Moving day: Tips and tricks to survive the chaos

Let’s be honest – this isn’t our first run around the rodeo.

As I posted here almost exactly two years ago, moving is always a mix of emotions. On the one hand, you have the excitement of something new around the corner. On the other hand, you have the total fear and utter uncertainty of something new around the corner.

Same experience, different hands.

We get a bit smarter with each move. We pack less ourselves (and by “we” I mean, obviously, “me“) and we leave more to the paid professionals. We ask the right questions, we get the right documents and we pay for it without a second thought (and by “we” I mean, obviously, “not me“). There are few things in this world that I research more than moving companies, and trust me when I tell you it’s time well-spent.

Leading up to the day itself, I get rid of loooooooads of stuff. Anything I don’t absolutely love gets donated, delivered or dumped. All those quick-fix items around the house that stuck around out of sheer apathy? Gone. All those half-empty bottles of shampoo that were bought and then not used? Gone. All those sexy skirts and jeans that linger in the closet with pre-mommy hopefulness? Gone.

And all those half-eaten cartons of ice cream in the freezer…

Oh, wait. Nope, those get eaten. Duh.

I keep one file folder with original documents like birth and marriage certificates in my suitcase while the rest gets shipped. I keep scanned documents and files on a flash drive or in my Google Drive account, just in case they’re needed before our shipment arrives.

My goal before the moving company pulls up outside is just to get everything in the right room, in the general vicinity of where it ideally belongs. So then, when everything gets packed, it ends up in approximately the right box for unpacking. Laundry is tricky – I woke up my husband at 6am this morning so I could wash the sheets before the movers arrived. But he was really understanding and quite happy to be of assistance (and by “happy” I mean, obviously, “very, very grumpy“).

On moving day, I pamper the packers with coffee and food and lots and lots of fresh water. I don’t hover, but I stick around in case there are questions. Beers afterwards are always offered, but rarely accepted. Such treatment isn’t required, of course, but I like to believe that well-fed, relaxed packers help ensure my sh*t won’t stink at the next destination.

And then, finally, when all is done, dusted and loaded, I look around at the house where my son took his first steps and shed a few tears. We pay homage to the home that housed us for the past two years, that absorbed our nicks and knacks and scratches and scrapes. I always, always get nostalgic at the point when I see our former home, stripped of all its trimmings, an empty stranger to me once again.

It’s said that “home is where the heart is.” But does that mean you leave a little piece of your heart behind in each home you inhabit? In 20 years and 10 houses from now, will we have any pieces of our heart remaining? Or will they all be left behind and scattered around the globe, I wonder.

Thank you, dear Calle Nayra 83, for all your sunny days and breezy nights, for your large terrace that hosted our BBQ’s and birthday parties and our first-ever Christmas dinner. Thank you for your rooms where our guests have slept and for your close proximity to the wine bottle recycling station. The only thing I won’t miss is your tiny dishwasher that never allowed enough space for all our champagne glasses, and that ain’t really so bad…

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Taking stock

There’s something about the process of moving that makes me a bit reflective – it’s excitement with a side order of nostalgia. We always put together inventory lists for the movers, and that forces you to take stock of what you have and what you’ve gathered/accumulated/produced since the last move. Our upcoming move to Gran Canaria is no different.

I’ve been moving every 2-3 years ever since my first journey to Russia back in 1999. If I had actually kept all those inventory lists over the years, they would probably look something like this:

We have yet to finalize our inventory list this time around, but here’s what I’ve put together so far:

What do you think – am I missing anything?