Move process takeaways

  • The final month would have been easier if we had been more vigilant all along about getting rid of unneeded things: Clothes we no longer wear, infant clothes, toys, and other things that we no longer need, kitchen bowls and tools and other things we never use, furniture that we don’t care about, etc.
  • It would have been helpful to have someone watching the kids for us during the final week, when daycare was closed, and especially during move day. We managed, but it was hard for all of us.
  • It’s hard not having a final destination for two reasons:
    1. We needed to put most of our belongings in storage. We wanted to avoid the silliness of having movers unload our truck into a storage locker only to move it back onto a truck months later. It’s wasted effort and adds opportunity for things to get damaged. We wanted a storage container but we felt that the storage container options weren’t great. PODS is the name everyone has heard of, but even those are a bit small. And expensive since we would have needed two of them. U-Haul has storage containers but they’re even smaller—we would have needed three or four of them. Also we didn’t want the storage container to be sitting in front of our condo for days. We wanted it to be dropped off, immediately loaded and then immediately taken away. The best we could manage was to schedule to have U-Pack drop off the trailer (their “storage container” is just the trailer portion of a semi truck) in the morning, schedule the movers to come that afternoon, and schedule U-Pack to pick up the trailer “some time the next day.” That’s a lot of coordination of notoriously unreliable parties on a street where you’re supposed to have a permit to park longer than two hours.
    2. Anything susceptible to heat damage shouldn’t be put in storage. That means we either had to mail it to our temporary house in NC, carry it in our baggage on the plane, or get rid of it. That includes food (we tried to eat most of it over our final months but we still ended up throwing a lot away), batteries, a fire extinguisher (gave it away), climbing ropes (took all three in our baggage), and camp stove fuel (gave the propane to a friend and mailed the isobutane/propane mix to myself).
  • Estimating how much space your belongings will take up in storage or on a moving truck is hard. U-Pack estimated that we’d use 17 feet of the trailer but we ended up using 21 feet. I was actually impressed with how close their estimate was considering it was based on a phone interview. One of my biggest fears was that we wouldn’t fit everything into the 28 foot trailer. I don’t know what we would have done.

Two noteworthy mistakes

  • When I went back to the moving truck to adjust some tie straps and put the lock on (had to buy one first), I took my jacket off and left it on the floor of the truck. I forgot to take it with me when I left. I think it might have even blown away without me noticing, so I didn’t see it and forgot to look for it. It was a $100 jacket but I’d had it for ten years. I was a little mad at myself, but it’s not the end of the world. At least it wasn’t brand new.
  • Edie had a doctor appointment scheduled for March 29, her last day of daycare. We decided to move it to the following week to take advantage of daycare as much as possible, since the kids would be with us the next week anyway. But that meant the appointment was in April and our insurance ended March 31. So we’ll either have to pay out of pocket or sign up for COBRA, which we were hoping to avoid. She got a few immunizations, so the appointment won’t be cheap. We haven’t seen the bill yet (good lord the world of healthcare moves slowly), but I estimate this to be a roughly $850 mistake.
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