Moving Wisdom….From one who has just done it!
Happy Mother’s Day. This is moving season – for many. Since we all know it is the lady of the house that orchestrates a move…here is my advice:
9 days in…. ??? to go: I have some ‘wisdom’ regarding moving at age 64 (and hubby 66) from a home where we have lived (and conducted business) for 25 years to a completely new town where you know…no one except your real estate agent and some family members of the home you purchase…..
Bold means I/We DID. Regular font means – we wish would would have…
- Consider it an ADVENTURE! We felt – and STILL feel we were ready for something new – and WOW, do we have it! Every excursion feels like ‘vacation’ because you don’t know where you are going! Thank the Lord for Google Maps and iphones! It’s so much in your MIND.
- Get in WRITING everything a moving salesman tells you the staff will do. Overall, we were happy with 2 Men and a Truck. What the salesman promises…stand by it and insist on it. (I did!).
- If possible, get possession early and clean and paint before moving in. A no-brainer, but unless in the same town or you have ALOT of money, this won’t be possible. Such is life…
- ESTABLISH THE PLACE for the tape gun as you pack. If I only had all those minutes ‘hunting’ back, I bet I’d have an extra day or so.
- When you start to ‘get settled’, wear a tool belt so you aren’t always hunting the tape measure, screwdriver, hammer, etc.
- As you take down pictures, assemble all picture-hanging hooks in ONE TIN. I did this, and it has been amazingly helpful. If you have picture groupings, or have done decorating with words – take pictures! Then you won’t have to ‘think it up again’!
- Triple the moving $ budget! You’ll need ALOT more money than you ever guessed – for this and that and that and this…..
- As you dis-assemble bookshelves or anything that has hardware, put the hardware in a plastic bag and tape it to the piece.
- Try to orient yourself for sleeping facing the same direction. We have, and it seems to be a comfort – and helps in sleeping.
- Make SURE in your contract that the windows all open if you are ‘open window’ people as we are.
- If you ‘stabilize the drum’ of your washing machine with pillows as we did, remember to remove them before running a wash cycle to ‘test’ the washer. It seems (at least with our OLD Maytag), that pillow (at least ours) do NOT absorb water quickly enough and you end up with an overflow! (Happened not once, but twice!).
- As you pack, go for a GOOD QUALITY REALLY STICKY packing tape. I generally go cheap here because I use SO much in my website shipments, but it often gave way’ and let loose on the packing boxes.
- Do NOT pack any liquids that you can’t cope with all over everything. The movers will tell you this, and you’ll be tempted to ‘sneak’ some in, but you’ll get caught – ask me how I know!
- Give each room a letter label: for example, MBR = Master Bedroom, OFC = office. Then a number. Keep a list as you pack of what each box has in it, divided by room. This has been INVALUABLE!!! However, ALSO put this label both on the TOP and on the side of EACH BOX. I put mine only on the top in the upper right hand corner, but it would have been helpful on 1 if not 2 sides as well.
- Check for towel rods. Our home had none except one in the bath/shower. HATE putting things like that up and contributes to the $-Drain for sure! Lowe’s is getting rich on us as we visit DAILY!
- As you look at homes, if you have the luxury of choosing between several (we really did not, as the space in this home just met our needs VERY well and we are SO grateful for God providing it for us!), look at VERY CLOSELY the following:
- Closet Space. Measure how much linear feet and depth your clothes take up. Compare. Adjust. I’ve recently adopted the practice of removing empty hangers once a garment is worn. Saves room! I now have a box on the floor of (each) of my closets for empty hangers.
- If an older home, check the drawers for SIDE GLIDES. Our older kitchen cabinets do not have side glides, and what a difference that makes. Ours ‘wobble’. THAT is already on our handy-man’s list.
- Measure each and every piece of your furniture and make templates 1/4″ = 1 foot. List each piece by ROOM. Measure your new home carefully and scale it out 1/4″ – 1 foot. Take LOTS of pictures of your new house when you buy it. I made3 a hanging folder for each room: floor plan on the front, covered with plastic, and then inside the folder could put furniture shopping, catalog tear-outs, etc. Your phone camera is invaluable for shopping!!!
- LABEL each piece of furniture with the room where it goes. You have no idea how helpful this will be when the movers ask you “Where does this go?”
- Boxes: Liquor stores have great boxes with dividers for glassware! Look on CraigsList and then offer on CraigsList when you are done. Boxes are like GOLD. Start assembling them EARLY.
- Start going through your house thinning out at least 1 year before you think you want to move. I did, and if I hadn’t, OMG!
- As you go through the house, start a box for the new owners. You won’t be needing those address labels, or return address stamp, manuals for appliances that go with the house, samples of flooring, etc. I left a goodie box – all spread out on the counter, and I know the new lady of the house appreciated it. I even left some house sketch stationary!
- A good 3 months before you move, take inventory of your pantry and plan menus to USE IT UP. Move to a town with an ALDIS food store. I wouldn’t consider a town if it didn’t have a Food $-Saving Aldi’s. And I personally LOVE their meat AND their produce. $.22/pound bananas any day beats $.62 at other stores!!!!!
- Move into your KITCHEN FIRST! Try to think of how it was in the old house and do it the same. I find it interesting what a creature of habit I have become!
- Keep EVERY receipt for anything you buy for the house. It might break, or not be right. Quality of things these days STINKS. For example, hardware on towel rods. We are returning as much as we are complaining.
- Buy a Cordless Drill! We invested in one when we moved here. Best $99 I ever spent – I think!
- Packing Paper. Go to your local newspaper and ask for rolls of newsprint. GREAT!!!!
- Whatever you pack for ‘first needs’, you’ll undoubtedly miss something. Toilet paper, and paper towels, vacuum cleaner, etc. Just stay in a hotel for the first night or two. It’s worth it!
- Accept all the help offered. Especially from family with whom you can be ‘real’. Our kids came to help us move – coming from MI and IN, and could not have done it without them! Accept cleaning the old house help from anyone who offers. Our dear friends helped us, and it was SO wonderful!!! Your family ‘being’ in your new home with you – especially if you’ll be living far apart – gives you all a sense of ‘grounding’. I think so anyway…. I know it did my grandson good to know/be where Nana and PopPop will be living.
28. Start and foster a good relationship with the people who buy your house. I did, and for a house we built and lived alot of ‘life’ in for 25.5 years, it was a slow letting go process. I’m glad it was on the market for 3 months, and then took 2 months to close. I needed that much time to ‘say good-bye’. Men won’t ‘get this’, women will. Ask for a pic of the new family in front of your home – this provided me much ‘closure’. Be sure to get pics of your family in front of your old home. If you have members of your family helping to get vehicles/moving trucks to the new destination, give up on caravaning. THAT is stressful. We have cellphones. Good enough! We do NOT all drive the same!!!!!
29. Vitally important: Go get a haircut for the last time with your favorite stylist. Ask for details and have her take pictures to show a new stylist. I did – and I bet I’ll be happy I did so. Her suggestion for pics – GREAT.
30. Share your passion/hobby with everyone you know. Look for places to get involved. I have – and already I have a great new sewing friend, Dale, who took me to a great Sewing Club at a local quilt shop. Tonight – if we are physically able, we’ll go to the local Ballroom Dance Club dance!
31. GO to Church! It will connect you with new friends, but most of all, your loving God who knows everything. Rest in HIS arms!
32. Neighbor yourself! Reach out. I’m re-reading: The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak.
Will make some goodies to take over to neighbors having a graduation party – just to contribute and show love for a big event. …
30. Dig up and take pet bones from backyard ‘cemeteries’ with you. Just kidding! I told my husband I needed him to do this after a session digging starts of special plants. You should have seen his face… 🙂
BONUS for reading entirely through this post…..
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- COMMENT below on what you found helpful, or advice for moving from YOUR experience
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