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marinelife's avatar

Your very best moving tips and advice?

Asked by marinelife (62440points) July 11th, 2008

I am pretty experienced. I have moved a lot in my life starting when I was a military brat. I am looking for unusual tips or ideas that I might not have considered, strange experiences people had that taught them a lesson, or ways to cut down on moving stress and angst. Thanks in advance.

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18 Answers

ccatron's avatar

put cleaning supplies and some other necessary stuff (food, change of clothes) at the end of the moving truck or somewhere that you can get to them easily when you get to the new house/apt/hut.

simon's avatar

Create an important box and keep that with you in your car or with you. Put stuff like checkbook, passport, insurance and all the paperwork that goes with buying/selling/renting/moving. And useful stuff like tape, pens, paper, box cutter, some clothes, some food, personal items. Last thing I ever wanted to do was sift threw 40 boxes looking for anything.

tinyfaery's avatar

Whenever I move, and that is quite often, I take the time to clear out all of the clutter in my life. If I didn’t, I’d probably have to pack twice as much crap. If you haven’t used it in 6 months, donate it or toss it. Except of course for keepsakes and such.

wildflower's avatar

Use towels, tea-towels and other soft, fabric, items to wrap your breakables. Saves space and rubbish when unpacking.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

I agree with tinyfaery, get rid of everything you don’t need. I’m moving soon myself and before anything goes into a box I ask myself if I really need that item. If I were to lose it or break it would I go out and buy a new one? If there answer is no, it doesn’t go in a box.

Jill_E's avatar

Not sure how much time you have til you move.

It helps like one week pack up one room, sort through stuff.

And on boxes, label what room it belongs to.

If you have children, have someone watch them for you while you move for a few days or a week. That was such a lifesaver. We used the time to unpack important things and settle a bit.

If you are overwhelmed. Use that time to relax, go to bookstore order coffee, or order in food and have a picnic on the floor or a bath or something you will enjoy. Its an art of balance.

They said moving is one of the top five of life’s stresses.

Knotmyday's avatar

Man, Marina- my worst-ever habit is procrastination. My advice, to you and me, is don’t save the hard stuff for last.
Also, buy a big pack of Sharpies, and try to inventory the items in the boxes on the side of the box, rather than the top. That way, when you stack the boxes, you can tell what’s in without lifting the others off. Saves the ‘ol lumbar.
We moved a lot when I was younger.
Signed, The Gypsy

marinelife's avatar

All good stuff, folks, thanks. Keep ‘em coming.

What, no moving horror stories? Here’s mine.

On our way to Orlando four years ago, the moving truck came and packed us up and off they went. Ten days later after moseying across country stopping to visit friends and family, we arrived. I called to check on the movers only to find that our stuff had not left Washington State yet.

Movers, even the big companies like United Van Lines, etc., are independent contractors. Ours got sick and was hospitalized right after packing up our stuff. Only when I squawked, did they get someone else to snag the trailer and head East.

We spent more than a week “camping” in our new house with the fabulous array of goods the $250 compensation purchased at WalMart. Hate the place, but it’s where to go if you need everything. I could have used a few kitchen utensils in that box in the car that Simon mentioned.

Knotmyday's avatar

When I was very young, we moved during the summer. The semi-trailer holding my mom’s many large candles ended up being parked (in a similar situation) in the sun for a week. When it finally arrived, the candles had melted into fantastical shapes and blurred colors.
My mom, like any good hippie, loved them and displayed them as art. She still has them.
I don’t know if it’s a “horror story,” but I can still picture my mom pulling those blobby, lopsided masses out of packing crates and saying “Oh! Look at THIS one!”

tinyfaery's avatar

When I moved down from Sacramento to L.A. (about a 6 1/2 hour drive) I waited until the last minute to do everything. The last load was packed, it was 8pm, we had two cars filled with incidentals and 4 cats, 2 in each car. Fortunately (not), my boy kitty, who hates car rides, and meows incessantly until he is out of the car, was riding with me.

Well, we got on the 5 to about where it splits to go to S.F (about an hour drive), and realized the 5 was shut down due to a spill. We had to back track an hour, and then get to the 99, which took about another 45 minutes. We got to L.A. about 4am. My kitty was hysterical. And to top it all off, the place I moved to didn’t have air conditioning at the time. Temperatures had topped 115 that day, and my new place was an oven.

Good Times.

tinyfaery's avatar

@knot That’s a great story! I still have 2 taper candles that melted into Us when the temperature in my room topped 120 one year.

buster's avatar

Your friends don’t really want to help you move. Who likes to move? Not me. I have moved several times though. Something that always worked for me when I asked my friends to help me move was to provide pizza and beer. It always got a lot more people involved. I would buy three or four $5 pepperoni lil caesars pizza and a case of beer. After most of the stuff is moved you might want to buy more beer. This works for me.

marinelife's avatar

@buster Thanks. I know you have just been through it. I am a couple of decades past having my friends help and into hiring strapping 20-somethings from the day labor pool.

This time, though, I am selling, giving or throwing virtually everything except the very few must-keeps away!

ebenezer's avatar

Take everything you love with you.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

When are you moving? Just checking back to see how everything is going.

Our move is Friday and there are boxes everywhere right now! It’s pretty frustrating.

marinelife's avatar

@dragonflyfaith Thanks for asking. We just found out late Friday night that my husband escaped the layoffs and we will not be moving!

Meanwhile, we threw out an unbelievable amount of stuff. We are planning to keep going. We have the back Florida room to finish emptying, and then the garage and shed. That way when we do move next, we will be more prepared.

I hope yours goes smoothly, and the baby does not decide to upstage the move with arrival!

dragonflyfaith's avatar

That’s great news all the way around Marina! I’m happy for you!

It’s good that this encouraged you to clean out some things you didn’t need. Keep it up and like you said, if and when you do need to move you’ll be able to do so a lot easier.

That’s for the well wishes. I’m trying to hang on…just a few more days and then he can come out whenever he wants to.

bryanhome's avatar

I really like using a moving checklist/guide to organize moves. It really helped us to organize ahead of time. A great example is http://www.vamortgagecenter.com/vamc-moving-guide.pdf, it has a nice checklist and a lot of great suggestions, especially for military families.

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