The Moving Picture: 10 Tips To Relocating You, Your Stuff, And That Crap You Don’t Really NeedPosted by admin - 15/10/12 at 01:10 am
This is probably a good place to point out that anyone who would refer to themselves as an “expert” in the field of moving is probably full of crap. Come on, there’s no college major in relocation. No trade school is going to teach you to pack a box. The NRA cannot and will not show you how to use a tape gun.
Rather than just refer to myself as an “expert,” I’ll present my qualifications.
I was conceived in one location and born in another, thus making my first move while still in the womb. On the ultrasound, you can see I’m holding a tiny roll of packing tape.
I was the son of a minister, which gives me the kind of home stability that only people who grew up in either a military family or a carnival can imagine. We moved every couple of years, whether we needed to or not. It was like we were in some kind of holy witness protection program.
I went to four high schools, one of them twice. I’m pretty sure I never got everything out of my locker before I left, either.
After finishing college, I proceeded to live in twelve different places in the next ten years. One time, I moved everything I owned a grand total of a hundred yards. Just to raise the difficulty level of the move, I went from one upstairs apartment to another. It was good for the calves, at least.
Even in adulthood I can’t escape it. I bought a house, then got divorced within two years and had to move into another apartment. After that, I bought a house again and was convinced that this was where I’d spend the rest of my days, which has turned out to be less than a single Presidential administration before I’m champing at the bit to move again.
I have what I like to refer to as an “in-depth knowledge of spatial geometry.” What this means is that I can pack a U-Haul like a son-of-a-bitch. Here’s my ten tips for getting there with stuff and sanity still intact.
1) Pack the Hell out of that U-Haul. The U-Haul goes all the way up, doesn’t it? So should your boxes. Build it in waves and layers.
2) Boxes with handles are worth it. Boxes with handles that’ll last a whole move without tearing are even more valuable.
3) Label your boxes as you are filling them. Even if just random stuff, label it as such. Remember when you’re done, you’ll have what seems like a thousand boxes that all look exactly the same. Any clue you can leave will help solve a future mystery.
4) You will have the best intentions of going through everything and sorting it all before packing. Don’t worry, later on, this concept will seem humorous to you and you’ll get a good laugh out of it while opening boxes full of old Family Circle magazines and used dog toys.
5) You can get boxes anywhere. However, you don’t want to keep your stuff in them forever. Milk boxes make great short term crates, but about every other one has a small stain in it that will quickly make your books smell like rancid feet. Unless they already do, that’s not a good thing.
6) Resign yourself to packing some random boxes. Where do you put the pushpins? What about the set of eyeglass screwdrivers? Any idea where you planted your spare set of keys, old mail, and the notice for your next doctor’s appointment? If you took my advice, it’s all in that big box marked “Crap Off The Kitchen Counter.” It’s not eloquent, but it is effective.
7) Some things won’t fit, no matter what. Every house has some weird shaped stuff like lamps, end tables, and ceramic animals of questionable taste. Do your best on these, but that’s what the interior of the car is for. Put that hideously ornate ceramic elephant in the passenger seat and strap it in with the seat belt. Or better yet, put it underneath the back tire, wait for the crunching sound, and apologize to Aunt Dorothy for ruining her wedding gift later.
8) Don’t be a hero. Yeah, you can lift that TV by yourself, but do you want to bet the $500 purchase price on it, Mr. Stallone? Furthermore, everybody hurts. By the time you finish, everyone will be sore, so shut up about your own problems. Whoever is getting their stuff moved for free should be the most effervescent SOB in the house at all times.
9) Don’t feel bad about being sentimental. Everybody has their memories, and sometimes a movie ticket or a handwritten note can be a reminder of a sweeter time. However, you don’t need every single memory you’ve ever had, do you? As a quick rule of thumb, if rediscovering it for the first time doesn’t immediately make you smile, toss it. Ladies, do you really need to hang on to the ticket stub from that time you and that guy from work went to see “Weekend At Bernie’s 2” and wound up at Marble Slab, where he made that incredibly inappropriate comment and you dumped a frozen yogurt in his lap, then had to walk home in your new shoes? On second thought, maybe so.
10) Old media has to go. No old magazines, no old software, nothing that could be easily replaced by a quick Google search. Yes, old magazines are cool because of the nostalgia factor, but do you really want to be that guy from “Seinfeld” who had collected every issue of “TV Guide”?
Finally, if you learn nothing else from me, please remember this one rule. The person moving is responsible for buying the meals, and beer afterwards if appropriate. If you want help the next time you move, honor this Golden Rule.
— Reid Kerr keeps making his last move, ever.