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5 Tips For A Smooth Move (I’m Never Moving Again!)

AHHHH I hate moving!  This past couple of weeks I’ve been packing and planning for my move from Charlotte, NC to a teeny, tiny town just outside of Chattanooga, TN.  The move took place last weekend and while everything pretty much went fine (ish), there were a few little “occurrences” that made me realize that I’m not the gypsy I thought I was.

A “MINOR” Miscalculation

The first thing to tip me off that this move was going to be anything but smooth was the not-so-minor miscalculation in the number of boxes I would need to pack up all of our crap.  It’s funny how you look at your modest 3 bedroom apartment and think to yourself, “I don’t have that much stuff really, it will take NO TIME to pack up this stuff”…WRONG!  I put off packing the majority of it until a few days before we were scheduled to move.  My logic was that everything I hadn’t packed to this point was stuff I needed. Evidently I “needed” thirty pairs of shoes, five winter coats, a fully stocked kitchen, oh and my kids “needed” ALL of their toys and clothes.  It wasn’t that I didn’t have plenty of time to pack and move; I literally had almost a month’s notice.  I went to UHaul and bought 10 large boxes, 15 Medium boxes and 15 small boxes….I needed twice that.  Triple really.  My husband had to make an emergency phone call to our local grocery store to ask them to save us any large boxes they had and lucky for us, they came through.

Who Needs Sleep?

The next thing that gave me Agita was when, on the night before we were set to leave, I thought it would be the smartest thing to go ahead and pack all of our mattresses and bedding.  We could just “camp”on the living room floor.  Yea, no.  The plush, carpeted floor was hard as a rock (how do my dogs sleep on that???).  Also, we had one comforter for the four of us AND the day before we found that our youngest had head lice so of course, she had to sleep on the outside by her dad. Don’t judge me, I did NOT want to get lice!  My poor teenage son, who was also afraid of the lice, chose to sleep across the room and put a broken down cardboard box over top of himself for a blanket.  NO ONE slept that night and so at 3 am we all got up, threw the last few bits of crap into a black garbage bag and set out for Tennessee.

When we arrived, things went much more smoothly and with the help of my parents we were able to unload the truck in a few hours.  The unpacking and prepping of the new house took an entire week but now that it’s all done I’m FINALLY starting to feel at peace, at least where our home is concerned.  And my view does wonders for my soul.

The Moral of the Story

The reason I’m sharing all of my pain with you is to save you from the stress and aggravation that I experienced with this move.  It has inspired me to create a personal moving planner to help better prepare people for everything involved in moving from budget to old house prep, and new house prep.  It’s something I’m working on and plan to release in the next couple of months once I’ve perfected it and made it something really useful.  In the meantime, here are a few tips that I learned from this past move.

1.  Create a Budget

Budget is key.  List the things you know you’ll need for your move and set a dollar amount that you think it will cost.  Whatever the total budget is, add 10-15%.  TRUST ME, you will go over budget.

2.  Start Packing EARLY

When you first learn of your move, start packing things you won’t need right away and do a little bit every day until all that’s left are TRUE NECESSITIES!  This way, you won’t end up like I did the day before with no boxes and no way to go buy more.

3.  Ask For Help

We had friends in Charlotte to help us move and then of course my family in Tennessee when we arrived.  I thought we could do it all ourselves but quickly realized there was no way I could lift and move any of the heavy furniture.  Make sure you have friends and family available to help and get firm commitments. We have run into situations  in past moves where friends say they’ll help but then ignore calls and/or don’t show when the time comes to move.

4.  Accomodations

OBVIOUSLY, don’t pack your bed and all your bedding if you’re not leaving until the next day.  If you do pack everything, make sure you have a place to stay the night if your not leaving until the next morning.  We really needed that good night’s sleep the night before we hit the road and neither of us got any making driving treacherous.

5.  Over Estimate Unpacking/Recovery Time

If you’re moving and are starting a new job, or transferring with your old job as I did, over estimate the time it will take to move.  There are a few reasons this is key.  Packing and unpacking is hard work and it takes a lot out of you.  You need time to get everything unpacked and in order before having to return to work.  Having everything in place before returning to work will do wonders for your sanity.  Also, you need time to recharge your batteries and you want to be fresh when you start your new job.  About five years ago, I moved from Florida to Tennessee (this will be my second time living in TN) and was starting a new job with the same company.  It wasn’t a transfer because the job was completely different to what I had been doing.  I thought, in my infinite wisdom, that I could move over a weekend and start my new job on Monday.  I did, but I ended up so stressed out and came down with the WORST cold I’ve had in my life followed soon after by a stomach flu that lasted for 2 days straight.

I hope you enjoyed my story and find these tips helpful.  What are your moving horror stories?


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