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