How we moved house and survived

 

Hi friends!

I’ve been thinking about all the times in my life that I have moved house. I have mentioned before that I have moved a few times over the years. I have lived in Kenya, Singapore, Pennsylvania, New York City, Houston, and Boston. For the past 4 years Joel and I have lived in Connecticut.

I moved from Kenya to Pennsylvania when I was 18 to start college, and then afterwards moved to New York City to start my first job. When I got accepted to graduate school, I moved to Houston to start my graduate program. Joel and I lived there for 8 years, during which time I earned 2 masters and a phd. When I was offered a postdoctoral position in Boston, we moved back to the northeast. And we relocated again when for “real jobs” (haha) in Connecticut.

Relocating definitely has its advantages. For one, being available to relocate for jobs can open up the possibility of amazing career opportunities. And of course, it’s exciting to start a new chapter and get to know new places. We have had so many interesting experiences from all our adventures.

However, anyone who has ever moved knows that it is never easy to pick up and start a new life.

Our most recent move was into our house here in Connecticut. We went to a lot of effort to make the process as smooth as possible.

In the months before our move date, I shopped around local moving companies to find the best deal. We have moved on our own without the help of moving companies in the past… it’s totally do-able, but it’s really tough! We have acquired some heavy furniture, and rather than have to figure out how to manhandle it between the 2 of us, we decided to go with a moving company.

After acquiring quote estimates from a few places, I finally settled on a local company called Up & Down Movers. They offered the best rate for a 3 man crew and a 26 foot truck.

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I started packing 7 days before our move date. We still had all our boxes and moving blankets from our previous move –> this is one of the plus sides to having relocated previously, haha! We didn’t have to buy new ones. We did buy some new packing tape so that we could secure the boxes and ensure that they don’t fall apart.

The first room I packed up was the kitchen. I knew it would be the room that took the longest. Carefully packing up each glass, bowl, pot, and plate took a while! We bought some cushiony thingies (for lack of better term) to put between stacked plates and between glasses so that they didn’t rattle against each other and break.

Throughout the packing process, Joel and I were surprised by how much STUFF we have. We have always tried to avoid accumulating useless things, and like to make regular trips to donation centers. However, despite all of our Goodwill donations, we still could not believe how much stuff we have.

It is a pretty weird feeling to look at all your material possessions when they are piled up in boxes. We kept joking about how we had the “Mary Poppins” apartment because things kept piling up from nowhere!

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One of the things that we liked about Up & Down Movers was that the guys helped us dissemble our furniture and wrap it nicely in blankets. This is a really important step because it prevents the furniture from getting chipped or dented during the move. Dissembling furniture, especially the heavy stuff, can be tricky. It helped to have extra helping hands for that. You can tell that the movers are total professionals and do this every day! They expertly handled all of our heavy furniture. Nothing was damaged in the move! And side note, we kept all our moving blankets from our previous move, so it was nice that we could re-use them and not buy new ones.

 

 

The guys also helped us reassemble everything when we got to our house. This was super helpful too. Joel could have done the reassembly on his own, but having extra hands helped the process go much quicker.

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Something that really helped me to stay organized was to put labels on boxes that were very descriptive. I used sticky notes and tape to quickly label boxes so that I would know what was inside them. Instead of simply writing “kitchen” on the label, I tried to be more descriptive, for example “plates, bowls” or “wine glasses”.

This helped to speed up the process of unloading boxes when we arrived at our house. All I had to do was look at the label and know which room the box should go to. When you’ve got 4 guys (counting Joel) unloading a truck, grunting under the weight of heavy boxes, and asking you where to put them, you don’t have time to open up each box to see what’s inside.

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The extra descriptive labels were also extremely helpful when it came to unpacking the boxes. Instead of having to rifle through 15 boxes all labeled “kitchen,” I knew exactly where to find the plates. It was much easier to figure out what to unpack first, like plates and utensils. And I could leave the less urgent things to be dealt with later, like the blender and slow cooker.

 

 

Just like after our previous move, we decided to hang onto all the boxes and blankets. you never know when they might come in handy. We flattened the boxes and folded up the blankets, and tucked them all away in our basement. –> We have already put a couple of the blankets to good use when we bought some antique furniture (read more on that here!).

Have you seen my other posts about life and our home? Here’s one about hosting a party, another about hosting airbnb guests, and another about furnishing and decorating our house!

When was the last time you moved? Do you save things like boxes and moving blankets?

142 thoughts on “How we moved house and survived

  1. I moved back in May from a college apartment to my first “real” apartment. Even just with a few kitchen items and everything in my college apartment, I had SO much stuff. It’s crazy how fast things pile up. Instead of buying moving blankets (post grad problems) my boyfriend and I used extra blankets to wrap fragile things which helped.

    1. It really is so crazy how things accumulate! I like the idea of saving money by using regular blankets. Thanks for dropping by Maureen! Have an amazing Monday! 😊

  2. We’ve moved a number of times and each time I’ve been astounded by the mountain of moving boxes that needed to be moved from Point A to Point B.

    “We travel best when we travel light.”

    1. Yes, its pretty surprising how much stuff we can accumulate! Mountain indeed! Lol. Thanks for stopping by, i hope your day is awesome!

      1. I moved from Connecticut to Hawaii and it was one of the most overwhelming things I ever experienced. It took my hubby 10 years to convince me to move from our first apartment here to a new place. Hope your day is amazing too!

      2. Connecticut to Hawaii…that’s a major move!! I can imagine it would be hugely overwhelming! Props to you guys!

  3. This post gave me moving flashbacks! We haven’t moved in 10 years but I remember the stress, and we were even fortunate to have my employer make the arrangements for us. I hope you get to stay in the same spot for a while. 😀

    1. Yes, meee tooo! We’re definitely not planning to do this again anytime soon! Fingers crossed we’ll get to stay where we are! 😊

  4. I just picked up and moved my family with 2 small children (one being a newborn) from Philly to Cali and MAN, Im still tired! I didn’t save anything, as we downsized once we got here to a smaller house. Not looking forward to moving ever again :)

    1. I can’t imagine moving with 2 little kids! You’re seriously amazing. Glad you all made it in one piece! Thanks Sarah, i hope your day is amazing! 😊

  5. I have moved twice in the past year and it was so tough. I only have my cat, wouldn’t know how to do it with two kids. When I was younger i remember when my mom decided she wanted to move to Brazil. She had two small kids in elementary school. No idea how she did that.

    1. Wow Andrea! two moves in a year is a lot! Hopefully you’ll get to stay in one spot for a while now 😊 and major props to your mom, i can’t imagine what must have been like! Phew!!

  6. Our last move I was on maternity leave with a baby…it was huge. I break out in sweats just thinking of moving again,

    1. Me too! It’s such a monumental task. I hope you won’t have to move anytime soon, and that i won’t either! Lol 😀

  7. It’s been many years since we last moved but I have always hated the packing and unpacking process. Super tiring! Great to read that your moving house journey was smooth!

    1. It really is exhausting to pack everything up and then unpack it. I can now see why some people pay the moving company to do the packing! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read, i hope you have a lovely day! 😊

    1. I can see why you’d want to stay in one spot, moving can be rough! Thanks for stopping by Jessica, i hope your day is amazing! 😊

  8. I have always lived in the Boston area, so I have never moved out of state, but my parents moved when I was in 3rd grade and it was awful. I was so upset having to switch schools that I swore I would never do that to my own kids. So I have been in my house for years and won’t move again until after they graduate :)

    1. So true, moving is tough on kids, especially if they have to then adjust to new schools, new friends, etc. I hope to stay in the same spot as long as you! Thanks Robin, i hope your day is amazing! 😊

    1. Thank you Charly! Haha yes that truck and the 4 guys from the moving company came at a good hourly rate, but it was still a pretty penny! I appreciate your stopping by and reading. I hope you have a wonderful day!

  9. We’re a military family so we move every 2-4 years or so. I also came from a military family so I am used to moving. It can be difficult, but also cool to discover new places.

    1. Absolutely! I agree, discovering new places one of the perks of moving! I’m sure you’ve seen your share of new spots! 😊 thanks Amber, enjoy the rest of your day!

    1. A grocery store is perfect for boxes — those apple boxes are super strong! Thanks Heather, i hope you have an awesome day! 😊

  10. My husband and I moved in together this past February – and it wasn’t too bad. At some point we will move again, into a purchased home… But for now, we are staying put, so…. I don’t have to think about moving, FOR NOW ;) hahaha!

    1. I’m glad your recent move want too bad! I’m sure you guys will do great whenever you do move into your own house! Thanks for stopping by Gigi, i hope you have a lovely day! 😊

  11. It’s amazing how much stuff you gather when you’ve been somewhere for 8 years. My husband and I moved ourselves from East Canada to MidWest USA and it was hard but we sold 90% of our stuff. I couldn’t imagine moving again 2 years later with what we have now!

    1. I can imagine, 8 years of stuff is a lot! Good idea to sell most of your stuff prior to the move! We ended up giving a lot of it to goodwill, but if we had more time and energy, we would have sold more. Thanks for stopping by, i hope your day is amazing! 😊

  12. These are great tips. I last moved about 3 years ago but just across the city so it wasn’t picking up our whole lives, although I have done that before too. It’s quite the experience! I like moving for the opportunity to de-clutter and downsize but other than it’s sooo much work. I’ve never used movers before but if we move again, I definitely will.

    1. I agree, moving is a good time to de-clutter! Using movers is life-changing, especially if you have big heavy or awkward shaped furniture. Our movers were able to manhandle all our furniture around the corners of a stairwell (our apartment was on the 2nd floor) without leaving a scratch on anything! Thanks Deryn, i hope you have an amazing day! 😊

  13. Moving is a pain! I’ve moved I think four times in the last year. Boy is it hard! I also moved on my own as well, so that was even more of a pain! You have some great tips on moving. If I would have played it smart, I would have saved my boxes from the time before, but instead of tossed them all and had to scramble last minute to find decent packing boxes.

    1. Saving boxes is one of the things that made it that little but easier. But if you are in a bind and need more boxes, I’ve heard that grocery and liquor stores sometimes give away their extra boxes if you ask. Thanks for stopping by Candace, have a wonderful day! 😊

    1. Haha i know that nomad life — hopefully you’ll get to stick around one spot for a while after your next move! Thanks Tanya, i hope your day is amazing! 😊

  14. Mmmmh Kenya,Am Kenyan.Anyway moving can be a bit hectic especially if you are moving across countries.We moved house last year and it was abit easy as the movers did everything for us.They can early in the morning and packead everything in boxes.

    1. Hi Juelz! So nice to meet another Kenyan! :) If we ever move again, we would want the movers to also do all the packing too! Glad you could stop by! I hope you have a wonderful day!

  15. Moving in the same city is hard enough. I can not imagine having to move across the country. I would definitely have to get rid of a lot of stuff.

    1. Our most recent move was to the neighboring town, so everything else stayed the same (jobs, etc)… but it still took a while before we felt truly settled in the new house. A move across country is exponentially more complicated! Thanks for stopping by Claudia, I hope your day is amazing! :)

    1. Seven moves is a lot! You are probably a veteran by now. Thanks for stopping by Akamatra, I hope you have a great day! :)

  16. The last time I moved was into my current apartment about 2.5 years ago and I absolutely hated it. I have only moving from one side of the town to the other and it was a pain lol. You guys did an amazing job.

    1. Aw thanks, and oh man, I know the feeling! I appreciate your stopping by and reading. I hope you have an awesome day! :)

    1. Thankfully we had a few helping hands to assist with the move! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it! Have an amazing day!

  17. Hay that is a nice one !! when I change job I change Home too. Packers and movers do the job for us, Thanks a lot for sharing these tips I will definitely take this points in mind next time.

    1. Thank you Jack! I hope this is helpful! I appreciate your taking the time to stop and and read, and I hope your day is amazing!

    1. We’re hoping to stay here for a while too! No plans of moving any time soon. :) Thanks for stopping by Sarah, I hope your day is amazing!

  18. The last time I moved was May 2003, from New Hampshire to Maine (and few times before that, from one place to another in NH). I think there may be one more move in my near future, hopefully, and that would be back to NH now that I have grandchildren there and want to spend more time with them. I hear you on STUFF! I still have STUFF packed in boxes and bins from over 14 years ago – I’m thinking I don’t really need it if it has been packed away THAT long (aside from family photos and mementos).

    1. I hear you on the unopened boxes! We had a few that we hadn’t opened since we lived in Texas 5 years ago! We ended up going through them and giving a lot of it to goodwill. Some of it we forgot even existed! hah! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your taking the time to read. I hope you have a lovely day! :)

    1. You’re so right Chrissy! It really can be extremely daunting. Thanks for stopping by, i hope you have a lovely day! 😊

  19. I hate moving so much we’ve been in the same house for 10 years! The idea of it gives me anxiety. But, it sounds like it doesn’t have to as long as you have the right plan and crew!

    1. Its definitely a lot to handle and thankfully we won’t be moving again any time soon, but its true it really does go so much smoother if you have the right help! Thanks for stopping by Jamie, i hope your day is amazing! 😊

  20. Isn’t it crazy how much stuff we accumulate ?!?!?!? When we moved into our RV we literally sold everything and it was so liberating lol You have done some big moves and out of the country ones!!!

    1. I can imagine how liberating it must be to sell everything! We had retired neighbors who sold they house and everything in it to live on a boat. Thanks for dropping by Sandra, i hope you have a lovely day! 😊

    1. I hear you on all the stuff! Crazy how much we accumulate over time! Thanks for reading, i hope your day is awesome!

  21. I haven’t moved in awhile, but thinking about it gives me a headache just thinking about it! Organizing all my belongings into multiple boxes and packing up my home always takes a lot out of me, but it’s also such a fun process because you find things you forgot you owned during the packing process!

    Sondra xx
    prettyfitfoodie.com

    1. That’s true, we definitely rediscovered a lot of stuff that we had completely forgotten about! Thanks Sondra, i hope you have an amazing day! 😊

  22. I love the idea of moving to a new house/city, but honestly, just the thought of packing everything up stresses me out. I guess it’s a good opportunity to purge though? Sounds like to you had a pretty good system for a smooth move!

    1. Thank you Lisa, it was pretty tough, but not crazy bad this time around due to a lot of careful planning and many helping hands. Thanks for stopping by, have a lovely day! 😊

  23. Last time I moved was from my college town apartment back home to my parents. I didn’t realize I accumulated so much stuff over the few years I was there! Fun going through the stuff, but I definitely don’t miss the cockroaches, peeling paint, homeless guys hanging by the dumpster…. Looking back, I probably should have splurged on a better place but the price was too good. Congrats on the move!

    1. It’s always a surprise how much stuff we accumulate over time. It just slowly piles up lol. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read, Nicole, i hope you have a lovely day! 😊

  24. I haven’t moved to any house but i can related to the unboxing because its sucks and takes alot of time to unboxing. But you had a good and smooth moving which amazing :)).

    1. The unpacking and organizing in the new house definitely took a while. Thanks for dropping by Frank, i hope you have a wonderful day!

  25. Congrats on the move. You have a very systematic and organized way of moving. The last time we moved was just this July.. We didn’t really have a lot of stuff as we are expats here in Qatar, and most of the apartments that we choose to stay are fully furnished.. But it was still hard packing, unpacking and arranging things..

    1. I agree, its tough to relocate your belongings and start new somewhere else. Thanks for stopping by Maria, i hope your day is amazing! 😊

  26. I don’t think I could move so many times. I mean, career opportunities & new places does seem very interesting, but there’s so much emotional attachment! Pat on the back for you though!

    1. You’re so right, there is a ton of emotional attachment, and its hard to say goodbye to special people and places. Thanks for stopping by Aishwarya, i hope you have a nice day!

    1. I hear you, sometimes its hard to predict the next move. We aren’t planning on going anywhere either, but its true, you just never know! Thanks Lavanda, have an awesome day! 😊

    1. Very true, and thank you 😊 i appreciate your taking the time to stop by! I hope you have an amazing day!

  27. I love to move but the hard part for me is adapting to the lifestyle, kind of difficult to start over at a new place. seems you doing really well already. good luck

    1. Agreed, it can be tough, and it can take a long time to fully adapt to the new life. Thanks for dropping by, i hope you have a wonderful day! 😊

  28. I have myself moved 15 times in 30 years . I know exactly how it feels. Nice read. Happy for you to have survived.

    1. It is pretty tough, isn’t it. You’re fortunate to be able to stay in one spot for a while. Thanks for stopping by and reading, I hope you have a wonderful day!

  29. I am intrigued to know how comes you moved so much but thank you about the labels I’ve only moved a couple times and always seem to forget things!

    1. I have moved for a couple differen’t reasons… I moved to Houston to attend graduate school, and the moves since then have been career-related. Yes, labels are everything! Thanks Morgan, I hope you have a lovely day! :)

  30. I’ve moved too many times to count! Thankfully it’s been a few years now and we have no plans to move in the near future. I can’t imagine how much harder it will be to move with kids and all there stuff. Labels are a must!

    1. It’s always nice when you can stay in one spot for a while! Yes to labels!! Thanks Amber, I hope you have an amazing day!

  31. Wow! You have moved so much (and to different climates and cultures too)! We used a moving company for our last move and it was such a great decision.

    1. Yes! Using a moving company is a total game changer! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your taking the time to read! Have a lovely day!

    1. I agree, moving can be very bittersweet, and a lot of hard work. Thanks Angela, I appreciate your taking the time to stop by! I hope your day is amazing!

    1. Yes! so true! i felt like the kitchen was tough because of all the little breakable things that needed to be individually packed haha. thanks for taking the time to stop by jenny, I hope your day is amazing!

    1. It isn’t easy, that’s for sure! Thanks for taking the time to stop by! I hope you have a lovely day! :)

  32. The last time I moved was 2 years ago when I bought my house. I didn’t save most of the boxes, for the sake of wanting to get rid of clutter.

    1. We got rid of a ton of clutter too! It feels so good to declutter. Thanks for stopping by Brandi, enjoy the rest of your day!

    1. Hi Jill! I hope I’ll be able to say the same 20 years from now! That would be wonderful. Thanks for dropping by, i hope you have a lovely day!

    1. That’s such an awesome perspective, its so true, moving is a perfect opportunity to start a fresh new chapter! Thanks Chelsea, i hope you have a wonderful day!

    1. Thanks Debbie, i agree, feeling settled feels amazing! I appreciate your taking the time to stop by! I hope your day is amazing!

  33. I can definitely relate I have moved 8 times in the last 4 years and 3 in the last year! I just want to stay put, hope your new place will be everything you wanted and more x

    1. Thank you Ana, i appreciate that! I know that feeling of just wanting to stay put! Thanks for taking the time to stop by. I hope you have an amazing day!

  34. Ugh, moving is such a hassle! I’ve also moved quite a lot when I was younger with my parents, and now I live with my husband in Cape Town and looking for a bigger place since our baby girl arrives in March. I am dreading the moment we have to actually to do it!

    1. Oh Cynthia, it can be a hassle, that’s true, but it’ll be such a wonderful new start for your growing family! How exciting to have a new family member come spring. I’m sure you’ll find the perfect spot for your next home!!

  35. We have friends that should be considered moving pros. I feel like they can get their stuff packed up in no time and I am sure that they do save their boxes and things. ME on the other hand, not so good at the moving thing.

    1. Haha it’s a difficult task, that’s for sure! Your friends sound like they are moving veterans! Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have an awesome day!

  36. I couldn’t imagine moving that many times. It’s such a hassle! Props to you and your hubby for keeping it together! We bought our house and moved when I was 7-8 months pregnant! Not fun at all! Lol

    1. phew! moving while pregnant is no small thing, kudos to you guys for surviving! thanks for taking the time to stop by! i hope you have a lovely day!

  37. We are getting ready to move soon, so I have been going through things in the house and I can’t believe how much stuff we have that we don’t even use so I have listed them on our local yardsale groups and at least making a couple extra dollars off the stuff we forgot about.

    1. We had a couple of boxes like that, where we had long forgotten what could possibly be inside. I can’t get over how easy it is to accumulate STUFF… Thanks for stopping by Meagan, i hope your day is awesome!

  38. Wow you’ve moved ALOT! The good thing is you have had a variety of experiences:)We’ve moved twice. I like the feel of a new house but the packing and unpacking is blah!

    1. Lol you got that right, the new house is awesome but the packing/ packing was no fun hah! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read! I hope you have a lovely day!

  39. It’s really not that easy to move, I remember how stressful my experiences were during the first few times that I needed to move. Lol. I think it’s awesome how organized you are and it’s such an great idea to keep the boxes in case you need it again.

    1. Those boxes have come in handy during times when we needed to reuse them! Thanks for taking the time to stop by carol! I hope you have a great day!

    1. Moving really does require a lot of hard work! Thanks for taking the time to stop by, i hope your day is amazing!

  40. I have moved a few times. Although what I ended up holding onto was the tubs, which does end up taking room as well. They were very useful though I must say. Moving can be crazy. And I get things being found in all the cracks.

    1. Yes, the tubs are so useful! Boxes are great because you can break them down to flat for storage, but tubs are awesome because they are much sturdier! thanks for stopping by and reading David, i hope you have an amazing day!

    1. Aint that the truth! Seeing all our stuff in boxes was a shock because we realized how much we had! Thanks Janella, i hope you have an awesome day!

  41. Congratulations on your degrees. OMG, I don’t like moving. To think you moved several times over the years. So have I but in the same state. I did move from Miami, FL to Atlanta, GA in 2006 but it was an easy transition. I can only imagine moving to other states over the years. Seems like to much. Blessings to you, family and your new place.

    1. Moving is tough! I appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to read! I hope you’re having an amazing weekend so far! 😊

  42. I agree, moving to a new place is a struggle. When I moved to my apartment, it took me a month to finally settled down, but still I could get little pieces of clutter. How much more is I have a kid? I can imagine it will be chaos :)

    1. Haha I had the same thought! I feel like if we had a child the clutter would exponentially increase! Thanks for stopping by Blair, I hope you have an amazing day!

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