Friday, November 2, 2012

Moving done... Not the hard way. (it's never easy)

Getting Ready to move:

This is a long post - Fittingly as this will be one of the LONGEST days of your life.

Before I get started:
If you have a fish tank greater than 20 gallons - MOVE IT BEFORE, OR AFTER MOVING DAY. NEVER. EVER. even THINK you can move a big fish-tank on the same day as moving day. (ask me how I know this...) Even though it will only apply to 1% of the population, I'll be doing a separate post on this.


Do yourself a favor - Get a bunch of the SAME sized boxes. And a few sharpies. (You'll lose/accidentally pack some of them)


Don't be one of those people who decide to pack on Moving day.

If you're one of those people, everyone hates you. 

Yes.      YOU.

Back on topic:
As you pack boxes, Label the Top, and at least one side of the box with what is in it, and what room you would like it to go in at the new place. The labels let you find stuff in a pinch and stop the millions of "where does this go?" questions when you're moving it in.  I also marked any heavier boxes with a big H.

Good labeling also allows you to prioritize if you bring the box yourself, or if its sturdy enough to be thrown around by your minions (a.k.a. friends) and the moving truck.

"Books - Upstairs Purple room"
"Nerdy trinkets and stuff - Banished By Fiance' to Basement Storage - FRAGILE"
"Pillows. Upstairs hall by closet.  Feel free to throw at someone"

(I enjoy putting funny comments on boxes. Lets face it, those who are helping you move probably are NOT having fun.)

I also used painters tape and labeled the furniture.

Make a Moving Kit:

You may remember in a previous post I said to make a "moving kit"

I've moved myself 4 times now since leaving home. The first time was wildly disorganized  but thankfully I barely had anything to move. Each sucessive move got easier and more organized.

I largely put this towards my "moving kit"

My Moving kit allows me to do 4 basic things:

Eat, Clean, and Sleep, and Repair/assemble


  • Plates (Disposable)
  • Cups (Disposable)
  • Spoons (Disposable)
  • Roll of paper towel
  • Broom/swiffer
  • Vacuum
  • Duster
  • Windex
  • Lysol
  • Bleach (Toiliet/bath cleaner)
  • Shower curtain (if needed.second life as a somewhat expensive floor protector from wet shoes)
  • Magic Eraser
  • Cardboard box "Rug" for entrances
  • Masking tape
  • Toilet paper roll(s)
  • Blow-up Bed
  • 2 sheets
  • blanket
  • Pillow
  • Toiletries (soap/shampoo, toothbrush etc)
  • Change of clothes
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Channel locks
  • Pliers
  • Plastic Baggies (for screws/parts etc)
  • Sharpie Marker
  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Screws + drywall plugs
  • Drill With Drill bits and Driving bits ( or a bunch of screwdrivers)
  • Towels/blankets (to avoid scratching floors/products when assembling)
  • Little felt sticky pad things to stop  chairs/furniture from scratching your floors
  • Rope
It'll take about half a car load to bring all this, but it is definitely one of the first things you should bring. 

This kit will really cover you for anything unexpected:

  • Taking off door hinges to fit that massive couch through the front door. 
  • Putting together a bed frame. 
  • Keeping unused screws/pieces with their respective parts
  • Hanging items before furniture gets in the way makes it a PITA. 
  • Cleaning before and after you move. 
  • Spend the night, Take a nap
  • Feed the masses if you order food. (and to clean up after them...)

Some Random Tips:

  • Get good quality Packing tape. One strip of good stuff does a better job than 5 strips of dollar store stuff. Ultimately it is cheaper (particularly if you steal a roll from your workplace's warehouse.  ... Not saying I did that... of course....)
  • Stack all your boxes in some sort of chronological order - The easiest stuff to get to will be unpacked from the truck LAST, as it is first to go into the truck
  • Pack your "moving kit" first, but leave the boxes open. You'll still need some of the stuff when you're packing/living at the old place. Just make sure to return everything to those boxes when you're done using them!
  • Really try and have at least a week of dual possession if you can afford it/swing it. it makes everything SO much easier.  Of course, this is out the window if you're moving a great distance. 
  • Your friends... are your friends! Not professional movers. (unless they're my friends, who have helped me move 4 times now...)  Document well, and guide well, or someone else will take charge and "try" and "help".  (If you're well organized, Nobody will think your bossy, ordering everyone around. They'll just think your on top of your shit and complement you on the "easy" move when its all done.)
  • With dual possession  you can move all the small and breakable stuff yourself. You can also paint a room or two before the stuff moves in.

Moving Help:

Too much help is possible:

If you're moving from an apartment, I found the following amount of help to be the maximum that is useful. Any more, and people just start talking and getting in the way:

you need 7 People. 2 "Leaders" and 5 Minions. 

  • 1 "Truck Packer" Leader - Stays in the truck, packs items in that the 2 bottom minions bring. 
  • 2 "Elevator Unloader" Minions  - Stay at the Bottom, unloading the elevator into the truck
  • 1 "Elevator Ferry" Minion - Simply brings the elevator up and down (Muscles not required)
  • 2 "Elevator Loader" Minions - To grab stuff from the apartment and load it into the elevator
  • 1 "Apartment Leader" directs things up at top, what to grab. Listens to Truck Packer.

The Tuck Packer runs the show.  He and the apartment leader should be in constant communication. The Truck Packer has a tough job into making everything fit snugly, without over-packing or under-packing.  Over-packing leaves too much room in the truck, causing things to slide around and damage themselves. Under-packing means you'll be doing another trip, or removing everything and re-packing. As Such, the Truck Packer needs updates on How many Big Items are left, How many boxes, and how many awkward items (plants, stands, Non-stackable things, etc) are left. I'd recommend the Truck packer to be You, the home owner, as you know best what you own. The truck packer needs to have muscles though!

The person running the show upstairs is not really moving a bunch of stuff, so if you have a wife/girlfriend/fiancee, she'd be excellent in that role and will feel very helpful in doing so. 

If there's a petite girl handy, Throw her in the elevator. She's the "elevator ferry" (aka "Elevator Fairy" ... See what I did there? ;-) )

That's it for the help. Now... Moving day!

Moving day events (more or less):
  1. Get Truck EARLY. Early moves will make your friends hate you... but they are vastly superior in EVERY WAY. (Its cooler outside, less busy on the roads, and no BS with the truck rental company about overbooking, as you're the first rental of the day)
  2. Chase landlords to put elevator on service, which they always forget to do.
  3. Wait for half of your friends to arrive, which is usually always 30 minutes after you asked them to arrive
  4. Move stuff into truck
  5. Forget to tell landlords to take the elevator off service
  6. Drive to house
  7. Unload stuff.
  8. Return truck.
  9. Inspect old apartment and turn in keys if needed.
  10. Unpack your Bed, Bedding, pillows. Make bed. (trust me... this should be the first thing!)
  11. Position couches, Unpack Kitchen basics.
  12. Drink Beer, order pizza for friends. 
  13. You Idiot! Your probably tipsy because you've had nothing but a Tim Horton's donut and a coffee all day, and have been working hard and are dehydrated. Eat a few extra slices of pizza.
  14. Thank everyone, but kick them out before dark. 
  15. You need time to clean up the place and get the dirt off the floors, as they'll ruin the floors if you walk on dirty/sandy floors.
  16. Fall asleep in your nice, made, bed. Turn on fan or something with white noise. You'll sleep better as its familiar, vs. spooky unknown house noises.
That outlines pretty much every one of my moves!

  • Label/scribble content of boxes
  • Get similar sized boxes
  • Pack early
  • Make a moving kit
  • Get the right amount of help
  • Only bring out the Beer & Pizza once the truck has been unloaded. (This one is key... ask me how I know this...)

Moving is probably one of the most physically and mentally exhausting days of your lives.
Not only are you just moving everything you own, but you're also going through one of the most dramatic changes to your lifestyle you can make - Almost EVERYTHING in your life changes when you move.

Sleep well. Soon your dreams will be full of nightmares like Leaky roofs, Natural disasters, and broken down appliances.  (Or maybe not. I could just be the only weird one that dreams of such things)

No comments:

Post a Comment