I’ve moved a lot in my life. Too many times, really. It’s been awhile since I’ve figured it out, but at one point in my life I’d moved more times than years I’d been alive. In the past twenty years I’ve moved about ten times. A few of those moves were long distance. Those moves taught me something: Get rid of stuff you don’t need.
Over the years I’ve learned to become somewhat of a minimalist. I was moving from a 700-square-foot rental house. I don’t have a lot of stuff. I’ve also learned to be a very organized mover. My friend and musical partner, Mike Schenck, says I’m the easiest person he’s ever helped move. I’ll take that as a compliment. It’s partially because I’ve moved so often. I’ve learned a few tricks. There are some things you can do to make sure your move goes smoothly.
Plan ahead. I always reserve a moving truck a few weeks in advance. This time I reserved a U-Haul. It’s the last time I’ll reserve a U-Haul. I reserved a truck for Saturday morning at 9:00am. The day before the move I got a call from U-Haul.
“Mr. Erickson? We’ll have your truck ready tomorrow at 2:00pm.”
“Ah… but I reserved a truck for 9:00am.”
“Oh we’re sorry, but all of our trucks are being used until 2:00pm.”
I tried to explain to the woman on the other end of the phone that I had people coming from 100 miles away to help me move at 9:00am. She didn’t seem to get it. Duh? Or she just didn’t give a crap. I’d wager on the latter. She finally offered me a larger truck than I needed at 9:00am. I told her I’d take it at the same price as the smaller truck. Nope. It would be more money, too.
So I called Penske. Penske truck rental was able to set me up with exactly what I needed at the time I needed it. They were friendly and easy to work with. Penske earned my business for this move and my trust for future use. I cancelled U-Haul and I’ll never use U-Haul again.
Pack ahead. I had 90% of my belongings packed before moving day. I use Rubbermaid Roughneck totes and label them with masking tape and a Sharpie. That way it’s easy for your help to know where the boxes go. The totes are sturdy and hold a lot of stuff.
Pre move. If you’re moving locally you can move some small stuff in advance. I had a couple of days to move a few things ahead of time. I moved the kitchen, bathrooms, and closets. That saved a lot of time on the big day. Plus, the new house was much easier to unpack and organize later.
We got started moving at about 9:45am. I had four helpers. We were done by about 1:00pm. That’s what I’m talking about.
Getting done quickly gave Mike and me time to go to Lowe’s to get a new cord with the right kind of plug for the dryer outlet. Why there are half a dozen kinds of dryer outlets I’ll never know? Lowe’s didn’t have what we needed. Ace Hardware, right around the corner, saved us. The dryer was up and ready in no time. I crawled under the house to reconnect the dryer vent. My new-home initiation was complete.
Always be good to your help. Show your gratitude with food. Whenever I move, I always treat my help well and make sure they’re fed. I treated my help to Yakima’s world famous Miner’s Drive-In and provided them with Starbuck’s Coffee. If I move again maybe you’ll want to sign up.
How many times have you moved? How far? Do you have any moving advice?
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