Avoid a Nightmare When You Move

If you’re a natural planner, goody for you, but for the rest of us who try to plan and fall short, this article about moving is for you.

There are many articles, charts, videos, helpful hints and hacks to help with the moving process but make no mistake. Moving takes a chunk out of you emotionally.

First of all you’re uprooting yourself from an abode that, even if you hated living there, it has all your stuff and you called it home. Second, you’re gonna be going through EVERYTHING you own and try and rationalize whether or not to move it to a new location.

So what you say? This is what I’ve wanted to do for some time, you say? Let’s see if you change your mind after the 5th box of “stuff.” Or that closet in the guest room that was used for storage of, among other things, your high school yearbooks. Really? You really wanted to save those yearbooks with your geeky pimply pictures in them? Easy out.

Not only do you have to prepare your belongings to move to a new place, but you have to prepare the new place to receive you. Can you measure the rooms and closets? I’m telling you all closets are not the same size or depth. Some have shelves and some have unsupported hanging rods.

The house could probably use some new paint if it has been a while since the last painting. Not to mention cleaning. Do have a painter come in and give you an estimate. Make sure they will move things and clean the surfaces before painting. An empty house is a great one for a paint job.

After that, have someone or a crew come in and thoroughly clean the house. Not only will this make the place smell better, you won’t get the heebee geebees putting your cutlery into drawers and food in the refrigerator. My daughter did the cleaning here and she had to do some things two or three times to really get them to shine. She did a great job.

Somewhere in this community was someone who planned our master bathroom. This designer must have been a ballroom dancer because all the walls are mirrored and there’s enough room to whirl to Johann Strauss. But the linen closet does not hold even two sets of towels and sheets! I guess the former family must have washed their sheets and put them back on the bed the same day.

I am serious; the linen closet is two feet wide with a folding door that opens only 1 ½ feet. Not only that, it’s only a foot and a half deep. I put things in small boxes that can be easily pulled out.

There was one towel rack inside the shower (where whatever is hanging would get wet and one rack inside the little room where the toilet is. That was the only wall space there was – everything else is mirrored. It was an eye opener to turn around in the glass shower only to see myself in the buff across the room. Makes you want to get on an exercise/diet program!

When you get into your new home, the move is not finished by a long shot. There’s unpacking to do and shelves to put up or replace. I’m in our new house but in no way could you call me “moved.” Would you say you were moved if boxes lined your hallways and rooms on both sides? Would you say you were moved if your bills and receipts were in some unknown box in an office that is less than half the size of the office in your old house?

Now we were well aware that we were moving from a 4 to a 3 bedroom. We got rid of a sofa, a bed and thought were were doing well. Ha!

We neglected to get rid of a video cabinet, a coffee table and another end table because we were going from a living room AND den to just a great room, which was not so “great” i.e., large.

You just never anticipate the amount of brainpower it takes to plan a downsize. There are files, a desk, chairs, dining table, bookcase, the things that no longer fit in the downsized office. Even the closet is inadequate – having just one unsupported rod that would be hard put to handle my winter coats and costumes for my singing stints.

That was first on our list. I had to hang my clothes, costumes and jackets SOMEWHERE, and the rods in the two closets had to be reinforced with brackets so they wouldn’t bend in half.

So how many visits to Target and Bed Bath and Beyond does it take before they arrest you for trespassing? We’ve made several trips for cutlery holders, hand towel rods, bath towel racks, small storage boxes, baskets for towels to make up for the linen closet that holds nothing. And why don’t they make a towel rack large enough to fit an open bath towel?

Back to Target and Pet Supermarket for cat litter, a smaller litter box (even the cat had to be downsized) a basket for pet food, brush and clippers.

Our stepladder didn’t make it through the move so we had to buy one of those because of the need to locate kitchen stuff above one’s head. Not to mention a shelf in the living room that held large displays of plants and sculpture “for ambience” don’t you know.

We were wise to call ahead for cable/WIFI so we’d know what to expect. Expect an hour’s visit to the cable company and a frustrating time setting everything up and trying to hook up to the cable system. Astonishingly easy except it didn’t work and they had to send someone out.

As you unpack, all that paper you packed everything has to be thrown out or recycled: find out what the garbage/recycles days are before putting anything down in the street. You’ll soon have garbage bags full of paper – make sure you’ve gone through all of it before throwing it away – look for lamp harps, accessory pieces, extension cords, tops to things – these get thrown away accidently.

Keep your financial stuff with you and your valuables. Checkbooks, jewelry, medicines and electronic devices should all stay with you and be packed by you.

Through it all try to keep your sense of humor, even when it’s hard to see the end of it. We’ve been in our new house a week. It still looks like a bomb hit it – there’s a mountain of stuff that needs to be donated to a nearby charity – books, towels, blankets, furniture, toiletries, lightbulbs that don’t fit, etc. But the place looks one heck of a lot better than it did the first day we invaded it. Only surface not covered was the bed and we had to work hard at that!

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