Kym's Final Four
Vernis, Twink, Leila, Judy, and Esther

Movin' Out


This week, Carole's got us . . . movin' out!  Hit it, Billy!


I've had my share of moves over the years.  Across town and across country.  I've moved myself with U-Hauls.  I've been "moved" by relocation companies.  And I've depended on the kindness of friends and relatives to help me move.

I've been in one place now for nearly nine years (and that last move came compliments of a relocation package with packers and movers and unpackers, even), but my kids have not.  I've moved kids in and out of dorm rooms and campus housing too many times to count, and last summer, I helped Erin move to Pittsburgh.


So.  Yeah.  I'm qualified to address this particular Ten on Tuesday topic.

My Ten Tips for Moving (with input from Tom):

  1. Sort through your stuff before (or even as) you pack.  Get rid of ANYthing you don't want to deal with in your new place.  This is your Big Chance!  Thin out.  Have a garage sale.  Donate to Goodwill.  Recycle.  Just don't move something you don't need or want!  (And if you have professional packers move your stuff, just know that they will pack EVERYthing you have.  Even full trash cans.  Everything.)
  2. Get familiar with your new place BEFORE you move.  It's great if you have the time (and luxury) to paint or change out the carpet before you actually move in, but, at the very least get in and measure windows, check whether or not you need to bring a shower curtain with you, and have some idea about where you want to place your big furniture and belongings.
  3. Designate a "safe spot" to hold the items you want to bring with you to have immediately when you move in.  During our last move, for example, we desginated the bathtub as the spot to store things we didn't want packed into the moving van (medications, documents and records, overnight bags, tool kits, etc.).  When you're in the midst of a move -- with other people pitching in to help or moving you -- it's a good idea to have one central location to store things you DON'T want to lose track of!  Your "helpers" will know that one spot is off limits.
  4. Treat your movers well (whether they're professionals you've hired OR your friends and relatives)!  Feed them.  Provide water or Gatorade.  TIP THEM WELL!  They'll be so much more willing and helpful if you do.
  5. Create a tool kit of those items you'll need at hand while you're moving and unpacking -- and keep them with (or near) you all the time.  Tape measure.  Box cutter.  Packing tape.  Markers.  Water.  Toilet paper.  Clipboard/note paper.  Pen.  Cell phone.  Screwdrivers. 
  6. Locate local fast food and chain restaurants you can trust right away!  When Tom and I first moved to Michigan, we had to eat at "Clock Fine Foods" (the "Fine" was a stretch) for three days straight because we couldn't find more standard fare for awhile.  (Of course, this was in the pre-GPS days and internet days. . . but still.  Find your best options right away.)
  7. Once your "stuff" is "in" -- set up and make your bed firstBefore you do any other unpacking.  Because it's great to be able to settle in to a comfortable (and civilized) place to sleep when you finally get to turn in for the night!  (And, really, who wants to make up a bed when they're hours beyond bedtime and emotionally drained?).
  8. Set up your electricity, cable, and internet services in advance of the move so they're set up and ready to go on moving day.
  9. If you're moving yourself, be sure to rent a dolly.  It's totally worth the extra (minimal) expense.
  10. Relax.  Try not to get too overwhelmed.  It will all sort itself out.  Eventually!

How about YOU?  What are your best moving tips?


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you are well-qualified! and based on my experience with college living moves and getting katie settled in NYC, you've got a great top 10 list. we've lived in our house nearly 30 years. I shudder to think what moving out might entail!


Number 4 is so true!! We had donuts and a box of joe handy for them both days. I REALLY appreciate those movers!


These are great lists! I concentrated on packing, literally... obviously, I haven't made a big move in quite some time because there's SO MUCH MORE!!


Best tip...mark those boxes well and also mark if they are breakable or not.
We helped 2nd DS & DDIL move from their SD home in a blizzard. I guess another thing for the list would be to check the weather!


Thoughts of moving completely freak me out. We haven't moved a thing in over 33 years. However, I'm helping a friend move tomorrow and she asked everyone she knows to come and pack ONE box and take it to the new place. Hope it works as planned.


I think your list is fantastic and I couldn't agree more about making the bed. Every time I moved into my college dorm room my mom always made my bed and it was such a treat. I've done it for Hannah the last two years, too, and it makes me feel like I'm taking care of something special for her.


Very sound advice although I hope not to have to use it anytime soon or even better, never again as I certainly had my share of BIG moves, but who knows!

Diana Troldahl

As you know, we will be moving sometime between now and August 23rd :-}
We don't know where yet, but it is really fun to look for rentals where ever Oscar is interviewing the current week. This week we'd be moving to downtown Detroit, and love the idea of a spacious accessible loft.

My favorite tips for moving include:
- using 'back up' linens and off-season clothing that is normally stored to pack fragile items.
- pack in sets of box sizes instead of whatever you can get your hands on. All kitchen stuff in size A, Books in size B, etc. Stackable boxes that go to the same room really helps keep working space clear for the unpacking part.
- When possible pack in smaller boxes. Not all your helpers can lift a lot, and those who can, can stack up 2 or 3 to carry at the same time (see above).
- Use the move as an opportunity to dream. What new possibilities for creating a vibrant living space are provided by your new place?


Great list...very helpful.


Great tips, Kym!

And don't forget to drain your garden hose in advance if you plan to take it with you.

We have moved so many times- we bought a dolly!
I now use it in the garden all the time for moving pots, rocks, anything heavy.


Re: tipping. When my husband helped his mother move from her house to a townhouse after his father died, they hired movers.("Two Guys And A Truck", if I remember correctly) While Mom was complaining about how much they were charging and were they being sufficiently careful with everything, Smokey took them aside and gave them an extra $100, saying, "You've moved old people before, right? You know how they are. Just do whatever she says and keep smiling."

Worked like a charm ;-)

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