My friend, Marisa, is taking the reigns today with our first guest post! She has some excellent tips for those of us who find ourselves moving this summer. Thank you for being here, Marisa!
Hi, friends and followers of Little Mama Jama! I’m Marisa, college friend of Kristin and blogger over at count on me for life, where I write about life as a medical student’s/doctor’s significant other and my adventures with my husband-to-be. Thank you for letting me be part of your blog!
This summer, Kristin and I have something in common – we’re moving.
Since age 18 (I’m now 27), I’ve moved fourteen times, including in and out of college housing, once each year of law school, twice after law school, and most recently, to a storage unit. Next month will be my fifteenth move in nine years. With this experience under my belt, I thought I’d share some of my best moving tips.
Packing for your move is a good time to throw out stuff you don’t need. If you live with a hoarder like I do, be decisive! I know my fiancé would have wanted to bring his greasy garage rags with us, so I threw them out, along with our grimy kitchen garbage can and the plastic lunch meat containers we sometimes use to store leftovers. I didn’t want to end up like the families I’ve seen who throw everything they own in boxes without looking at the contents. When they arrive at their new home and unpack, they end up filling several trash bags with unwanted junk, or worse, they continue hoarding. Moving is a great time to clean up and start fresh, so keep your trash can nearby when you’re packing!
Pack things that are alike together. You’ll be happy you did when you can quickly transfer your winter sweaters to a dresser drawer or put the box in your closet. Use several small and medium-sized boxes to pack like things together instead of packing a lot of unrelated items in a few large boxes.
Speaking of using small and medium-sized boxes, avoid boxes that are too cumbersome or heavy to carry. I’m not sure why I didn’t figure this out earlier. In college and law school, I had seven or eight oversized plastic containers that I used for moving. I couldn’t carry them more than a few feet. I slid my containers down flights of stairs and dragged and pushed them across carpet, linoleum, grass, asphalt, and concrete until I got to my car. Then, with an extremely attractive grunt, I would hoist them into my cargo space or trunk. After repeating the process seven or eight times, I was pouring sweat, my muscles hurt, and in the worst cases, I was either injured or crying. And my suffering was absolutely unnecessary. Only during my most recent move did I think to use manageable boxes. Although I needed to make several more trips to the moving van, and some of the boxes were still quite heavy, I didn’t cry once.
Pick your storage unit carefully if you need to use one. Buildings sink and shift over time, so concrete floors may have cracks that let water seep in, or land around the storage facility might not be graded as well as it once was, creating a downhill slope for water for flow right in. If you can, visit storage facilities in your area before selecting one instead of just calling and reserving one sight unseen. We picked a newer facility in a high area with drainage ditches on three sides.
Protect your belongings while they’re in storage. A friend of mine who is also moving lined the bottom of this storage unit with tarps to protect his mattresses and furniture from getting wet. That’s useful if there’s less than an inch of water in your storage unit. When storing your stuff in a storage unit, garage, or basement, I suggest raising furniture and mattresses on cinder blocks, putting plastic containers on the floor, and putting cardboard containers higher up.
Finally, if you’re moving for a new job or a job transfer, ask your company if they offer reimbursement for moving expenses.
Good luck, and happy moving!