Now that I’ve shaken off some of the soreness with aspirin and sleep, I’m able to write once again. Yesterday was eight hours of sweat and work, as I moved a trusted friend and his fiancée out from their apartment to a more affordable living space. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’ve hauled friends and family to and fro more than I can successfully count. If I were to guess, I think the number of times would be in the upper 20s by now. Not many non-professionals can say they’ve done that. I consider it a matter of virtue, and something that should be done more often by others. However, my life is not the only string in the harp.
It has, though, shown me the limitations of my body. I had to stop and rest a few times. Even though I’ve been in places with more flights, the stairs were a killer. No less than 30 times did I climb them, and that was with a team. I’m not as young as I once was. Maybe from my experiences, I could say a few things to people who are keen on moving in the future:
– If you have any considerable amount of books (e.g. more than one tall book case), take time in advance to pack them in lidded boxes. I consider “in advance” about two to three weeks. You can’t read the whole bookcase before then, and life most likely would dictate that you won’t read more than a couple. These are very heavy, but can be quickly transported on an appliance dolly if packed correctly.
– Closely related to the point above, if you’re having volunteered work come and help DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THAT DAY TO START PACKING. I cannot emphasize that enough. If you have a very busy life, start packing months in advance bit by bit. Nothing bogs down moving day like having little to move in the morning while people are fresh. By the time 5:00pm rolls around, people will be tired whether they started at 9:00am or noon. If you’re paying for the labor, then that’s a different story.
– Have plenty of garbage bags on hand. Why? Because you’ll inevitably be throwing something out, whether it be your leftovers in the refrigerator or the college essays you’ve tucked in the corner “for reference.”
– Add at least two trips to the number of hauls to what you think you might need. Over the course of my work, people often underestimate their hauling capacity versus the amount of possessions they have. Closely related to the first sentence, consider the possibility it might take you more than one day to move. If you can, which has happened for me on more than one occasion, start moving non-essential items in before the bulk of the possessions are to be moved. Cleaners, towels, and other housekeeping items will also come in very handy at the new location. Why not have them waiting when you get there?
The over-arching point to take away from this is don’t have your help walking in on an unprepared house the day you’re supposed to move. Nothing starts off a clusterjam like shooting from the hip. You will always run into obstacles moving possessions and will need all the energy you can muster to solve those problems when moving. It’s also a tip of the hat to your help that they’re working on the problems you simply cannot do alone. That’s why you need their help in the first place. The more you can focus their assistance on those problems, I guarantee you the smoother it will be.