Friday, April 11, 2008

A Moving Tale....

(sorry, I couldn't resist the pun...)

Mother Laura over at the RevGals offers this as the meme for today’s Friday Five. I haven’t done one in a while, but I am a veteran mover, so here goes.

1. How many times have you moved? When was the last time?

Let’s see…from birth? Sixteen, not counting back and forth to university. Four of those were overseas moves (States to Germany and back, twice). Yeah, I’ve had some experience in it—not as much as some of my friends, but a fair amount!

The last time was the move to River City, and it was such a nightmare that I don’t want to move again, even just down the street! A lost driver’s licence, rain, mountains, an international border, an overloaded truck….Yeah. Not a memory I cherish.

2. What do you love and hate about moving?

I love the adventure of it—the sense of a new start, even if it’s just down the hall or across town. The opportunity to clear out junk—both literal and metaphorical—and rearrange my home and my life. There’s so much to discover and explore about the new place, that it almost makes up for the hassles.

I hate the unpacking and settling in—not being able to find anything, whether it’s to wear or cook with. Well and the packing before, too.

I like things to be settled and to know where things are. You can’t do that in the middle of a move.

3. Do you do it yourself or hire movers?

I’ve done both. With the overseas moves, we were moved by the gov’mint—my ex-husband was in the US military. That was nice in some ways—just had to sort things out ahead of time and make sure they didn’t pack things they shouldn’t and did pack what they should. On the other hand, there was an absolute deadline—they were showing up at a date and time and you couldn’t fudge it and tell them to come back the next day, you weren’t quite ready.

For the shorter moves, I’ve done it myself, with the help of friends. They curse my book collection and my oak furniture. But I do pack well—almost everything is in boxes or containers.

It’s a toss-up as to which is better. As I get older (cough) , I’m leaning more towards paying someone to help me.

4. Advice for surviving and thriving during a move?

Again as a veteran…and having moved with pets and a small child, I think I am qualified for this one!

  • Take care of yourself—get your hair cut, meditate every day for an hour, get a massage, whatever it is that makes you feel good and strong. Trust me, you’ll need it.
  • Clear out the junk before you move. As soon as you know—are told, make the decision—that you will move, start immediately. This is when you get rid of the ragged towels and unfinished art projects and dried-up makeup and books you never read past the first chapter. Believe me, especially when you’re paying for it, it’s very discouraging to unpack things and think—“why did I bother moving this?”
  • Get the pets and small kids (say, under 10) out of the place the day of the move. Life will be happier for everyone involved.
  • Have a “no-go” room. This is where you put everything you don’t want moved by the movers (whether they are professionals or your friends). If you want to move your computer, or Great-Aunt Tilly’s china, or your cherished art yourself, this is where it goes. So do papers like insurance policies, pet health records, clothes and other things needed during the move—anything you will need to touch during the move. It can be a closet, too, but the key is a door that be firmly closed with a sign saying “Do Not Enter” in as many ways and languages needed.
  • Be sure to have more than enough of whatever special stuff you need—diapers, pet food, medications, etc. And now is NOT the time to lose Junior’s special blankie! Or to try potty training. Or to give up the binky.
  • Don’t be afraid to spoil yourself and your significant others a bit around the move. A new bedspread, pizza the night before the movers come, not starting to unpack the minute the movers finish unloading but instead taking a walk around the new neighbourhood—whatever you and your loved ones need to feel a bit special. There is plenty of time for frayed nerves and exhaustion.
  • Last rooms to pack, first to unpack—kitchen and bathroom. The rest you can make do—these you need functional ASAP.

There—now I sound like a Family Morale Support Specialist on an Army base…

5. Are you in the middle of any inner moves of not outer ones?

I’ve been contemplating a move, mostly for financial reasons, to a smaller, cheaper place. Given my recent disastrous foray into housemates, it’s my only real alternative for reducing my housing costs. The issues are the costs of moving itself, and finding a place where Mr. M would be mobile and accepted. So for the moment, I’m here.

Bonus: Movies/books, etc about moving.

Do you know, I couldn’t really come up with one? Strange. The closest I can come is the opening of When Harry Met Sally and they’re moving from Chicago to New York City—everything fit in a station wagon. Now those were the days…

Thanks for this, Mother Laura! Lots of memories—some not so great, some wonderful—but all worthwhile.

(and look, a whole post with no mention of Strong Heart...oops.)


Sally said...

Great play with some excellent advice. Praise God my children are grown, and our current pets are gerbils!!!

Gannet Girl said...

Wow, some great advice here.

Wyldth1ng said...

Funny, I was thinking the same things.

LutheranChik said...

Your advice rocks!

RevAnne said...

Great advice...clearly you're a veteran! Hope the next move is smooth and wonderful.

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