I was recently faced with the daunting task of moving our family from a two story 3000 square foot house 10 miles away into a one story 2300 square foot ranch style home. By my estimation, I failed miserably. I’m sharing my story in the hopes that you can learn from my mistakes. Here are the steps I took to move:
Wait to Pack
We started talking about buying a house in late September. We closed on our new home in mid November. I started packing the weekend after we closed.
I mentally catalogued everything I thought we owned and estimated that we’d easily be able to move it all before the lease on our rental was up in two weeks. Needless to say that we weren’t even close to being done and we ended up having to rent our house for an extra month.
Assume Your Friends Will Help You
I’ve helped several friends move since I moved to this area so I took it for granted that they’d be eager to repay the favor when it was my turn. Unfortunately, the timing of my move coming during the height of the holiday season meant that everybody already had plans for get togethers or traveling out of town.
If you’re going to rely on friends to help with your move make sure that they have plenty of notice beforehand and that your move isn’t planned for a time when people are typically busy like any major holidays or local events.
Hire a Friend
I planned to hire a housekeeping service to come help me take care of getting our old place freshened up before I turned it back over to the landlord. My friend assured me that her son and his friends would not only be able to help me with that, but would help us move our stuff as well.
They did show up the first day to help out, but technical difficulties meant that the truck and trailer they were using was late getting to the house. We were able to move one load that night. That was the last I saw of them.
I don’t blame anyone. There were legitimate reasons that prevented them from returning to help, but since I paid them my cleaning crew budget, I wasn’t able to hire the professionals I originally wanted. Because I was dealing with my friend and not a business there weren’t any professional standards of conduct that needed to be observed and no recourse when I was unhappy. It was an expensive lesson, but I learned hiring a friend for something like this isn’t a good idea.
Rent a Small Truck
We eventually ended up renting a truck for the move after several, not especially productive, trips back and forth in my minivan. We opted for a smaller truck because it was cheaper and we were moving such a short distance.
We ended up having to make four or five trips and the mileage and gas costs ended up eating up any savings we had from getting a smaller truck. Opt for a bigger truck than you think you’ll need and save yourself the hassle.
We’re finally settled into our new home, but my adventures in inefficiency continue. Next time I’ll tell you how (not) to unpack.