annie blog

Moving Wisdom


Moving Wisdom
The fact is that I have seen lots of moving over the last ten years. Being in a seminary community, I’ve seen more than my share, I do believe. But I haven’t done any actual moving of my own stuff. I’ve done no packing of any kind. So, I need your help. What wisdom do you have about moving? Packing? Keep in mind that I have the luxury of moving across town instead of across the country. Put it in the comment box, please, seriously, I need some help. I know where I want to end up…how do I get there from here? My dear friend, Kathleen, told me once that her motto for moving was, “Everything in a box”. And, she has moved a fair few times…so I’ll be taking her advice. Any more pointers? Bring it on. 🙂


  1. Ahh, moving. You have the first bit of wisdom down–don’t do it more than you have to! Seriously, I have several boxes and clean packing paper left over from our move that we would love to give to you. Get someone to help you pack your kitchen–it goes a lot faster, and it is an easy room for someone outside your family to help with. Also, get someone to watch the kids while packing–especially the baby. And remember, Jon has lots of paybacks coming from people he has helped move who are still in town, including Mark. Finally, have lots of sharpies and Label, Label, Label! Happy Moving!!!!!

  2. Are you able to move over a period of time…like a week? If so I suggest no boxes or at least only a few. I moved my kitchen first, only wrapped really precious things and got it all put away before any furniture came into the house so I was able to whip out a dinner.

    The next thing I did was moved all the closets, even the drawers with the clothes in them, so when the furniture came in I popped in the drawers and everybody knew where their clothes were for Sunday…we moved on a Saturday.

    I moved all the christmas stuff and any storage stuff down to the basement.

    I moved all the games, videos and blankets and put them away. I kept sticking in big items like paintings, lamps and other decor stuff too.

    I took all the bathroom stuff and put it away.

    When the official moving day came there were maybe three boxes that went into the moving van the rest was just furniture.

    I didn’t spend a week opening and unwrapping labeled boxed because I did it all in about 3-4 trips in the minivan.

    I did this 7 weeks post c-section….anything is possible, I was crazy determined to get it all done so we could relax and enjoy our new baby.

    It was great not to have to find boxes or dispose of them. I just kept reusing the same 5 or 6 I could fit in the van.

  3. In the new house, ask your movers to help set up all of your beds before they leave. (Our volunteer movers did this for us. I didn’t think of it myself.) Keep sheets, blankets and pillows handy so that everyone can get a good night’s sleep after moving day.

    Be in the house directing the movers to put furniture in the proper place (not outside moving boxes or unpacking).

    Anything that you know you will put in boxes and you don’t need to use, start packing those NOW. Close the box with tape and label, kids love to unpack boxes.

    Keep clothes in the proper drawer, and on hangers if possible.

    Accept any help offered.

    And finally, if you are debating on whether or not to keep something, choose to get rid of it.

  4. Blankets. Rent the blankets from uhaul and lots of them. Anything you don’t want scratched, upholstery ripped, etc, wrap and tape before the movers get there. On the tape, assign the destination room for the piece, and then put those same names on signs on the door. Saves your having to shuffle large pieces of furniture around the house.

  5. Ooooo. Good thoughts, y’all! Keep them coming, please. Thanks.

  6. Dear Ann: I am new to this so bear with me. I saw your address on my computer, I think Deana loged on while she was here, so I decided to click on and read what you are doing. I have moved lots of times!! The key that I have found is to yes pack everything and label carefully. Start with the things you don’t use like the things on the walls and knick knacks lying around and save just a few things for each child to play with until you get to the new place. Use paper plates the last few days so you can pack your kitchen. Start early!!! and pack a few things each day.Use small to medium bnoxes so that you don’t kill your helpers. If you can, get good paper for the dishes so you don’t have to wash everything before you use it. Deana might give you some advice, she is just finishing up moving as you know! She might tell you not to let some one else pack for you! haha.
    Any way I need to ask you a question. How do you start a blog ???
    Mary Heath Ezra’s Mom

  7. If you want to save time and can spare a little bit of money, Uhaul has great foam sleeves made for dishes. It is much, much quicker than wrapping, and it keeps them very safe. I even used extra ones for vases and other breakables. If you are able to move in over a period of time, then you can use them for dishes one night and then other breakables after that. We got rid of our boxes because of Brown Recluses, but we kept our foam sleeves. (Actually, you could borrow ours, if you like. Let me know.)

  8. Hey Anne!

    I’ve never commented before–I’m a friend of Kathleen’s who was at MSU behind you. I moved with the help of this site–
    specifically her moving tips section–

    Hope that link works because I was so grateful to have her great, smart moving ideas. I used everything she recommended, and our move went very smoothly.

  9. Thanks everyone, for all the moving/packing suggestions and hints. I think that I’ll probably incorporate just about everything said here. I will probably put everything in a box instead of moving it in my own vehicle…but fragile stuff will definitely be going with me and not on the truck. And, I’m thinking about moving all the furniture and placing it first and then bringing the boxes and mattresses (and people :)) the next day. I’m in the process of really cleaning out, a lot. The house that we’re moving to is about the same square footage as our apartment….but it has more liveable space and less storage space. This is good. Good to have more living space and good to really have to pare down so that our stuff will fit in the storage that is there. Managing stuff is like one of my least favorite things to do. We’re selling a lot of stuff and we’re giving some stuff away, too. This is all so exciting. Finally, I’m on the moving team after being on the sidelines for a long time. Hooray!

  10. This may be obvious, but it didn’t even *occur* to me until our last move… use your bathroom towels and blankets as packing material instead of packing them all in their own box. Cuts down on all that messy newspaper and saves space!

  11. Seconding Renae: I like to use cloth napkins, dishtowels, even clean shorts and t-shirts to pack between dishes and other breakable things. Good luck!

  12. I’ve moved many times, many of them while I was a kid. My mom always tried to keep one room of sanity, until last. People always helped us move, even when we were moving across the country and would never see them again. My family has helped many people move. Talk about letting people see your dirty laundry. Its a great way to be needed and to build friendships. I met one of my now oldest friends when we helped her family move in, and discovered that they had many many boxes of books.

    Some people think moving is hard on kids, bad for kids, etc. Maybe it is. The thing that we always realized was it wasn’t the moving that we hated, but our parents stress. The good times were when we all worked together, and took breaks to eat dinner, when we had a lot of friends to help us pack, and when we played the music extra loud while packing and cleaning.

    Another kid thing, its pretty exciting to eat pizza on the floor of your old house, when there is no longer any furniture in it.

  13. Thanks, everyone, for the advice. I’m hoping to get everything packed and be sitting around bored waiting for the 1st. Of course, I don’t really think that will happen….but you never know. 🙂

  14. Everyone else has already made great suggestions. Just one more from me (new commentor on the blog!)… Before moving anything into the new house, take over a few trashcans with extra garage bags, several rolls of toilet paper, a few rolls of paper towels, and two or so soap dispensers. There’s nothing quite like needing to use the restroom at a new house and finding the place lacking in paper products (or soap, ew)!

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