A Moving Experience

Welp…I’m moving.

It’s just across town, mind you, and I don’t have a ton of stuff. But still…it’s the first time I’ve moved in 25 years.

Here’s what I’ve discovered while packing up:

I’m more sentimental than I realized. I’ve kept love letters, photographs, first grade drawings and college papers.

My bestie and me…and desktop decor…and school papers

Drawers and cupboards hide a zillion things I’d forgotten about and lost. Recipes. Missing glasses. Broken clips for closing bags of chips. My daughter’s old barrettes.

I have an alarming amount of important-looking papers that probably belong in some kind of filing cabinet. Or storage unit.

Veeeeeeeeeery organized

I own a LOT of books. (No surprise there.)

And a very hard truth: I’m bad at packing. Actually, that’s not true. I’m very bad at packing.

My method involves putting whatever is in a given room in a box. And occasionally labeling the boxes. I anticipate a game of I-wonder-what’s-in-here after I’ve arrived at the new place.

What’s in here? Your guess is as good as mine.

As I survey the detritus of my preparations, it’s clear that I need to up my packing and moving game. Like, a lot.

So I’d like to hear from you. What are your favorite moving tips? Other than changing my method, that is.

59 thoughts on “A Moving Experience

  1. Moving is the worst. Stuff always seems to multiply when you’re in the process of moving. Whenever I’ve moved within the same city I didn’t bother trying to declutter. I just hauled everything across town. It made for some extra trips, but that felt much less painful than the alternative. Best of luck to you!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I’ve often decided to declutter by thinking “if I had to move, would I keep this or toss it?” Not a good method because I look at my collection of “stuff” and decide, well, I’m NOT moving so I’m keeping it! Good luck on your packing. And I agree with Dru. Label those boxes!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I hate packing. I hated leaving college in the spring, because I had to pack up all my stuff and it invariably had ballooned in size – even if I didn’t think it had. We’ve been in this house almost 23 years and I’m scared for the day we have to pack it all up.

    Good luck. Yes, label the boxes! And if the box says, “Kitchen stuff” don’t throw in a few things from the living room “because there’s just a enough space in the box.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Best wishes for a smooth transition, Kathy! Moving is the worst. It’s such hard work, both physically and emotionally. One thing I remember from my last move. Don’t worry about getting everything unpacked at the new place immediately. If it takes a few days, or a few weeks, so be it.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Oh, don’t get me started on unpacking. Staring at all those boxes makes me exhausted, the thought of unpacking everything makes me exhausted. I tell myself I’m going to take my time…and then I realize the Thing I Absolutely Need Right Now is still packed – and with my luck, it’s at the very bottom of the box!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Liz, have you been looking over my shoulder? Because that is EXACTLY my packing method–lol! I resolve to not combine rooms from now on!

      Twenty-three years is a long time! I always said I’d need a nice, cleansing bonfire before I moved….

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Oh, Kathy, you always crack me up! I have absolutely no advice for you since we’ve lived in this house since 1990—aaaaand I just had to pull out the calculator and verify that is thirty-one-freakin-years ago! I’m not much of a packrat, and after our youngest moved out, hubs and I had a very cathartic ritual cleansing. We opened all the doors of all the kitchen cabinets, and got rid of everything that only a family of five needed, since we were now a family of two. It was so delightful! No more opening the tupperware cabinet and having a zillion mismatched lids fall on your feet. No more glasses with cartoon characters to serve as our formal stemware. Soup spoons in the soup spoon place! I weep, remembering my utter joy.

    Oh, wait, I do have advice for you. When one of my sons moved out, instead of throwing away trash from his [our] dresser drawers and nightstand, he just tipped it all into a box. Don’t do that. It’s still trash.

    Good luck! I wish I could come help you. I feel like I’m really good at telling people what to do and exactly how they should do it. It’s a skill I pride myself on.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Now that I think about it, the Batman glasses were mine (and yes, I still have them), but the others were boring LA Rams (!!) glasses we got with gas station fill-ups. No love lost there!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Kathy, I can’t tell you how much I wish I could come over and “help” you move–you would feel so much better about your packing process. I have moved myself (and also my elderly parents) several times in my adult life, and carted treasured “mementos” everywhere. I cannot put together a U-Haul box to save my life, and I cannot be trusted to cut and apply tape. Advice? Oh, sure. Learn from my mistakes. Don’t invest in those $$$ wardrobe boxes if you’re moving across town. Take your clothes straight from the closet on the hangers, fold them in half and place in Hefty bags (you can use them afterwards!). I got my kids to label boxes by drawing cute pix with marker (I still have a few of them, they’re so cute). Anything going into storage will pretty much be dead to you (no matter the climate control or fancy airtight boxes, the stuff disintegrates over time–esp. paper). Keep a baggie for loose coins–they add up! But here’s the best part: Just like wedding thank yous, you have a whole year to unpack! They say that’s how long it really takes to get set up. But trust me, it goes fast!! xo

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Becky, I tried to skip the bags. The stuff falls off the car seat, not good. Also, too hard to carry stuff on hangers to the car. They are heavy. (Trust me.)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ugh. Moving is the worst–I feel for you, Kathy! I haven’t had to personally move for some years, but we did have to move my parents (and then my mom) recently, and it was crazy. The accumulation of 50 years’ stuff. But I do enjoy setting up a new house–I guess I’m just a nester at heart. But don’t feel in any hurry to set up the house! You’re a grown-up now, so get to do it any way you like!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Wishing you the very best with moving, Kathy! (That Tupperware box actually looks quite tidy.)

    I’m the worst at packing. When I moved out of college, my mom single-handedly helped me organize things. Unfortunately, it took so much time that we had to drop a special outing.

    My tips? One of the best relocations for my husband happened when he got professional help, so maybe hire movers? Also, get super sturdy boxes for those stacks of books–trust me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am not qualified to give advice on this subject! I still have boxes I haven’t unpacked since our last move — 10 years ago!
      All the best with your move, Kathy, and take your time unpacking (10 years is the benchmark)! And there’s no such thing as being overly-sentimental — keep whatever makes you feel happy!

      Liked by 4 people

  8. My only moving tip is don’t move! At least for us. I may just put a match to our place when the time comes. It’s like hoarders live here.

    I once interviewed a soap actress who said when she moved apartments, she just closed the door and walked away from it. This intrigued me so much. She was the daughter of a well-known astronaut. I’m not sure if that had anything to do with her pattern, but she was an interesting woman.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Set up 3 boxes at once for a room. Clear one room at a time in total, except for the furniture. And yes, each closet is considered a room.
    One box will have trash and broken items in it. And the bowls where you lost the lids, things like that. They would go out side as soon as you fill it.
    Old papers go on the floor to shred (should be one of the last things you pack). When I packed daddy’s place. He had tax returns from the 80s! Shred as soon as the pile gets about 2 inches high, else the shredder will overheat. And you have to wait 3-8 hours for the cooling process!
    One box will house stuff you don’t use, never used, don’t like, shouldn’t use, have duplicates, but is still good. Label that box with generic name, put a sticky note on it, and take to the nearest charity. They will appreciate it.
    The 3rd box will have stuff you are taking. Label it with the room it is going to, general category, and whether breakable or not.
    Believe me on all this. I had to pack daddy’s 2 bedroom apartment last year (and he lived by himself). Working 12 hours each day on the weekend, it took me a month to go through it all! I got rid of more than 1/2 of his stuff (about 15 boxes for charity including items he never opened, and about 10 cozies of trash), about 100 pounds of paper, over 500 empty soda bottles, and several pieces of furniture that were broken but he wouldn’t buy new (including a color TV that you could only see in black and white!)
    Good luck.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hestia, love this! You and Becky co-win the Marie Kondo Efficiency Award! (I have always wondered about taking stuff somewhere to be shredded–is that safe? Our shredder would never hold up.)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lisa,
        If you have a city or county day for shredding I would definitely say yes. That is supposed to be secure. But we are talking the government…
        Some companies say secure, but I am not sure about that. I would call and ask what their cost is, and what the procedures are. Usually about a buck a pound, and a ream of paper (500 sheets) is 5-6 pounds. Some will shred it in front of you. I think that kind of service is worth the $$$
        One other suggestion would be to have a bonfire?

        And I do try to take 2 days off each year to try to purge. Especially if I am not doing it regularly. And because the hubs and kid won’t throw anything away!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. This is AMAZING advice!!!! Holy moly. Packing up and moving your daddy sounds incredibly difficult. ❤ The mention of his furniture reminds me of when I moved my mom into a retirement community. She had four complete sets of patio furniture! OH myyyy.

      Also love the box for charity idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sending you the BEST moving wishes! It is always such a production. Once, we couldn’t find our silverware for like a month…that was interesting. Also, it takes years to fully unpack, I think (no one tell me if that’s not true, please).

    Wish we could come help you! Hope all goes well. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Definitely label boxes as to what room they will go in and what needs to be unpacked now or later. We have done it both ways–professional movers and ourselves. Professionals do a better job especially with anything glass, china, etc. And they have help to lift the heavy stuff and we had heavy stuff like a porcelain barber chair. If there is room in the top of the box, put in linens or blankets on top. Label that a blanket is in the box or whatever. Then it is easy to take that blanket out before unpacking that box in the room it goes it in and put the blanket in the linen closet or on the bed, etc. Also helps pad the things in the box. We have lots of antique collectibles, so we packed those together ourselves to put in the garage and unpack or deal with later. It is good to put things in a box or boxes for Goodwill, etc. as you go along instead of moving them. Across town, do not use boxes on clothes. The bags are a great idea. When my mother died, we basically did it ourselves. We lived 1184 miles away from her house. First we put things that were good and we did not want in a reputable consignment store. We had a couple of garage sales. We gave lots of small things to charities that did not sell. Last, we packed everything we wanted and put it in one room of the house and then had an estate sale. Everything that was left that did not sell, we called a church that was doing an auction for money and donated the items and they came and picked it all up. Then packed up a Penske truck and headed out. We did sell many things to the people that bought the house also that they wanted. Though when a brother in law passed away, we sold his condo mostly as is with all of the stuff in it as the buyer said she wanted it all and would dispose of the stuff she didn’t want for us. Good luck in your move….. Our house is so full now and the basement is full of boxes from Mother’s, boxes of books, Christmas stuff, and packed up collections, that we could never move now. Wasn’t that full when we moved in 1993 from Texas to Georgia under duress, but stuff and years combine. This was almost as long as the move.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. We used it as a recliner in the living room. I can send a photo but I do not see how to do one on this. Now it sits in the garage as we did not know where to put it here. We love it though and can’t get rid of it. We also have several shoe shine chairs that are like the wrought iron soda chairs from old drugstores. We like funky.

        Liked by 1 person

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