Here’s the thing about moving.
OMG how it sucks!!! It’s traumatic really. Once, way back circa 2001, I saw a “Behind the Music” (remember those?!) with Melissa Etheridge and she reminisced on a time when she could pack her car with all her belongings and just go. She described that time in her life as “freeing.” So wise Melissa, so wise. Just don’t come to my window Melissa. That’s a little scurry.
I thought about that quote a lot, as we hauled an obscene amount of crap from wee apartment to spacious house. (Seriously, how did it all fit in there?) When did the crap become so important that you couldn’t part with it? When did my agrarian instincts
surpass stomp out with gleeful abandon the nomadic ones?
Internal instinctual battles aside, we are happy to be here, in this space and place. But I ain’t gonna lie. Moving is rough. A combination of things made this move feel particularly rougher.
So Dear Reader, here are the top ten lessons from our move. Learn from these errors, you must. Only then will you become a Jedi Master who can move things stress free with the Force.
10.) Hire movers. This may seem an obvious point, as you are, you know, moving. But to a cheap skate and an idealist like me, this was unnecessary. Somanna voiced doubts and I dismissed them with the enthusiasm of a 15-year-old trapped in a 30-year-old body. Long story short, I waited too long and there were no movers available. Except for our backs and some neighbors & friends who took pity. Thank you kind neighbors and friends! Our backs are indebted to you.
9.) Try to take some time off of work to help you manage the chaos. Feeling stingy with vacation time, we opted to keep on working during all of the hullabaloo. This led to decreased productivity at work (sshh! That’s our little secret, mmkay?) and an increased consumption of chocolate, fried foods and milkshakes.
8.) Accept the inevitable: shi*t will break, you will revert to the diet of a frat boy, the exercise routine of an invalid and bonus points if you are buying a foreclosure, you will uncover some fun little surprises. Like leaky sinks, hooray! You will also spend a lot of frivolous money on stupid stuff, because you can’t find half of your stuff. Roll with it. The righteous can suck it, broken things will get fixed later and so you have some extra paper towels on hand. There are bigger crises in the world.
7.) Don’t limit the amount of time you have the moving truck. The laws of time bend in weird ways during moving. It takes you approximately three hours to load the truck and 25 minutes to unload it. I don’t $%&*ing understand! What sort of Harry Potter physics is this? All the boxes were packed ahead of time?!
Anyways, the last thing you want is to make desperate phone calls to the truck rental office at 5:30 pm (ahem, when they close) begging for a few more hours. Especially when your cell phone signal is shoddy at your new house. There are healthier ways to test the strength of your marriage. Good times, my friends, good times.
6.) Unless you are the 1% of super-humans who can not only function but thrive in times of chaos, do not start massive home projects during the moving period. Such as say, ripping up your laundry room floor.
Let the 1% brag all they damn like about how much they accomplished in a 26 hour day. The rest of us normal folks have to focus on survival. Forget all that junk your teachers told you about aiming for the stars and having goals. Survival qualifies as a goal and mediocrity will get you there.
5.) Space out your vendor deliveries, installations and visitors (if possible). Within 1 hour on moving day, I had delivery guys, uh delivering appliances (which prompted a whole other chain of problematic events – see item # 4), a neighbor stopping by to introduce himself, another friend visiting to assist with said problems caused by delivery guys, cute kiddos running around and Somanna calling me telling to hurry back over because the clock is ticking on the moving truck and what is taking me so long? Then the cable guy walked in, it was 2:30 and I still hadn’t eaten lunch.
Did you know my head can spin?
It’s true. Just ask the cable guy. He was pretty impressed. The kids were mostly scared.
4.) Measure and measure well for your appliances. Of course you’ll think to measure the space the appliance will actually go in. Ya-duh. We’re not that dumb. But did you think to measure all the doorways that appliance will have to go through to get to its little home sweet home? Yea, neither did we. OOPS. Thanks a lot Mr. Sales Guy. And since we have an older home, some of those doorways are pretty narrow. Which can lead to this:
Yup, had to rip down the trim to get the fridge into the kitchen. Because the door jamb stuck out 1/4 of an inch – A QUARTER OF AN INCH PEOPLE!- and thus, the fridge would not fit through the doorway into the kitchen.
So down it went, and a few days later, in went the new fridge.
Except it was TOO BIG. Oh yes, it fit in the space (barely), but it had ZERO breathing room. Which is kind of recommended because:
- you need some space in the back for cords,
- you need space around all three sides so that your appliance can “breathe” and operate more efficiently,
- by providing such space you prevent mold or mildew from growing on the walls (due to the excess heat from the appliance), and
- Because it just looks better to have a fridge proportional to your space than having a behemoth appliance in the corner.
Again, thank you Mr. Sales Guy. You failed to inform two novice refrigerator buyers of these important considerations during our lengthy and multiple shopping trips.
It was refrigerator stress for a solid 3 weeks – ugh.
3.) If at all possible, try not to go to a 4 day work conference 5 days after you have moved (and were working). This makes thing especially crazy at both work and home. On the plus side, you get to sleep in a nice hotel for four nights. On the downside, you return exhausted.
2.) Remember not to pack up your pets.
(Ok, that didn’t really happen.)
1.) Appreciate the small things – which are really big things. Laugh. Breathe. Drink. In that order, otherwise you’ll snort your drink through your nose and that’s just plain wasteful.
Appreciate the small things. Like awesome housewarming gifts, complete with cleaning supplies and beer 🙂
Breathe when you learn your Grandmother is in the hospital and your friends could really use a hand. Laugh when you trip holding the dresser and give yourself a goose egg that your loving husband describes as “looking like a horn is about to push through your forehead.”
Laugh when you set the kitchen towel on fire because you accidentally turned on the wrong burner on the stovetop.
Revel in the martyrdom, because this too shall pass.
And it will make one hell of a story.