Thursday, February 12, 2015

How to Survive Moving

  I had a request to write about moving, but you know what? Moving is boring. It's boring to write about, boring to read about, and boring to do.  If you aren't in the know, we're moving to Virginia. McKay got a job there. Something to do with chemistry, researching something or another. Unless he's analyzing something or another. I don't know. I try to listen when he talks about it, but it's, you know, chemistry-related.

  Anyway, the only way I can think of to spice up a moving post (and give me the will to finish it) is to make it into a list. I love lists.

  "After all this time?"


  My patronus would probably be a list. Also, it bugs me when people go on about how amazing Snape is because he was in love with Lilly. That doesn't change the fact that he was a huge jerkwad through the whole series, and blah blah blah rant rant. Anyway. How to survive moving: Geared for me and people like me.

1. Make a thousand lists. I know, I know. But seriously, there are a thousand things you're going to need to do and remember. Also, if you're like me, making a list has a soothing effect. I find I don't have to worry so much about something as long as it's written down for me to do.

2. Start as soon as you can, because packing takes FOREVER. At least, it takes ME forever because I spend a lot of time wandering around the house trying to find things that will fit into the current box I'm using that I won't need in the next two weeks. It's like the most painful game of Tetris ever. It can take me over an hour for one box.

3. In my opinion, if you have a box that's JUST towels, blankets, etc, you're doing it wrong. Especially if you're wasting time collecting newspapers or buying bubble wrap. I wrap up all the breakables (frames, glass dishes, etc) in all the linen I'm planning to take. The downside of this is that I'm sure I'll hate myself when I'm in the midst of unpacking and need to figure out where my towels are so I can shower.

4.  If you're going to have to change insurances (like us), do yourself a favor and make a thousand doctor appointments right away. Like, as soon as you know you're moving. For us, McKay's work isn't going to provide any kind of insurance, so we wanted to make sure we got all our check-ups and such out of the way in case the plan we buy sucks. I made appointments mid-January, thinking that would give us plenty of time. Instead I got to talk to snippy receptionists whining about fitting me in "last second" (we're moving in March).

5. Do lots of research on different ways to move. This took me DAYS. McKay's work is comping us a grand in moving costs, but you'll quickly realize that a grand to move across the country is peanuts. Renting a U-haul truck (even one of the smaller ones) can easily cost $2500 or more (plus they'll charge by the mile after the first 500 or something like that), and shipping options like PODS cost twice that much for even the smallest options. Most moving companies refuse to give you a quote online unless you give them your number and email. DON'T DO IT. I gave in to ONE website and got at least a dozen phone calls and emails from different moving companies.

  Also, because we're moving so far away, we had to think about our cars as well. We wanted to drive together for trade-off purposes, so we had to make a fairly easy Sophie's Choice when it came to our cars. Anyway, we finally realized that the only way to stay on budget was to get a hitch attached to my car, rent a small Uhaul trailer, and sell everything that didn't fit. Cost of hitch: $288. Cost of trailer for 10 days: about $150. Much, much cheaper than any other option I've found, even including gas. This works well for people like us, whose furniture largely consists of garage sale finds, anyway. It's more cost effective to buy more garage sale furniture/make a whirlwind trip to IKEA when we get to Virginia than it would be to move it. Our stuff just isn't worth it.

6.  Try to appreciate the things that are important to your spouse, and don't give them too much grief for the stupid things they just can't part with. For McKay, this is his sword collection. For me, it's my books. It took four large (very heavy) boxes to pack them all up. The good thing about books, though, is that you can mail them through USPS by "media post", which is much, much cheaper than normal post. Just make sure the boxes weigh less than 70 pounds. One of my boxes was 62 pounds and cost about $25 to ship. The man at the counter told me that ordinarily that would cost $80. And considering our towing limit is 600 pounds after you subtract the weight of the trailer, 200 pounds of books is not so good. Seriously, media mail. Do it.

7.  That said, sell everything you CAN part with. A good rule of thumb I've heard is to sell everything you'd likely be replacing in the next five years, anyway. Some things will be harder than others to let go of, even if you're not sure why. Like my rice maker. I love my rice maker, and even though I plan on buying a new one of the exact same kind when I get to Virginia (it's only $20), it feels like a betrayal to it to get rid of it. It's served me so loyally all these years! (I think I may have a little bit of a hoarder mentality). That being said, getting rid of things is also a bit cathartic. It also can line your pockets for the things you'll need to replace. We made over $300 at our first garage sale, and we're having another one this Saturday. You WILL feel a little self conscious paying for things with a huge stack of singles, though. Anyway, possessions to bring with you should include those that will be too expensive to replace or that have too much sentimental value to part with.

8. Trade in things you're not crazy about for things you are. Albany has LOTS of second hand stores that give you store credit for things you bring in, so I've been able to lighten my load of books, video games, and clothes that I don't care much for for a few things I love. You'll come out with less than you started with, which means less packing, and you'll get to satisfy minor shopping cravings for free-ish.

8.  Make it as fun as possible. Listen to your favorite music and sing along loudly while you pack. Do a box or two a day so you're not overwhelmed. Re-watch your favorite TV show while you sort through your drawers. If you're like me, obsessively look at houses on Zillow and ooh and aah over the places you pray don't get snatched up before you move. Treat yo'self.

 I'm forgetting a million things. I should start another list, Things to Write About in Regards to Moving.

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