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In part 1 of this series on moving tips, http://www.sandwichink.com/the-sandwich-generation-moves-part-1 , we discussed planning, utilities and packing. Today’s ideas cover the actual moving process.
Scheduling the moving van. First check with your real estate agent or your apartment manager to see if they have a van available for free or reduced fees. If not, I’ve found that U-haul, www.uhaul.com , and Budget, www.budgettruck.com/Home.aspx?partnerid=428&mpch=sem , are both excellent choices for do-it-yourself moves, whether local or long distance. If you are moving long distance and want to do it yourself, but don’t want to drive a big truck, there are some excellent companies out there that can bring a container to your house, leave it for you to fill, then return and move it to your destination. I used ABF and was quite pleased with it – www.abfs.com/default.asp?bhcp=1 . I learned the hard way to make my reservations for any of these options as early as possible. While you can often get one at the last minute, I have had to reschedule two moves because they turned out to be popular weekends for movers and I couldn’t get a truck.
Moving Assistance: While you can certainly hire movers to help you, for local moves I prefer to go with less expensive help, even though they are also less experienced. Friends are often available and willing to assist with packing and/or loading and unloading. Our Bible study group had a great time one night packing up a friend’s house when he had to move sooner than expected and his wife was out of town caring for her mother.
Another great resource is your church or child’s school. We asked the principal at my daughter’s school to recommend two responsible high school seniors to assist us. They came and worked hard all day, and we paid them a great rate for teens, along with lots of pizza, which was a lot cheaper than hiring professionals. Another time we were able to hire young adults who worked at the same location we did.
If any of you are in the military, you might ask friends there if they know of any young men or women who would like to earn some extra money helping you move. You get the help you need, and you get to help one of our brave young soldiers, a definite win-win!
Elderly Parents: Whether your parents are moving into a new home, an assisted living facility, or into your house, it will probably be a difficult day for them. When my parents moved in with me, my strong sons-in-law and daughters did most of the heavy lifting, while I directed. We got their room settled first as quickly as possible. That gave them a quiet place to work while we all finished moving other items in and out of the bathroom, kitchen, and garage. They were an important part of the process, but they also had a quiet place to retreat to when they became exhausted.
Babysitting: If there are young children or grandchildren involved in this move, I highly recommend involving them in the move for a short while, then hiring a babysitter to watch them at another location so they are safe and happy, and you are able to focus on the moving process. Some children like the excitement of everything and want to see it all, but others find it very disconcerting. This gives you a good option for each of them.
Pets: It can be a wise idea to find a petsitter as well. Many animals can sense when things are in an upheaval and find it very distressing. It’s important for families that their cat or dog make a positive move, as well.
Pre-Moving Day: The day or two before a move or the first thing in the morning, I like to go to the new place and give it a good wipe down and, if necessary, a full cleaning. Even if the previous occupants did clean, it’s amazing what you might find. Also, if you are going to have the carpets cleaned or the house sprayed for insects, you might want to take two days for this process, to ensure all is dry by the time you start walking in and out with moving boxes.
This is a good time to stock the new place with light bulbs, toilet paper, paper towels, glasses, plates, water bottles, snacks, toys/books if any children will be there, and pet supplies if there will be pets moving with you. Make sure you are also well stocked on sodas and bottled waters at both houses for your family and the people helping you move. An ice chest full of ice is a big help if the refrigerator will be moving.
Moving Day: Load the vehicle and take the items to the new house. It’ll save you time and headaches in the long run if you ask those helping you to place boxes in the rooms that are marked on the boxes, with the OPEN FIRST or starred boxes in a separate pile.
Lunch time: You’ll get more done and keep your helpers happy if you keep the soft drinks and water flowing. Accompany that by treating your helpers to a yummy and filling lunch. I personally think pizza is the easiest, especially if you have it delivered. That frees you up to get more work done. Order plenty. People will eat a lot initially. They may also snack on it throughout the day. Do watch to be sure it gets put away before bacteria can attack it and cause food poisoning.
Finishing at the old home: Once the boxes are out, it’s time to clean the house/apartment you are vacating. If you have the time, it’s nice to be able to do this a day or so after the move when you’re not so tired. If you have to do it the same day, it might be a wise idea to ask for help – either volunteers (friends or relatives), or paid.
Finishing at the new home: Realistically for most of us, that will take a few days. But at least the boxes are in the house, the lights are on, and you can make your way to the refrigerator. I like to make the beds early in the day. Then when we are totally exhausted, they’re all ready for us to fall into.