nephew) and a couch. I raised more than $500. This will definitely help some of your moving costs.
Garage sales also are a great way to sort and get rid of the smaller stuff. What works for me when I’m sorting out? I try to remember the last time I used this item. If it takes me longer than five seconds to recall, it goes into the “leave behind” pile.
Just the fact that I’m asking myself this question means the item can’t be too important. And just because it has little importance to you, doesn’t mean someone else won’t treasure it.
I got rid of collectible dishware, unique décor, frames and people will buy that stuff. I think of friends or family that may better use these items, or I simply donated to shelters.
I had plenty of family help. With all of us, we totaled six. Since we’ve had lots of moving experience before, we know exactly how the move will go, and, most times, we don’t need movers.
I strongly suggest hiring professional movers for your move though, if you don’t have a big family like I do or have not moved as much.
Labeled boxes and color codes were a huge success in keeping everything organized prior to the move. I made sure to dedicate one room as the storage room. I placed all the boxes and stored furniture there, so it would be ready to go into the truck.
On moving day, remember that all the heavy stuff like appliances and furniture goes into the truck first. Then, haul out the light stuff.
Always have a dolly and preferably, an appliance dolly. We were able to carry three or four plastic bins at a time with the dolly, up the ramp, and into the truck. It’s even better when you have two dollies. One person can stack while the other person takes it to the vehicle. It’s all about teamwork.
The early bird gets the worm. If you must move during the summer months, the best time to move is in the morning. Water and snacks help to keep your energy going. Staying hydrated is most important during hot summer days so you can prevent heat strokes.
Take breaks! It’s okay to stop working to give yourself a five or ten minute break each hour or so. You don’t want to tire yourself out or the movers. Be courteous to the movers, after all they are human too, they’re not superheroes.
I’m not going to lie the move was very stressful. No matter what you do, how much planning you have, something will mess up. It just happens.
During the packing process you are bound to find some weird stuff you own. I still had all the little notes I passed along to my friends during class and past birthday cards from ex-boyfriends. I even had high school class notes.
I found saved flyers from rock shows. Sure, there were laughable moments looking at all that silly stuff, but it was a greater relief to throw all that stuff out.
The garage sale was a disaster. I did not sell much, so I was stuck with a bunch of stuff I did not know what to do with and was a little overwhelmed. Thankfully, family came over to pick the stuff up and donated it to those in need.
There are plenty of organizations that will come and pick up clothes and household goods. All you need to do is give them a call, and they will pick it up for you.
Moving my cats for the third time took an emotional toll not only on them but on me as well. I was scared they wouldn’t like the new home and encountered all sorts of problems finding a place that was pet-friendly and had a reasonable pet deposit. Lucky for them (and me), this was a shorter move so it didn’t go as disastrous as I thought.
We are not experienced movers, so it took us just a little longer than it would have taken professionals. It is a trade off you must make. Having the best movers definitely would have minimized all the moving stress and labor we had to deal with.
Nothing is worse than leaving everything at the last minute.
That moment you feel close to being a hoarder when you still have a garage full of boxes, items scattered, garden tools, equipment, and Christmas decorations that need to be sorted out — ugh! It was too much to handle but with the assistance of family, we got it all done, loaded all the stuff, and piled the rest for donation.
You can hire movers who will help you pack your stuff. By the end of the move, the whole back fence was full of trash bags and piles of boxes full of unwanted items to be thrown out or picked up by whoever drove by. I got rid of a lot of good household items, and I regret nothing! Someone else is probably enjoying them.
Ahh, if you own Ikea furniture, you know it’s a love/hate relationship. Their particleboard furniture will not last during most moves, so forget all the hours you invested on putting your wardrobe together. Sadly, mine did not survive the move. Be prepared, because there will be moving casualties. One of my mother’s paintings she drew in the 80s fell, and the glass shattered all over the floor. It was absolutely devastating.
It was really, really hot outside. Good job, moving during the summertime in Texas, where the temperatures reach over 90 degrees, all awful things about moving are multiplied. I highly suggest moving during the spring or fall.
I ran into corners, hit my head on a ceiling fan, dropped boxes on my feet, cut myself with boxes. Man, was I carrying heavy stuff. Be prepared because for days, you’ll look like you were in a bear-wrestling match.
Overall, moving this time went smoother than it has in the past. With preparation, organization and time, you can make your move go much easier when you have these key components. Make lists, phone calls, organize and ask for moving help. Every time you move, you learn something new and learn how to do things differently.
Before you know it, you’ll be home again. Am I moving again? Most likely, but that won’t be for several years. For now, I’m enjoying my cul-de-sac hobbit-type home and so ready for the fall.
Are you thinking about moving anytime soon? Click here to learn more about moving help and share your thoughts about your past moves in the comments below.