My brother and sister-in-law recently moved into their new home. And it was quite possibly the worst move I’ve ever helped with, and I’ve helped with a lot. So in honour of that disaster, I thought it would be fitting to write a blog post on how to make your move easier on yourself and the people who have GENEROUSLY given you their time. I based these recommendations solely on my own moving experience as well as some (expletive) common sense.
1. Book your truck. FIRST!
You likely know your walk-out date with your current landlord as well as your move-in date for your new place. Now is a great time to look at a calendar and pick the date that works best to give you enough time to move in to your new place, as well as clean your old place (unless you’re some baller who pays others to clean after – I’ve always dreamt of doing that when I’m scrubbing the cat fur and grease under the stove). The earlier you book the truck, the better. You’ll get the date and time you want, which works best for your schedule. Another thing to consider is that depending on the time of year and your location on the globe, daylight may be an issue. If you enjoy moving in the dark, disregard what I’m about to say. For those who like daylight, make sure you are moving well before it disappears. Your movers will thank you, as they will be less likely to slip and fall on the icy sidewalk which they didn’t not see due to lack of sun.
2. Have boxes. Lots of boxes.
This, you would think, would be obvious. However, apparently there are some people who need to be reminded of this. You will never regret having too many boxes. You will always regret not having enough boxes, as the last thing you’re going to want to do on move day is run around looking for empty boxes, or be dumping out your stuff on the floor of your new place so you can bring boxes back to your old place. Also, you will always have a random box where you throw all the remaining things into it and say, “screw it, I’ll sort though this later”. You will have at least 2 of these boxes unless you’re some crazy neat freak, so make sure you have at least a few leftover empty boxes.
3. Have bags. Lots of bags.
Bags, you say? Of course, I say. There are a gazillion uses for them. I’m going to tell you about a few. You can poke a hole at the bottom of the bag, then put that over your hangers and clothing for a make-shift garment bag. It makes moving your closet a whole lot easier. Also, as you move your crap around, you’re going to discover a bunch of crap you forgot about and realize you no longer need, and want to throw into garbage bags. You can use the bags to wrap breakables, or put something between two objects you don’t want directly touching.
4. Have tape. Lots of tape.
This seems kind of obvious, but as I stood watching my sister-in-law say “nope, I only bought the one roll” and “maybe we can use hockey tape”, I suppose the idea of lots of tape isn’t as obvious as I thought. It’s cheap, buy lots. You will never regret having too much tape, I promise. It doesn’t go bad (lose it’s stickiness?) and you can always use it later to tape up your partner or stick it to the cat’s tail to watch him freak out (so much fun…I mean, uh, that’s cruel…).
5. Be 100% ready.
This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. When asking other people to give up their time for you, be ready for them. Your movers do not want to stand around and watch you pack. I can understand that it’s difficult to live in your place when you’ve packed up everything, so within reason I can forgive certain things for not being packed. But when you still have loose stuff in EVERY SINGLE ROOM of your house, you are not ready for your movers. When you are still sorting through things, debating whether you want to keep something or throw it out, you are not ready for your movers. When the best you can do is direct me to one box to move out to the van, you are not ready for your movers. When I move, I shove as much of my furniture in one area, and all of my boxes in another. It makes it easier to direct the muscles and van-fillers to the furniture area, and the smaller muscles and smaller vehicles to the box area.
6. Have directions to your new place.
For the most part, Edmonton is a super easy city to navigate in, thanks to it’s common-sense grid. However, some of the new Edmonton suburbs have not been mapped, so your GPS will fail you. Also in these new suburbs – house that look the same, crescents, and lack of visible addresses on the houses. It’s probably a good idea to let people know where you live, or at least the general direction. Giving them landmarks is good too. Or else your mover may end up having a meltdown at a yield sign when the new house is only half a block behind them and they’ve driven by it several times already but couldn’t see an address and you hadn’t turned on any lights in the front and you parked the u-Haul so your mover couldn’t even see that as a sign they were in the right place. Or you know, some other scenario similar to that…
7. Thank the people who show up to help.
Your movers could be family who were guilted by love into helping, or they could be your best friends. But regardless, you need to thank the crap out of the ones who show up. The people who move you probably like you the most. Moving and asking your friends for help is actually a great way to separate the wheat from the chaff (when is it NOT a good time for that analogy, I say), because moving is not fun. There is actually nothing fun about moving at all. So the ones who are willing to say, “yes, I would like to give up hours of my time for manual labour” should be thanked repeatedly. Which brings me to my next point…
8. Have food.
Order food. Even if it’s pizza. Make sure you feed your movers. Drinks are good too. In my experience, unless it’s a super hot day, most people just want drinks that will hydrate them so don’t worry too much about alcohol. Keep it simple with juice, pop, water, and pizza or subs. But definitely prepare to buy the food. It’s the least you can do to thank your movers (aka the people who legitimately love you).
Moves are hectic and stressful and every one of us has been there before. But being organized and thoughtful about time and your movers will make a huge difference on your stress levels. There are many things better to do than move someone. And the only thing worse than moving someone, is moving someone who hasn’t followed the above steps.
(My blog titles are song titles. Today’s is “I Like To Move It” by Reel2Real and is a 90’s classic. In fact, I’m willing to bet it’s playing in your head right now.)