Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Moving Lessons

We are still in limbo, staying at my parents' house until our stuff comes, supposedly Saturday. Painting the girls' rooms at the new house, window shopping at IKEA, taking care of other little stuff, but mostly sick of being homeless. Painting walls and sitting in traffic between Fairfax and Arlington have given me plenty of thinking time. Here are a few notes to self on the moving process:
  • You have to stop living in the place several days before the movers come if you expect to be ready. It's impossible to be ready if you're still trying to live there, especially with kids.
  • Movers are scumbags, a necessary evil, considering the alternative. When you work hard to choose the right mover, checking reviews, fine print, Better Business Bureau, and obtaining several estimates, and the one you choose still underestimates your costs by almost half, the moving team foreman turns hostile regarding the tip for his guys, and they bring your stuff almost a week later than promised, it is a reminder that moving is a gigantic hassle, no matter how you do it.
  • Choosing the right shade of green paint is very tricky business. Totally, totally worth it to buy samples of all shades you're considering, paint them on the wall in question and check at different times of day before buying the gallons. Green is not to be trifled with.
  • Now is the time to double up on patience with the kiddos - their life is turned completely upside down and their understanding is limited. Their stress is manifested in really obnoxious ways but try to see it for what it is. While nearly impossible, also try to get them enough good sleep and healthy food.
  • Start packing even earlier than too early. Pack, pack, pack. It takes four times longer than you think. And don't avoid the awkward stuff, just pack it all. Don't keep things out because you think you might use it in the months before your move - you won't because you'll be too busy packing! Tape is your friend.
  • If you're moving to a new location where you'll need to register your car and get new drivers' licenses, check the websites ahead of time and make sure to pull all needed documents so you can take care of business while you're waiting the extra week for your stuff to come, instead of sadly realizing some of the information is packed in a box somewhere and in the hands of the dregs of society.
  • Be nice to Ed. Not only is he working hard to get things done and help with the girls, he's putting up with you.


Therese said...

don't i know it!

Tona said...

Hang in there, babe. I have been painting this week too. Finally J pushed and prodded us to get his room repainted, and he was so eager to help. He did all the spackling himself and most of the rollering. But yes, we're glad we painted out the sample of green and it was just too dark. We made that mistake so many times over at Loring House, remember? - that you'd think I would have learned by now that IT ALWAYS DRIES DARKER. We ended up with Benjamin Moore "Spring Meadow Green" which is limey and super-happy. Contrasted on 2 walls, the other walls being Benjamin Moore "Squish-Squash" which is just like the outside of yellow summer squash. T calls it the "Sprite" room because it's now lemon and lime, but J is SO happy with it. My other piece of painting advice is to invest in a decent 1.5 inch brush for edging that has a nice sharp edge. Cheap brushes don't cut in nicely. I think you can skimp on rollers but not on brushes.

tona said...

And aren't you glad you wrote down your wisdom? Those are all great points. See you soon!

Disco Mom said...

These greens are driving me crazy. I remembered the lesson of things always drying darker so I had no problem picking the perfect lavender for hazel's room. But Ginger's room is eluding me. First it was PEAR, way too yellow. Then it was CAROLINA PARAKEET, came out blindingly neon. I took PEAR back to have it altered to TART APPLE and will try that on today. It may not be perfect but if it's good enough, and doesn't look like we colored the walls with a highlighter, I'll be happy. Spring Meadow Green sounds like what I was going for in the first place, limey and happy. Good for Jake, I'm glad he got what he wanted.

Shells said...

I promise, I'll be nice to Ed the next time I move. Here are some things I learned from our cross-Atlantic move. Pack even less than you think you need for your in-between status, you'll get sick of carrying everything around and will ask yourself daily - why did I think XX was so essential I couldn't live without it for a few weeks? Bring essential paperwork - car title, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. you NEVER know when you'll need it. Take time out for fun and sleep, both are essential to happiness. Be extra forgiving to everyone.

MiaKatia said...

Wow, I had completely forgotten what a pain moving was, or maybe I just repressed those memories... These are really great tips. I will be looking this post up next time we have to move. I hope the rest of the move goes better.

Maren said...

Oh, yeah, I hear you on the green thing. I want to paint our family room a cool gray-green that blends nicely with the kitchen and I dread doing it. I'd hate to get it wrong. (Also, I don't have the time right now!)

Q has to submit a proposal by Aug 1st about what he's going to do during 2009-2010 for his sabbatical. He's putting together some ideas and information so we can have a pow-wow about it soon. I can't (don't need to) tell you how much I dread the thought of packing anything and leaving here- even for a year. But I guess it will have to be done. I was promised five years in one place and I've gotten that. (Which only means we have more stuff- and 2 more kids.) Anyway, DC's one place on the list... we'll see what happens.

BOB said...

oh dear, i've lived in utah almost a year now, and still havent changed my drivers licence . . is that bad?

funny how we both moved about the same time, i closed on my house a few weeks ago and am stilllllll painting! good luck getting your stuff :)

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