It’s in the Bible – when Adam and Eve sinned, God devised the worst punishment He could: He made them move.
Though moving, at its very best, is painful, I have learned some tricks for stress free moving that can make it bearable. There are actually three parts to the process: Pre-Move, the Move Itself and Getting Settled. Let’s start at the beginning.
This is the most important part of the move. The first question is: do I move myself, or do I hire someone to do it for me? To make this decision, check your “Muscle/Money Ratio.” If you have more muscle than money, do it yourself. And do yourself a favor: when you go to rent a truck, RESERVE IT IN ADVANCE. Don’t expect to call the day of your move and get what you want. If you think moving on the Saturday after the Fourth of July is a good idea, so will a whole lot of other people. Also, if you can get time off and move during the week, you’ll get a better rate and better availability.
On the other hand, if you have (as I and most of my peers have) reached a point where you have more money than muscle, hire a mover. Believe me, when you reach that point, you’ll know.
Get three quotes. They usually send a person out to look over your stuff and estimate the total weight. It’s like the “guess your weight” booth at the state fair. And these guys are just as good. This is important: make sure your mover is bonded and insured. Being bonded means that a bonding company has secured money that is available to the consumer if they file a claim against the company.
Regardless of my Muscle/Money Ratio, I pack myself. I’ve found that it’s actually easier than supervising several packers. Start gathering boxes as soon as you can. Everyone knows somebody who knows somebody who works in a grocery store. Banana boxes are fantastic. Stores will often hold them for you if you’ve made arrangement. Even if you don’t know anyone in the business, you can always just ask a manager. They’re usually pretty good about it. But here again, plan ahead.
Moving is a great time to purge. Take the opportunity to get rid of stuff. Stuff you don’t use. Stuff you haven’t seen since your last move. Stuff you’ve forgotten you have. It can be soul cleansing.
Another thing on packing: if you have household tools like screwdrivers, wrenches, hammer, etc., take them to your new home yourself. You’ll want to know exactly where they are when it comes time to put the beds together. Beds are too easy to pay someone to do it. I also move my computers, televisions and jewelry myself.
Finally, make sure you label all your boxes with the name of the room where you want them, and watch the crew load it all into the truck.
This is actually the easiest part. Put post-it notes on the doorframes of all your rooms that match the labels on the boxes. All you have to do is direct the movers to the right rooms with the right boxes. But watch them like a hawk. Even the best movers have accidents. Be attentive.
This isn’t as hard as packing, but it takes a lot longer. As I always say, you have to “work” a room to get the design right. Don’t expect to move in and have your new home “finished” the same day. You want it to be over. But, believe it or not, rushing doesn’t really make getting settled happen any sooner. It takes time to settle in, and believe me, time goes by fast enough.
Take your time. Arrange and rearrange. You’ll find things that didn’t work in your old home that find a perfect place in your new one. And you’ll find favorite things from your old home that just don’t work in the new one.
Getting “finally settled” can take a year (or more). Instead of dreading this part of the process, have fun with it. Pull out The Art of Space and a bottle of wine, and enjoy bringing your new home into comfortable harmony.