We are t-minus 52 days until our big move to St. Croix, USVI. We sold our house and moved everything into storage in January 2017. We have been living with in-laws who are incredibly generous. Our belongings are scheduled to come out of storage next week and I have been reflecting on the process of moving a household. By the time I am done, I will have done it 3 times! I hope the following 6 tricks are useful and perhaps even new to you!
1- You Pack vs. They Pack
Once you decide to move, you’re going to have to decide if YOU are going to pack your things or if you are going to have a moving company pack. There are companies that will do it all for you….but of course, you are going to have to pay for it. We decided that I had the time and I could learn how to pack some things (mainly our décor and pictures) and wanted to save the money. So to YouTube I went and learned how to pack pictures and other valuables. I watched a bunch of videos. Here are links to a couple that were useful: Pack Picture Frames Safely, Pack Picture Frames & Mirrors Then I just went for it! You can too!
2 – Get Boxes
LOTS of BOXES…or boxen. Get tape….LOTS of TAPE!!! You’ll need it to go with your boxen. Think of tape as your box’s accessory. We went through about 24 rolls of packing tape. I liked the Duck brand because it was not too flimsy. If you are shipping your boxes a great distance (like we were – on a boat), or even if it is not a great distance, you will want enough tape to ensure that your valuables are nicely trapped…errr….secured in their boxes. You also DO NOT want to forget a packing tape gun. WAY better than any other dispensing method. We also got a mighty healthy supply of packing paper. We could have gotten packing supplies from our moving company, but opted to go a cheaper route and get most of it from Wal-Mart, Home Depot, or I even got a great deal from Uboxes.com. Had I really known the amount of boxes I really needed (I had NO idea when I started) I might have just gotten them all from Uboxes.com. I was going to go with ULINE.com but their shipping was SUPER expensive and would take a really long time. So, check out the other links. Some may recommend getting boxes from grocery stores and other places…we just wanted to ensure that our boxes were going to hold up to the transport that they were going to go through. Here’s to hoping!
3 – Choose a good moving company
Do your homework! Make a list of possible companies. Do a little stalking – Google the company, check out Facebook and other reviews, ask your friends who have moved which company they used. Then call them and ask to have an in-home-estimate. I have a pretty high expectation for telephone etiquette so some companies win or lose my business based on the very first interaction. If you’re your receptionist is not helpful, you may get taken off my list. Once you connect with the company, you will schedule to have someone come to your home with whom you will walk around the house and say what will be going or staying, what you want packed (whether by you or by them), and then you will determine when you want it all moved. They may or may not give your estimates to you right there or they may send it to you later. We had 6 estimates. A couple of them came, and never sent an estimate. Some estimates were ridiculously expensive! There were a couple companies that were reasonable. Go with your gut. If you connect with the estimator and feel like the estimate is good, go with that company.
4 – Take your time
Grossly OVER-ESTIMATE the time it is going to take you to pack. It will take longer (SO MUCH LONGER) than you think it will. You will also try to procrastinate (because it is a job) and try to do ANYTHING but pack! So, give yourself plenty of time. You will be glad you did.
5 – Go solo on the day of moving
On the day we moved all of our belongings into storage, it was just me. I sent my kids off to school with the knowledge that when they got home; they would not be coming back to our “old house.” I also sent my husband off and he also knew he would be not coming “home.” It allowed for me to be in a zone of getting things out of the house once the movers were there. I did not have to worry about having my kids “under-foot” or my husband stressing about feeling like he should help. Some may look at this and say I’m crazy…but it really worked for us. There were 3 movers who came in and got everything out within 2 ½ hours. Beds, couches, washer, dryer…everything. They were in and out in less time than had been estimated. It was great! So, consider the possibility.
6 – Take some time to say goodbye
This was kind of hard. Ok…really hard. I have so many memories in our first home. It was our FIRST HOME. It was where I was first called wife and mother. I brought my babies home and took care of them in those rooms. I worked really hard to make the home beautiful. While I was packing, I found myself trying to hold back tears. I then realized I was in the house all by myself and just let the tears flow. I sobbed. I “ugly cried.” I just let all the grieving happen. I let the catharsis of crying wash over me. I felt so much better just letting it happen. By moving, I wasn’t denying those memories or leaving them – I was just leaving a house. Leaving a place that had served our family SO well.
On the day that we officially were handing over the keys, I took my boys to “say goodbye.” I questioned whether this was a good idea or not. I worried that I would just be traumatizing them. I decided that based on my own experience of release and how it made me feel better, that letting them say goodbye and maybe have a good cry would be all right. We walked around the house and all had a good cry.
Then (this might seem a little “woo-woo”) but we told the house “Thank you” and “Goodbye!” We also said a prayer and asked that the new family that will live in it be able to build memories like we did. It helped us to have closure. It helped us to feel more connected to each other. It helped us to move past the mourning and grieving. We were choosing joy.
Using these 6 tricks will help you have a smoother time moving. They certainly helped me be a little
less frazzled and feel more organized.
What moving tips or tricks do you have?
Share in a comment below!