Jul 22, 2010


By Susan G. Haws

I love amusement parks like Disney World and its related parks. I love the rides and the shops. I don’t even mind standing in line. Unfortunately the emotional roller coasters of real life are not fun and have far more loops and twists. In this virtual theme park of MOVING my family has completed the house hunt exhibit, the hurry up and wait line, and the purchase is a process not a decision ride. That ride made us want to leave the whole park a few times.

Looking at homes for fun with no intent of packing and moving is a lot of fun. Unfortunately when you know you must pack your belongings and transport them across town or across the country even looking at homes isn’t fun. Now the daunting task of packing is before us. I brought home our first batch of boxes. Next we just fill them and many more, and then take them to their new home. It sounds so much easier than the heavy wearing process I know is before us. I have heard people talk of quick packing and moving and would love to know their secrets. (Hire their army.) I also want to know why most of my moves have occurred in the heat of the summer. Moving is the nightmare that combines all my weaknesses into one interminable horror roller coaster: home repair, home decoration, heavy lifting, reorganization, and the list goes on. I will vomit now to practice.

The crowning glory of this is I probably won’t even loose an ounce let alone a pound  after lugging a house full of belongings across Mesa. I hope I am wrong. I hope that is the silver lining: twenty five pounds of fat burned off moving in triple digit weather. I have no idea how pioneers moved cross country using a sad little wagon that didn’t look like it could hold food and bedding for a family let alone tools and furniture. But that is another article entirely. I am thankful my move will involve motorized, air conditioned vans. If anyone has tips on how to navigate the labyrinth ahead and say we are still sane after MOVING feel free to share.


  1. Knowing that you are going to move and having time to sort through things (meaning getting rid of stuff) is very helpful!

    I learned to use towels and sheets and blankets to pack the fragile items. Labeling boxes is a must. Sometimes I list everything on the box, sometimes I just label the room it goes in and put a number on the box. then you can write down the items in the box on a matching index card. Keep the cards with you in your purse so you don't lose them in the packing.

    bubble wrap is a good investment.

    Set aside a box with essentials that you will need right away...things like soap, cleaning rags, toilet paper, paper towels and paper products for eating on so you don't have to do dishes the first day or two. Keep this box set aside and carry it in your car with you so that it doesn't get lost in the pile.

    The least amount of notice I have had is one day. I came home from grocery shopping one morning to find my husband talking to a reporter for the Gilbert Independent. (He was on the Town council) He walked over to me, hugged me and told me that he had accepted a job in CA and that the packers would be here the next day...and the movers the day after that. Yes, we are still married.

    I loved your analogy! Great post!

  2. We moved seven months ago from rural Utah to Provo and were a bit stunned when our realtor said to us, "I'll show you the houses and the Lord will put you where he wants you to be." Well, that's what happened. We couldn't be happier. In fact, our daughter who lives in Illinois liked our neighborhood so much she found a house in our ward and is moving here next month when her husband changes jobs. We started a trend.

  3. If you can afford to buy your boxes you are better off because you can stay with two or three uniform sizes which are much easier to pack into a van, car or whatever moving vehicle you have. I go with the bubble wrap but what ever you use, pack breakables as though it would only take a tiny jolt for the entire box to be destroyed. Experience talking here. I had labled the boxes fragile and breakable but ended up with two plates, three bowls, four saucers and two cups from a set of eight brand new dinnerware. Some irreplaceable inherited items also bit the dust. If you have limited space in your vehicles, pack the articles you cannot do without first. When you get to the point where there is no space left at all, you will find that the choices of take it or leave it have been made for you. I was not carefully watching what was being put in the U-Haul and ended up leaving my beautiful dining room set along with other can't do without items that I did without.

    My "movers" also decided that there were a few things I would never miss, such as a file cabinet full of music, some from the late 1800's. Luckily, I checked behind them in that instance and most of my music came with me.

    If you are just moving across town, you will have the option of going back for more things, rather than having to get them all at one time. That is a luxury I don't remember ever having in the 30 something years of being married.

    If my WIP ever gets finished and published, you will read about some of these quick moves I had to make, one with nothing but the clothes on my back and flip flops on my feet.

    I feel sorry for anyone who has to move, even if it is next door. You should see me now! I am trying to make room in my office (master bedroom) for a twin bed without having to move anything out. It may be possible. I have several schematics drawn but of course they are not to scale. The last move I made, from Arizona to Texas, I had to do myself. I did get a girl friend to drive one of the vehicles for me but on that same trip, I lost our friendship over a small misunderstanding. I hate to move!

    I pray you are blessed with easy packing with lots of able help and a safe trip to your new home, with more capable people to help you unpack and put away. I still have boxes stashed in closets that have not been touched. That move was only one year and four months ago.
    barbara b

  4. Ladies, I appreciate the insights. I can't imagine only having one day notice to move Kari. Pam I hope our move is as inspired as yours. Barbara the things you have had to leave and loose will definitely be a warning to me. I am glad I am just going cross town this time. I have definitely taken notes and hope this move will be better than the last. Thank you.

  5. Heck, and here I was complaining about moving stuff from the double-wide trailer to the garage to the new house. But I did lose weight. Not to mention that not all the stuff in the garage has been gotten to yet. Maybe I need to go out there and check it out.

  6. I can't add to any of the great advice already given - but I do feel for you. I've moved in the heat and found myself wondering the origins of the universe, purpose of life and the need for a desert at all. Yeah - is there a medical condition for heat-induced delusions? Good Luck.

  7. We arived in AZ on July 1st--not the best day to move from Utah to the desert.

    Good luck to you!

  8. I have moved...a lot! The best piece of advice I can give is get rid of your stuff. I know that sound trite but it's really the only way to make the whole process easier. I made a goal last time I moved my family of four (at the time) to cut all of our belongings in half. Yes, to get rid of half of everything we owned. And I did. It was painful but I did. After going through and donating the not so painful stuff, I asked around in the ward if others needed my dressers, dining table and chairs patio furniture etc. Then I offered it to them in exchange for completing some repairs and updates I needed in my home to sell. For example I offered a complete bedroom set to replace all the faucets in my home with the new ones I had purchased. Another kind family patched up my walls for about two dozen bags of baby clothes. Anyway, it saved me work, money and time. Plus my load was lighter when I was done. When I got to where I was going it was great because none of my old things would have fit in my new place anyway, though I didn't know that at the time. The only other thing I can offer is be organized and label label label. Kari seems to have covered that in detail so I won't go into it. Good luck and FYI I looked at well over 50 homes before I found the one I'm in now. In the meantime the four of us and two dogs lived in a two bedroom, 700 sq foot condo with no air conditioning. You can do anything! Just keep a positive attitude.:)


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