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On the Move. In the Move

A friend of mine recently told me that I should do a post about moving, offering tidbits and tips about the process. You see, I am a professional mover.

Wait, not really.

I have become a “professional” at moving and being moved.

The actual professional movers are the ones that make it all possible. They are the ones that do the back-breaking work of packing, then loading and unloading our stuff from the gigantic truck, like the one currently parked in front of our home. I have the utmost respect for these professionals, even more so in the sweltering temperatures of this latest Texas heat wave.

Our first few moves were completely self-accomplished. We rented the big truck after booking and canceling with different companies, letting them battle it out price-wise for our business.

“Sorry, sir. We canceled because they were offering this that and the other. Oh wait, you would like to offer us this, that and the other plus more?”

This is something I would definitely recommend for a self-move, though digital booking has since taken over, so I am not sure if it still works that way. Anyway, we packed everything, loaded and unloaded, and unpacked it all. This created a sound foundation for the ever-growing respect I have for the professionals that move us now

My initial response to the friend that suggested I write a blog on moving tips was, “if I survive this one, I might just do that.” Then I thought about it some more. Generally, after surviving one of my moves, I then have to shift into another gear and get the kids set up with school, as well as some fun activities to distract from the daunting fact that they will once again be the “new kids” looking to make friends. This time only one, LM, will be living in the new home with us consistently, seeing as another, My Sun, is now jumping nest and heading to college. Still, the last one in the nest just happens to be the one most affected by our various nest transplants, so…

Anyhow, it occurred to me that moving, like childbirth, tends to be one of those events that cause my brain to throw up a firewall, behind which it carefully hides the pain involved in the process. I assume this is because my brain, like anyone that knows me, realizes that there will inevitably be more moves in my future and it wants to soften the experience so that I don’t crumble into a pile of trembling flesh at first word of the next relocation.

So, I have decided to try to write some things during the experience and in the heat of the moment. And, when I say during, I mean that I am currently standing in the little area of the house that we have blocked off with the “caution do not enter” tape we purchased online. This is where we have deposited those items which will be traveling with us on the road to our new home. It started as a small area, and expanded when the housing market (easy to sell … not as easy to buy) put a damper on our hopes of a direct move and smacked us with the reality of our things heading into storage for a month until we can close on the house we finally secured.

Why am I standing in this taped off area typing instead of sitting? Am I not utterly exhausted, as per my last blog, On the Road Again, Again? The reason brings me to my very first tip…

Make sure anything you don’t want packed is clearly labeled as such, or, if possible, securely behind a labeled door or completely inside a labeled area. Movers pack EVERYTHING. Why am I standing, despite being completely knackered? Because, when my other half came to the house a few nights back to organize some of the items traveling with us, he accidentally left the step-stool I have been using as a desk chair half-way out of the taped-off zone. By the time I arrived at the house the next morning, it had been sucked into the vortex called a moving truck and was beyond recovery. I asked.

Yes, we will meet again one day, the step-stool and I, but we will both have aged a month, and in my case hopefully grown a month wiser, when that happens.

It’s not just the obvious items, either. This category includes EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. I was reminded of this when I went out to give the sod we placed for the buyers a little extra water this morning. I thought I wouldn’t have to label the hose because (a) it was attached to the nozzle, and (b) I had hidden it behind a bush. When I arrived at the house this morning, the movers had only been at it a mere half an hour. I walked out to turn the water on and, you guessed it, no hose. Once again, I asked. And, once again discovered that it was now one with the truck. Perhaps the hose and the step-stool will keep each other company. I know for a fact that neither one of them will want to hang out with the other item I forgot to label in the yard, aka the poop rake. I am just thankful that the bag that was tied off next to the poop rake was still there… Enough said.

In the meantime, I am hoping that the multiple solo cups of water will help until we can run the irrigation program when they leave for the day.

And, I mispoke. They won’t pack everything. There are certain things that they will not pack for safety reasons (and that list gets longer if your goods go into storage). Which brings me to another tip.

Give yourself time after the movers leave to find environmentally appropriate ways to dispose of items they cannot take. These include chemicals, certain liquids, and flammable items, among other things. In our case, My Moon was more than happy to take some food items and cleaning products off our hands to stock her new apartment. Also, neighbors happily accepted cooking and cleaning supplies. We made sure we will have time to arrange for the drop-off of anything left at an appropriate facility.

I will end this entry with the most important thing I tell myself before every move. It’s more of a chant, really. And, it isn’t just before we move. I often have to remind myself of this in the moment, as well.

Breathe. In the end, stuff is just stuff. No matter how well you plan, shit is going to happen that will throw you off. In fact, I had to remind myself of this just yesterday, when we dicovered an ant infestation in the Airbnb we so carefully booked in order to get kids, pets, and ourselves, out of the way for the movers.

Nobody wants that extra protien in their morning pastries (lovingly purchased the night before). But, shit happens. Ants are deviously organized little buggers and can thwart even the best of efforts to evict them. Crying over those gorgeous little apple fritters, wasn’t going to help anyone, anyway. Breathe, toss out the pastries, buy pet-safe ant traps, alert the owner, move on with the move.

Join me next entry, when I discuss the importance of getting to know your driver, custodian of the things you hold dear, holder of invaluable tips, and keeper of the scariest moving misphap stories you may or may not want to hear.

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