On the Move

Happy Friday! I’m still fighting an ugly cold but feeling better every day. I’ve got some exciting plans (Pumpkin Picking!) on deck for this weekend, but honestly my mind is already on next weekend, and why?

Because… we’re moving to a deluxe apartment in the sky! True story. We’re moving out of our 3rd floor apartment, two blocks down and 14 floors up to the 17th floor of our new building! Moving is stressful and exciting and stressful. Just a quick count shows that I’ve moved at least 20 times in my life (lots and lots as a kid plus the usual college/newly graduated moves), so you’d think I’d be used to it, but it still manages to throw me for a loop.

{I love this city}

Actually, I haven’t even lived in this apartment for a full year! I moved in with Chris last November, but his lease expires at the end of October, so we found a place back in September, and off we go again.

I’m really excited because this is our first place together, but I’ll always have a soft spot for our old apartment.

{And I’ll miss this view}

Now, I am by no means an authority (on anything), but, as I said, I’ve moved A LOT, so I thought I’d lay out some tips for a successful move. Ready? Ok.

Clean everything. This may be just me because I’m a freak, but I cannot stand moving dirty clothes/towels/sheets to a new place, so I

  • Do lots of laundry in the days leading up to the big move
  • Wipe down and vacuum the old place and the new. It helps with getting back the security deposit and starts me off on a fresh, clean note in the new place.

Have a plan.

  • Do we need to rent a truck? Nah, we think our little Mazda hatchback has the right stuff.
  • Recruit some friends? You bet! Thank goodness for big, strong friends!
  • Reserve a freight elevator? Just did so for the new place (and as I typed that, I called the old place to do the same because I forgot about that)
  • Make a list of things that have to go and the order they have to go in. Like extra sheets and towels can go the night before, but we’re hanging on to two towels so we can shower in the old place the morning of the move. I love lists!

Purge! There is absolutely zero sense in bringing clothes you never wore/medicine that expired/food that you’ll never eat to a new home. It’s just clutter and it wastes time and space on moving day, so clean yo ish out before go time. Chris and I

  • Cleaned the closets and donated everything we hadn’t worn in a year or more
  • Threw out  magazines we were never going to read, junk mail and old medicine and cleaning supplies
  • Donated dishes and other kitchen utensils we honestly forgot we had and threw out food past it’s prime


Refrain from buying new things, yet. In the process of purging, we kept thinking, “we need more storage, new dishes, a new bathmat, etc.” But we’re holding ourselves back from making any purchases because

  • We still don’t know what will even fit in the new place
  • Lots of stuff gets repurposed in a new location
  • We just won’t know until we actually start living there

Change your address. Duh, but be sure to consider all the places that require an address on record.

  • Email family and friends
  • Go to the post office’s website. They charge a dollar to your credit card to verify that you are, in fact, you. Then, they set up mail forwarding for 6 months. This is so clutch because you will inevitably forget a bill or something, and getting it forwarded saves you hassle and late fees
  • Tell the DMV and your car insurance company. In New Jersey, you don’t even have to go to a motor vehicles center. They just mail you a sticker to affix to the back of your license
  • Change your records with your bank, your credit cards, and your cell phone
  • Tell your cable and utilities providers
  • Let your work know too so you don’t miss any important correspondence

{Miles volunteered to cancel the Comcast account. Spoiler: it’s not Comcastic}

If the new home is a short drive away, don’t bother with boxes. Now, this one may sound crazy, but all the moves in my life, save 2 or 3, have been within a 5 mile radius of each other. There were a few times that I bought or borrowed boxes, packed everything up, moved it in, then unpacked. This took forever, and ended up taking just as many trips. Now I

  • Fill every laundry basket, reusable shopping bag and suitcase with small items and tote those over. They had to be moved anyway, so why not make them useful?
  • Keep the hanging clothes on their hangers and lay them flat across the back seat of the car, so I can just take them out and pop them in the new closet.
  • Take dresser draws out of dressers to decrease the weight of bulky furniture, but leave the clothes folded inside and just reinsert the drawers in the new place.

This method is so much quicker and we don’t end up with 50 boxes all over the dang place.

{some stuff looks good in boxes}

{but baskets…}

{and bags work too}

Dress appropriately. I sound like a school marm now, but I’ve gotten enough black toenails and nasty scratches turned scars in my life to know that sneakers, long pants and a long sleeve shirt are the way to go no matter how hot it is.

{Don’t wear shorts; pastel fleeces are OK}

Install the AC first! Luckily this place has central air, but whenever I’ve moved window air conditioners, I install them first. When you’re 5 hours into a move and sweating your face off, you’ll be so much more willing to head to the new place if the AC is going.

Accept the unavoidable. It may rain. It may snow. Things may break. Stuff will disappear. Your stuff won’t fit or look as good in the new place. You’ll have less storage. You might not like it right away, but everything will find its place, and you’ll love your new home. I (almost) always have.

Well fed movers are happy movers (and booze doesn’t hurt either). Especially with friends, but even with hired movers, feeding people keeps them from plotting your demise as they’re lugging you laundry basket full of shoes up three flights of stairs (true story). This move, I plan on providing bagels, coffee, pizza and beer. Don’t you wanna come help now?

{I’d proably take candy over beer}

Be so, so kind and patient with the monsters. Moving is so scary for pets, and who can blame them? I know that our indoor cats don’t know much outside of our apartment, so when we start packing and hauling furniture, they think we’re abandoning them. Pets don’t have the added advantage of being able to communicate this to us, so sometimes they act out. Miles avoiding me and destroyed quite a few of my things when we moved in with Chris, and it was really, really frustrating, but I tried to remember that this was 1000 times harder on him than it was one me, and I just spoke to him calmly and waited for him to stop hating me and start trusting me again. This time around, we’re

  • Keeping the cats in the old apartment as long as possible on the day of the move because I think they’ll find more comfort there than in the new place
  • Talking to them and giving them as much love as they’ll let us while we’re packing
  • Putting them in their carriers once the move really gets going, so they don’t panic and try to escape
  • Showing them lots of love (and giving them lots of treats) when they get to the new apartment until they calm down

{Your pets may hide…}

{or give you the stink eye…}

{but just be patient, and you’ll be cuddling again in no time}

Be thankful. It’s so cheesy, I know, but I’m so grateful to have a roof over my head. I’m so glad to be living in a city I love with the man I adore. Yes, moving is stressful, but the opportunity to make a new house a home is a blessing.

{It’s family that makes a house a home anyway}


7 thoughts on “On the Move

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