Monday, June 30, 2014

Moving Tips

Am I writing this for your benefit? Yes.
Am I writing it more for mine and so I remember? Absolutely.

The last time we moved, we used Amtrak and the USPS (shipped books via media mail). It was WAY cheaper to move from Spokane to Cleveland that way, and we're glad we did that. It was stressful, but also nice just having our car as we drove.

This time, we rented a truck from Penske. Because the distance wasn't so far, we probably spent a little less on this move. I haven't budgeted it all out to compare, but it wasn't too bad. Carson discovered that booking in advance at a lower quote rate will save money, but continuing to call and ask if the prices have lowered at all might save money too. Additionally, asking if there are discounts when you get there can't hurt. Signing up for a AAA membership somehow knocked off $200 from the rental price, and now we have AAA to boot.

Go through your stuff. Don't stress this too much, but as you pack up books or clothing items ask yourself, "Do I really need/want/wear/use this?" We found that helped us get rid of lots of things. Carson had a HUGE collection of books and still does, but he got rid of about half of them by just taking the time to sort through.

Save money for your move and expect it to cost more than you've estimated.

If you have time before you move and an idea of the new place, go ahead and buy things over time for that place, like shower curtain liners. Those things add up if purchased all at once, but aren't so bad if you're buying one little thing at a time.

Greatest advice: Have a "when we get there" box. Things that you'll use in the house right away, like those shower curtain liners, clean towels, light bulbs, TOILET PAPER, paper plates and paper towels, plastic silverware, box cutters, maybe even sheets for the beds. Cleaning supplies couldn't hurt just in case. Anything that you'll be using when you first get there. We put most of these things in our car, which we towed behind the van, and it was helpful to have, say, Duct tape, which came in handy more than I expected when unpacking.

Label everything. Don't rely on your memory. If you put some picture frames, a toaster and some books in a box together, label all of those or you'll never find that toaster. We weren't consistent on this, and it set us back.

Let people help. We moved from Spokane to Cleveland pretty much by ourselves and it wasn't great, but wasn't the worst thing ever. When we moved to Tallahassee, we had people who helped us pack the truck, and my parents who came down to help us move in. Amazing. It's great to have those extra hands when you're loading or squeezing things into boxes, and even better to have extra eyes when you hang things on walls and can't decide where to put the beds. Mom and Dad did so many little things, like thinking to buy shelf paper, checking out the filters on our air conditioner and the battery on the smoke detector. Help is needed, and if you must, ask. I'd imagine you'll find willing people.

Plot things out before you go. I realized this time that it would have been really helpful to find the nearest Wal-Mart on a map. nearby grocery stores, or to plan our routes to work and school. You'll figure it out if you don't, but if you look those things up first, you'll likely thank yourself. I bought a Florida map that also had city maps... this will be helpful, not just for finding things, but for figuring our way around the city and being able to visualize it. If you can procure a map before your move, do it!

Figure out if the utilities will be turned on when you get there. We didn't think about this until my parents said something, and because of that we sweet-talked some poor soul into coming out and turning those things on on a Saturday... or we'd have needed to wait until the day after we got there. If you're able, maybe call around and get quotes on internet and cable, so that you don't have to do those things when you arrive.

Change your address! You don't even have to go to the post office. Just go onto and select "Change address" from the menu. Couldn't be easier, and they will forward all your info.

Keep a master sheet of bills and things whose addresses you'll have to manually change. Donations, credit card companies, your insurance and bank...

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