Suggestions For Making Moving More Bearable

Oh, snap! That was a bit of a misleading title, because as it turns out, I don't actually have any. Moving sucks, and we are right in the middle of the suckitude, and I mean smack bang right in the eye of it. And I know the next thing you're going to say is "well, wait until you do it with kids!" but here's the thing: I kind of am a kid when it comes to moving. I procrastinate and sigh heavily and throw bedsheets into boxes with cereal bowls and I'm constantly asking are we there yet? are we there yet? are we there yet? because I'm just so ready to be done. You'd think by now, having moved so many times in my life, that I'd be a pro at it, but I actually just get worse and worse.

The thing with moving is that it always takes so much longer than you think it will. If you think it'll take two days, it takes four. If you think it'll take four days, it takes a week. If you think it will take five days and yet you're also trying to do it in conjunction with a couple of other DIY projects at your new house, it takes a zillion years times an eternity times infinity times a googleplex---I just wanted to use the word googleplex---and sometimes you will wake up in the morning thinking WILL I EVER BE DONE? At this point, I suggest you grab a beer. Why, I'm drinking a beer right now, in fact, and it's a horrible kind that I don't even like, something really dark and wheaty that Sean bought, but I don't care, because it is making me less and less likely, with every sip, to slit my wrists with the serrated edge of the packing tape.

I guess the bright side of moving, if there is one, is that you know it's eventually going to be over. Of course, then you'll be out of the hell of packing up and straight into the fresh hell of unpacking everything you packed up yesterday, but at least it's a different kind of hell, I guess, one peppered with the sporadic frisson of excitement that comes with deciding where to put the spice rack in your new kitchen. Don't pretend like that doesn't make you happy.

My life feels like it's exploded in the last week, actually, as I got a new job a few days ago, so while I would normally have a slight workday reprieve from the shallow hyperventilating I'm doing in my home life, I'm actually double-majoring in hyperventilation at the moment, indulging in it from nine to five as well. The job is with the same company I've been with for three and a half years, so at least I don't have to learn any new names or figure out a special photcopier etiquette or anything, but it's a much more expanded and specialized role with things like ownership and manager and you are in charge of this so don't eff it up attached to it, which is 98 percent thrilling and two percent OH HOLY CRAP. Also, the day the email was sent out to the entire company making it official, I was walking around the office like this:

Yes, I WAS painting over the weekend, now that you mention it. How could you tell?

If that isn't just the most professional thing you've seen, I don't know what is! Don't you want to put me in charge of something? Don't I look detail-oriented and capable? I'm not sure why I don't just attach this photo to every one of my resumes in the future!

Anyway, I must get back to packing---I hear Sean swearing at some coathangers in the background, which is never a good sign---but I just wanted to let you know that I hadn't died, that I'm still here, and that once the movers get here on Thursday, and then we spend the weekend cleaning and repairing the old apartment, and then next Monday through Wednesday just trying to find a DAMN PLATE WHERE ARE THE PLATES WHO PACKED THESE BOXES in the new one, we shall be over the chaos and hopefully somewhere near normal again. Until then, it's back to the hell of moving. Please tell me you've done this too. Please tell me you survived.

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Jun 22, 2010

A thousand congratulations on the new gig!

Moving is... well... awful. There are no two ways about it. Every time I do it, I swear I'll never move again. Just power through - it'll be so worth it!

Locusts and Wild Honey
Jun 22, 2010

As Holly's coworker, I would like to vouch for her on this. It probably seems like she is exaggerating about her paint-covered feet.

She is not.

I saw them today.

However, she kind of rocked the paint--if that's even possible.

It'll be over soon! As I always say, This is nothing beer can't fix!

Amy---Just A Titch
Jun 22, 2010

We are moving right now, too. And last night, I was out when someone remarked that a) my legs looked bruised, which they are, but it was mostly PRIMER and b) I had red in my hair from the painting of our new table and chairs. AWESOME.

Moving makes me want to off myself. I feel your pain completely.

Congrats on the new job!

Jun 22, 2010

Hmmm... you sound like my husband. After two moves I've learned that I have to be the one who calmly and rationally packs things into boxes and labels them, while getting him to clean rooms as they empty. Then he supervises the movers and has great fun deciding where everything will go while I make sure everything arrived and lie around moaning that I have no feeling in my arms but my back is killing me.

Jun 22, 2010

Having moved no less than 14 times in the past 3,5 years, I can only agree: moving only gets more aweful the more often you do it. But you have movers! You don't have to break your back going down several flights of stairs and then back up again! I guess that could be a silver lining?

Wish you a lot of fun in the new house!

Jun 23, 2010

I've done it on average 1x/year for the past 11 years. it will be over. sometimes i think i should have gotten smarter or better at it already, or perhaps learned not to accumulate so much stuff in a year. the problem is everytime i move, i think "this is it, this is the LAST TIME I MOVE" and then when the lease is up, i up and move again. sigh.

Jun 23, 2010

The last time I moved it was only my bedroom and a few kitchen things... how much could that be? Hah. Five carloads (I have a small VW hatchback), two days and many tears of frustration and one year later I still have things (a piano, a stereo, some vinyl, a painting) at my old place...

Jane Hamilton
Jun 23, 2010

Hi! This is my first visit to your blog (got here from The Pioneer Woman's post), and I just want to say, you have a very humorous and interesting blog here!

Oh, and yes, you WILL survive moving house...every time you do it!
Take it from me - a person who have moved 6 times in the 4 years I've been married!! That has GOt to be a record of some sort!!

Anyway, take care.

Jun 23, 2010

My husband and I added on to our house, which is an even different kind of hell than what you have mentioned here. One that involves a lot of dust and not knowing where your stuff is. But we did it so that we never ever have to move again. We pinky-swore that we are going to stay in this house rather than packing another box.

I recommend wine to go with the beer.

Jun 23, 2010

Yeah. Moving blows. I have to move in a month. i am not happy about it.

Wow that was least inspired, least witty, least informative comment ever! I suppose it speaks to the horror that is moving. I like the color you're painting things though. That helps, right?

Jun 23, 2010

I've moved many times as well. What you've posted is so true!

The longer you stay in one place, the more stuff you accumulate.

This makes moving so much more painful.

On our last move, we got rid of a boat load of stuff.

Yet, we still have too much stuff

We're in a smaller place so hopefully that will discourage needless accumulation.

Jun 23, 2010

After moving 5 times in the first 2 years of marriage (my place to his, his place back to mine, to an apartment, to a townhouse, and finally to our current house; not to mention the 3 storage units we accumulated) I have to agree that moving is the root of all evil.

Furthermore, I successfully bitched and moaned about it to the point where my husband has concurred that having someone in to do all the packing the next time we move (please God, not for a while since I'm still traumatized by the last batch and it's been 6 years) is going to be worth the $.

So, yes, you will survive, but at times you may wish you hadn't. Beer does make it better. Enjoy!

Jun 23, 2010

I moved one week before my thesis defense. When my parents tried to pause to celebrate the whole, "hey, we're unlocking the door to your first home with keys you got just 25 minutes ago," I practically shoved them off the stoop in my panic to get inside, unpack, and finish reading that 800th book about Jane Austen.

While I was at work the next day, my mother stayed at my condo and unpacked everything. To this day, she'll comment when I've changed something in my kitchen cabinets.

Diana B.
Jun 23, 2010

All I can say is...nail polish remover. Works great for getting paint off and you only have to do the parts people can see!

FunnyGal KAT
Jun 23, 2010

I haven't done it as many times as you have, but I've done it. And every single time, I SWEAR I will hire movers the next time. That hasn't happened yet. I suspect a reason I'm pregnant right now is to have an excuse to hire movers the next time we decide to pack up and take off for greener pastures (or bigger houses). I mean, there's the whole wanting a child to nurture and love thing, of course, but needing to hire movers is a bonus.

Jun 23, 2010

Congratulations on the move! Talk about exciting (the house, not the moving).

If that's latex paint, then a little rubbing alcohol will take that off.

Jun 23, 2010

Yes. Have done it. Inter-state version. In the pouring rain. While hacking my lungs out from bronchitis. With only one other person to help. Move included heavy antique furniture.


The best weapon? Buy at least ten huge indelible black magic markers, and use them on every single box you pack, no matter what crazy shit you throw in there. Makes unpacking SO much easier.

Good luck, Ms. Eames Feet!

Jun 23, 2010

Oooh congrats on the job! That's exciting! So is deciding where to put all your stuff in your new house. Good luck moving.

Jun 23, 2010

Congratulations on the promotion! What lovely timing, now you have more $$ available for your mortgage and your DIYs!

I survived moving last time, as a 35-year-old, from a 3rd-story Colonial Lake apartment back up to my 1950s bungalow in Columbia. It sucked, I emptied the u-haul completely on my own other than the furniture, and my house was left a horrid mess by my tenant.

But--it's wonderful now! I love my house and everything is just as I want it, and it was completely and utterly worth it.

Have fun! And post more pictures of the new place!

Jun 23, 2010

Uggghhhhh!!! I've moved 9 times in the past 7 years- to three states, six cities, and two countries. I'm totally over it....

I throw stuff out everytime I move- but then as soon as I get to the new place and I need a plunger rather urgently I curse myself.

Jun 23, 2010

Is everybody going to hate me if I say that I actually enjoy moving? Let me expound on that: I enjoy moving myself; helping OTHERS move SUCKS (I've helped move my parents several times - we all just about disown each other every time). I like going through everything I have, throwing out the junk, finding things I thought I'd lost, and organizing and packing everything neatly into BOXES (I have a smallish fetish for boxes, hehe). Then I get to unpack everything and organize it all over again! Mmmm, just talking about it actually makes me want to do a little moving.... :P Except being married now means moving myself as well as someone else, ugh.

Jun 23, 2010

Congrats on your promotion! I am about to move in a couple of months and I have started getting rid of everything that I don't want in my new house. My hope is that moving will be easy since our house will basically be empty when we move.

Jun 23, 2010

Dude. You can do this. You have done it before, and even though it seems like you NEVER WILL AGAIN right about now, you probably will again.

I've done it. I survived. You can too.

Chin up! :)

Operation Pink Herring
Jun 23, 2010

Congrats on the new job!

The moving thing: yes, it's awful. Sometimes a same-city move is harder than a long distance move because you can so easily underestimate it. But you can do it! And you have a great excuse to not go to the gym all week (what? that's just me?)!

Jun 23, 2010

Just remind yourself that you're only moving across town, not across the country (or the world). That should help a little. I just moved across the country, and before that halfway across the country - and I anticipate that next year we'll be moving across the country AGAIN. This time I created a spreadsheet and numbered every box and inventoried every box because a company was driving the truck and I was worried that they would lose a box - wow, never doing that again. So at least you're not as insane and controlling as I am, does that make it seem any better?

Jun 23, 2010

My last 2 moves have been military moves...Meaning we don't pack anything. Sounds great, right? In some ways it is, but the bad thing is 1,964 boxes arrive at our new house and I have NO clue what is in them. To make it worse, I was out of town when they packed our last house, so I couldn't even witness the packing. It's been 10 months and I still haven't seen the photo albums from childhood nor can I find a guest bedroom lamp... Moving just sucks no matter what I guess.

Jun 23, 2010

Yep, moving sucks but the end result? Fabulous. I promise.

My only lowly advice: set up your bed first. It so sucks to be completely drained after hours of moving hell, only to discover you still have to put together your bed before you can collapse.

And I'm sure you've already taken care of this, but Delancey Street moving rocks.

Jun 23, 2010

Holly, like you I have move way to many times to count, and figure by now I would have a system (which I do) but, as always the universe is up to no good and the system always FAILS! And yes moving does SUCK THE BIG ONE.

What usually keeps me going is the fact that most of those moves have always been an upgrade from the one before, so I give myself little talks in order to work thur most of my frustrations: "remember MORE CLOSET SPACE", "MORE COUNTER SPACE", "A POOL!".. things like that. 805 of the time it does help :)

And of course a great big CONGRATULATIONS to you and Sean on the new house.

Jun 23, 2010

I started packing last night. SUCKAGE.

Jun 23, 2010

As someone who is moving this weekend all I can say is OMFG I GET WHAT YOU'RE SCREAMNG!!! Luckily I've taken a 30 day "leave of absence" from my office job(meaning "if I can get this book deal in the next 30 days I'm not coming back *sticks out tongue*") so I'll have pleanty of time to unpack and relax and hug and kiss my new washer and dryer.

Jun 23, 2010

Just made it through the packing up portion myself. I still have the cleaning the old place and fully unpacking to get through, but I'm surviving. You will too!

Jun 23, 2010

Oy vey m'dear you've just solidified my decision to hire movers. I'm about to have your life in about 3 weeks and I am already anxious about it! Moving, traveling and running a business all at the same time is crazy-making, that's for sure. Gross.

But congrats! Good luck and I hope it's done soooon.

Jun 23, 2010

The only kind of moving that isn't awful is the kind you pay someone else to do (including the packing!) and that just doesn't happen for "the rest of us" very often.

Congrats on the new job!

I love your painted feet picture, it's adorable.

Jun 23, 2010

I think you've got a great "patterned hosiery" look going there, Holly! And the fun of all the nesting you are about to do will more than make up for the process of getting to that point.

Encouraging thoughts coming your way from here :-)

Jun 23, 2010

Pick a corner at a time. Trust me. Just one corner of one room at a time. Clean and pack it and then you can marvel at what you've just accomplished. THEN you can move onto the next corner.

I hate moving...

Jun 23, 2010

I literally JUST did this. We are a mere month ahead of you in your house journey. This was the first time I hired movers to move our furniture and the boxes we packed. It made all the difference. The best money I have spent in my entire life. Seriously.

But we have our kitchen, living room, dining room, bath and bedroom all unpacked in less than a month. (Nevermind those other 2 bedrooms behind the curtain that are full of boxes) They are being dealt with slowly...

But the best feeling ever is living in your own house! It is worth the moving pain! You can do it! It all is relatively quick and painless when it is behind you!


I am in the middle of moving right now. I hate that I pack these beautifully organized, categorized, cleanli-ized boxes and there's just all going to get ripped apart the second I get to the new house and it will just all be a huge mess once again, after week of organizing all of our belongings. I'm not sure it was worth it...

Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 23, 2010

Leah, that's how I feel! Why am I lovingly and individually bubble-wrapping these wine glasses when I'm going to have to unwrap them 24 hours later in a new house? Waste of time! Can't I just throw them in a bag and carry them on my lap in the car and cross my fingers all the way there? Now I'm just throwing crazy stuff in together (coats and plates! Why not?) because it's all going to be a big mess at the other end anyway.

Jun 23, 2010

My husband and I "just" moved in October. I always put the "just" in front of it because I think it justifies the 4,683,459 we still have sitting, un-packed, in our garage. Fortunately, we have the essentials un-packed. Like plates. And underwear.
Good luck!

Jun 23, 2010

BOXES. 4,683,459 BOXES is what I meant to type. clearly my brain is in one of them.....

Jun 23, 2010

Take a deep breath... let it out slowly... you will survive! I just moved across the country with three kids, two cats, a great dane, three cars and a moving truck. Oh and did I mention that when I arrived at our new home I spent a solid week painting EVERY room in the house. And I went to a job interview with white paint in my hair? And got the job! You will survive. And even if you don't... it makes for a great blog post! Congrats on the new house. I can't wait to see all the pictures :)

Jun 24, 2010

The horrible beer was dark *and* wheaty? That's a double whammy.

You will forget the pain and horribleness of moving almost as soon as you are done. That's all the comfort I can offer. We moved in March. One more upside: the opportunity to purge your belongings. Only bringing the stuff you really like is cheering.

Jun 24, 2010

Congrats on your new job!

Jun 24, 2010

Paint, what paint? All I see are some seriously cute shoes! I feel your pain on the moving - I moved 11 times in 10 years (not counting what I call "mini-moves" where clothes & essentials were packed up for a short term move). But it is soooo much easier to paint/lay flooring/etc if you can do it before you move in. My husband didn't believe me the first time we moved to a place where we were going to paint but afterwards admitted I was right. ;) We're currently in a home improvement race - using our 4th of July bash as a deadline for completing several projects. So I too have stray bits of paint on me when I go to work. ;)

Jun 24, 2010

Just put "I Will Survive" on rotation on your iPod ;-) That's currently my motto as I wait for my international moving shipment to show up. I also have the best movers in the world who keep replying "I dunno" when I badger them with emails to demand what the $#@* is up!

Here, this should help.

We bought our house an hour from Seattle from people we knew. They were moving to Seattle. So we were basically swapping cities.

SO we decided to help one another.

Boyfriend and I drive an hour south to help someone pack their moving van, then all four us drive North an hour back to Seattle and unload their things in their apt in Seattle. Then we all drive to MY apartment in Seattle. Pack van. ALL drive south an hour to our new house/their old house, unpack van. Sleep.

Wake up and pack van in Olympia. Drive it to Seattle. Unpack van. Drive to my house in seattle. Pack van. Drive that van an hour north, unpack van.


Don't you feel better?

Jun 24, 2010

i love moving, and that's only because i live in hk and my flat is the size of a green bean and i don't take care of it properly. that is why every two years my floors would end up being occupied by more junk than space to walk and my walls would be peeling (i'm sure you remember the hk humidity) so i'm eager to start afresh. i'm so excited about your moving though- to a bigger place how lucky! i've always had to move smaller and smaller due to the rocketing rent. i hope that means less work for you ("should i throw this away?")! you're amazing, i'm sure you'll pull through! *eagerly awaiting the result* :D

Jun 24, 2010

Oh don't get me going. I grew up moving all the time and now I keep moving INTERNATIONALLY which is 30 times worse than across town moves, and I'm doing it again, and I'm prob going to slit my wrists. Yes, each time just gets worse, just like jet lag. Kids don't make it worse--they just add stuff. In my experience. And I've dragged my kids through 5 international moves so far...about to do a 6th. Kill me now.
Oh and congrats and good luck!

Jun 24, 2010

In the spirit of your post title:

Two words: Fabric softener. Yes, Downy and/or Target generic fabric softener will remove paint from skin like nobody's business. Not to mention paint from rollers and brushes.

Good luck with the move; and relocating your spices!

Jun 24, 2010

Oh you! I've been reading for some time but have never commented - but here's my big chance! I moved once before I was 28, and I cried and cried and cried (I was 13.) Then from 28 to 33 I moved once a year and to 2 different states even! Yes, ma'am. That's I had some moving to make up for!? I shop smarter now, I don't take every free piece of furniture I am offered and I clean out the closet regularly - all because I know we'll move again. Someday. I survived, and flourished, and you will too!!!

Now get back to packing!

Jun 24, 2010

I JUST went through the exact same thing! Moved apartments while also switching jobs. And like you, I was given a new role in the same company-but with much more responsibility and room for error..the only difference is that I showed up with paint all over my arms and my glasses..
Well said on entering the new hell of unpacking - It has been three weeks and it has..almost..gotten better.
Good luck!

Jun 26, 2010

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Jun 26, 2010

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Renee from GA
Jun 28, 2010

I am 2 months post move and had the most delightful weekend, hanging window treatments in the kitchen and pretty pictures on various walls. You will get to the fun stuff soon, I promise, and much like with childbirth (or so they tell us), the days of living in Box Hell will be a distant memory compared to the joy of putting you very own stamp on your very own walls :)

Jun 29, 2010

As a person who has actually been living out of suitcases, storage units and various containers for over two years and has currently NO IDEA where 50% of her stuff IS....I WISH I was/had/will be moving only once. Instead, I am in the perpetual 'moving mode' of a professional...gypsy. To add insult to injury, I have also been DIY'ing it on a house/home that is not even mine (at least its my fiancees') for that entire time. The Suck, she is great.

I wish you many beers and Happy Home Depot'ing...did you know that is where you will be living for the next...some time?

Jul 01, 2010

hope the move went well and you're able to find things now!!!

If we rewound to a month ago, I'd say "check out my post on moving! friends still talk about helping me move and actually VOLUNTEER to help AGAIN when needed!" (the following post is from my latest blog about decluttering my home. the sunny one is about pretty decor)

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Aug 28, 2010

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