moving {lessons learned}

the move ryan and i made one week ago was what i call our first ever “big move”. i’ve moved to college and back before, but that was nothing but a car load (or two) of small stuff. i also wouldn’t classify us moving from my parents house into our condo as a “big move” (though it seemed like it at the time), since our biggest item was a couch we purchased the night before — no mattress, no bazillion kitchen items received (and appreciated and used!) from our wedding, no table, no buffet, no bar, and so forth. all we needed was a couple cars and a flatbed trailer attached to my parent’s suv. we also didn’t have to spruce up the place we were leaving except to pack up our goods (although i’m sure i still have stuff at my parents). so being that i was a virgin big mover, i learned a couple things along my journey…

1. you have more stuff than you think (~50 pint glasses and 20+ wine glasses? is that necessary? apparently yes. what does that say about us??)

2. it will take longer than you planned (we had the truck to our condo by 7:30 am and planned on leaving for the new place at 10am. it was more like 11:30am. and the truck was due back at uhaul by 1pm.  i still don’t know how we unloaded the truck in an hour but we did, for a 12:58pm return.)

3. going on vacation after you move is a better idea than before you move (though there was no getting around that, and the vacay did offer a temporary respite from stress)

4. boxes are expensive, since you need so many of them. at home depot they ranged from about79 cents for a small and $1.40 for a large (approximate). times that by, oh, 30, and that’s a good chunk of change just for boxes that i would prefer to spend elsewhere. borrow boxes from others who recently moved (thanks grandma!) or go to the grocery store to ask for boxes. and if you know you’re moving again soon, find someplace to store all the boxes you just used (we know we’ll most likely move within 2 years, so ours will be saved in the basement).

5. if you need to make the place presentable after you move, do not save patching holes and repainting until last. even though your house will feel completely barren without frames hanging on the walls, removing them, repairing any holes and repainting should be first on your list.

this, of course, was learned the hard way. the night before we left for vacation, i gathered all our leftover paint to cover the patched holes. in the paint for the largest wall in our condo, i found this:


no paint!

bad label

faded label!

my heart palpitated. then i ignored the problem and started with the other rooms i had paint for (the bathroom was eh because of a larger patch job, but the bedroom turned out fine). then i sucked it up and went to home depot for a color match. guess what? they can not match every color (lesson #5b). the original paint was from menards, so i headed over there and got what looked like spot-on color. i got home, painted my hole patches and got concerned about the color. we gave it through our vacation to dry, but the results were not good.


yikes. lesson #5c: if you have lots  of (or larger) wall patches to repaint, plan on repainting the whole wall. which is what i did. at 8pm the day i got back from vacation, the night before i moved (after going to the store to buy another quart).

6. it doesn’t end once you pack it all up and move. you will then spend just as much time (or more since there’s no deadline) unpacking, living among boxes, and eating take out every night.

7. label every box very specifically.  though it might take you a bit to find the box labeled “toilet paper” in your cardboard jungle, at least you know the box when you find it, instead of opening and digging through 30 boxes as you try not to pee your pants.

8. a hidden expense in moving is food. you try to eat up as much in your pantry, fridge and freezer as you can before moving so you have to move as little as possible. once you move, you have to replenish the groceries – we have yet to make it to the grocery store (and costco) but anticipate our grocery bill to be few hundred dollars. eating is a necessity (unfortunately, otherwise i wouldn’t be on a diet because i would be skinny minny already) and you don’t have time to get to the grocery store , and even if you did, you can’t cook because stuff is covering every surface in your kitchen and your pans aren’t yet unpacked, so you will find yourself eating out or getting take out every night, and when you add up a week or two worth of eating out every night (and for lunch), you’re reminded even more how much you like cooking at home.

9. even though you’re moving on to something bigger and better, it is sad to see your first place empty (and the crooked blind will still bug the crap out of you).

all moved out

they’re not revolutionary, but just what i learned in my journey from big move virgin to big move veteran. do you have any moving tips? (i should have asked before my move, yes?)



2 thoughts on “moving {lessons learned}

  1. Congratulations on your new place! You seem to be on the same track as your aunt and uncle – we have owned 6 houses since we were married but moved twice with each one. (living with relatives or in rentals). You never get used to it and with each move you have more stuff. It is always worth it in the end though. Now I am ready to down size but not looking forward to another (or two)moves.

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