A Moving Story

Having moved homes a few times, sometimes across oceans, I have looked forward with relish to my current move. For my husband, kids and I are in the midst of moving out of a characterful home we’ve rented in Montclair for two years, to a century-old home we’ve bought – directly across the street.

Thanks to the misguided perception that the proximity of the two homes might mean an easier move, we hired muscle men (quotes for this tiny move ranged from $400 to $2,200) only to lug our empty bookcases, beds, treadmill and piano to the new premises. This unfortunately left us the remainder of the job – packing of 90 percent of our home. And fairly speedily, I realized that the best part about moving, usually, is having someone else do the packing for you.

Of course, with someone else packing, funny things can happen, too. After one move across continents, I unpacked in London to discover my trash can from Asia, with all its contents intact. And essential items can go missing. The key that works the treadmill, for example. The remote control for the TV.  Damage, too, is par for the course, but difficult to accept when it involves precious wedding gifts and mementos from your kids’ earlier years.

As we needed to schlep numerous boxloads of things across the street, I nipped down to Brookdale ShopRite and bought several dozen of their recyclable cloth bags – a steal at 99 cents apiece and much cheaper, and lighter, than cardboard boxes. Thus completed my transformation into the local bag lady (see photo).

With a few weeks overlap between the lapse of our lease and the start of a brand new mortgage, moving books and clothes room by room was manageable and allowed us a happy (sadly, shortlived) sense of being organized. Once we threw into the mix a kitchen makeover, and the resulting temporary absence of a kitchen sink, stove and dishwasher, utter chaos descended, throwing askew all efforts thus far to keep the new nest neat and tidy.

The entire contents of the old kitchen, which seem to have multiplied tenfold, are now distributed and waiting – in boxes, those recyclable bags, on the dining table, on the dining room floor, in the basement and in the hallway – and are unlikely to find a permanent home until additional cabinetry has been installed in the kitchen. Just a few more days of putting up with this, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Tips for those contemplating a move, near or far:
1) Sort, give away or get rid of old clothing, toys, books. Hold a yard sale
2) Get the professionals in
3) Pick a mover from the top three quotes, rather than the bottom three
4) Have pros do the post-moving-out cleanup, too. You don’t need the added stress
5) Empty your trash cans

Have you moved recently? Tell us your top moving tips or share your tales with us.

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