Thursday, November 09, 2006

Moving Can Suck

I'm not a huge fan of moving. When I was younger, I would move about every 4 years or so. When I was single, it was more about packing a friends truck with the 8 items I owned. The only thing that took more than 3 seconds to "pack" was my bed - and even then I didn't have a "proper" bed frame until I'd been married for two years.

As I got older, and after I got married, we've still managed to move SOMETHING every 3 or 4 years - be it our household or our business. In between, of course, we've helped countless friends and relatives move as well... still, I'm not a huge fan of moving.

Moving can be exciting ("...ooooh, look, there goes that ________ into a million pieces..."), physically demanding ("...damn, even muscles that I didn't know I had hurt!"), and a treasure hunt (" THAT's where that damn ________ is!") all at the same time.

I've done it all when it comes to moving - from scouring dumpsters for boxes, to hiring "pack and move" people to do the whole thing. Here's a tip - if you can afford it - then HIRE PEOPLE TO DO THE MOVING, but NOT the packing.

If you do have to move yourself - here's another tip: don't start drinking until ALL the boxes are in your new place (garage counts).

Tip #2: Don't have "just one beer" with lunch - you'll be asleep before you know it.

Even if you can "pop" for someone to do the moving - don't have them pack. NO ONE cares for your useless junk as much as you do. If you want most things in tact after the move - and you don't like filling out 10,000 page claim forms - pack the stuff yourself.

Tip #3: The general rule of packing 2 boxes a day - complete crap. Grab some old newspaper, a 12 pack, packing tape, 3 friends and pack the hell out of everything 48-72 hours in advance, and stay in a hotel until moving day.

Final Tip: Get a dumpster, and throw out 50% of your junk. For the other 50%, as you go from room to room make 3 piles: Keep, Trash, Donate. For everything you put in the "Keep" pile that isn't clothing or dishes, etc. put an "Expiration Date" on there that is 2 years in the future. When you get to your new place, put those boxes in the garage or closet with the "Exipration Date" facing you. If you haven't opened the box by the expiration date, then chances are really good you can just toss the box.

This technique has allowed me to park two cars in my garage in the last two places I've lived. It's worth it just for that!

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