So it's T-minus 3 days and counting to the big move. Who knew the moving process could be so educational? So, with the intention of spreading my incredible learning experiences across the interwebs, I bring you my list of things I have learned while orchestrating this move.
1~ It doesn't matter how small your house is, you will still be astounded by the sheer amount of stuff you have. For nearly four years, we have had 5-6 people jammed into 1600 square feet. You wouldn't think that we could possibly fit six people in our tiny treehouse, let alone 10,000 pounds of crap. Which brings me to my next point:
2~ You will never actually be finished packing said crap. We've known an approximate moving date for a few weeks, so I've been packing the so-called non-essentials for weeks. Gradually, our garage has filled with boxes of all shapes and sizes, and it still doesn't look like we've made a dent. There is still stuff covering virtually every surface of my house.
3~ You can be guaranteed that if you pack something you haven't used in 6 months, assuming that because you haven't needed it in so long that you should just get it out of the way, that you'll need it the very next day. This of course results in frantic digging through stacks of boxes in the garage and unpacking at least 3 before finding the random object you couldn't live without.
4~ There is no way to move with young children present. Period. All four of my children could be happily occupied, but the minute I pull out a box and my trusty tape gun, I get a meltdown on a fronts. Ian will flop himself on my lap and beg to nurse, Max will gleefully start pulling everything out of the box that I was working on, and the girls' will start fighting at a volume that even earplugs won't help. I've only threatened to tape them in their own boxes and leave them there until we move once or twice.
5~Convenience food is your friend. So are paper plates, plastic cups and all manner of disposable everything. Trust me, you'll feel like a loser mom filling a shopping cart with corn dogs, frozen pizza and macaroni and cheese, but when it's 5:00 and you've been organizing and labeling boxes all day, a frozn pizza on paper plates mat be just what the Dr. ordered. The bonus is that your kids think you're cool when you feed them chicken nuggets and french fries. Your husband will, however, complain about the lack of homecooked meals. It's inevitable. You have my permission to smack him.
6~ Don't pack the Advil. The children's or the adult's variety. You're going to have headaches galore from the baby crying, the children whining that their very favorite toy (that they haven't played with in months, mind you) is packed, and from the excessive amount of sorting and organizing you're going to have to do. And I can pretty much promise you that one (or all) of your children will also be afflicted with some sort of mysterious ailment. Or your baby will be teething. Or all of the above.
7~Moving week is not the time to start a new teaching gig, get a huge toothache requiring an emergency trip to the dentist, or to prepare for a week at violin institute. Just trust me on this one.
8~The liquor store has the best boxes. There's the perfect size, they come with dividers already in them, and they're free for the asking. And there's something wickedly funny about pulling up to the liquor store in your red minivan with your four kids to beg for boxes (multiple times) and then using boxes emblazoned with "Bacardi rum" and "Five wives vodka: 80 proof" to pack your kids' schoolbooks and the violin studio. For extra bonus points, use the coffee filters you were storing for some unknown science project to cushoin quart jars on top of each other.
8~Call the Relief Society. Trust me on this one too. Today, 3 women came to my house. Many many boxes, two tape guns, and an hour and half later, my kitchen was packed, the cupboards were wiped clean, and all the boxes were stored in my garage. I think people who help move someone they aren't genetically related to should be assured a place in heaven.
It'll be worth it. I'm sure. We can't wait. If you don't hear from me for a week or so, come dig me out of the box pile, ok?