She Says… The Big Move (Part 1)

So… we’re moving. As you know. And we couldn’t be more excited. Literally every day Benjamin and I say to each other, “I’m SO excited for our new X”. Usually in my case it’s our new kitchen (with granite countertops! and double ovens!). Or our new garage (just having one is cause for celebration!). Or Owen’s new bedroom right next door to his bathroom (no more toting a squirmy, towel-clad baby upstairs at bedtime!). For Benjamin it’s his new office in the basement (we’ll finally get to see each other once in awhile!). Or our new deck right off the kitchen (for summery cocktails and a grill, obvi!). Or a master bathroom that we can actually make noise in at night (no more tiptoeing so we don’t wake the baby!). Glorious.

But, as you know, moving takes a bit more than just being excited about it.

So this past weekend we started packing. We made a list of everything we need to pack and plotted it out on a calendar of the “free” time we have between now and Memorial Day weekend (when we’re moving). “Free” time is characterized as a time when both Benjamin and I are home so that we can pack during Owen’s naptimes and after bedtime, and one of us could pack while the other one plays with the little cutie. Hmmm. That doesn’t exactly sound like a fair trade to me. Long story short: we have 3 “free” weekends between now and then. And one of them was last weekend.

Our timeline for packing and prepping for the move is short, even though it’s still a month away. Scary. So last weekend we had moving boxes delivered and started this monumental task of putting our entire lives together into boxes and preparing ourselves to leave this very special place.

Side note: It kills me to PAY for boxes and packing paper. Boxes are EVERYWHERE. And used newspapers and magazines make perfect packing paper. If I didn’t have a full time job and a baby and a husband who travels a lot, I would have happily spent days tracking down other peoples’ moving boxes, and sourcing my packing supplies locally and for free. But you know what? NOT GONNA HAPPEN. I’m learning to adjust my expectations. So we ordered boxes. And paper. And you know what? It was super easy. And saved me a LOT of time.

Benjamin and I rallied during naptimes over the weekend. We skipped showers and workouts and a load of laundry or two, but we successfully packed our dining room (china, servingware, candles, etc.), most of our office, and our entire side porch (kind of like our “garage” even though we live on the 2nd floor) to make room for all the boxes we’re going to pack over the next few weeks.

In cleaning out the side porch we found a box of coins that we had been saving for someday when we had the time to roll it and cash it in for real money. It was mostly pennies, but we figured it was probably worth something, so we took it to one of those Coinstar kiosks. Normally I would prefer to take the time to roll the coins myself so as not to pay the stupid processing fee on those machines, but this was another case of adjusting my expectations, so we decided to just cut our losses and see how much we could get. We used to have this rule that when we wanted to go out for coffees we had to do it with loose change, and not use dollar bills, in an effort to cut back on extraneous coffee spending (ahem, I used to have this rule because Benjamin spent extraneously on coffee). Do we see a theme here? Apparently I am a cheapskate! Anyway, since this was change and we wanted it to be used for something fun since it was kind of “free money”, we decided to get a Starbucks giftcard from the Coinstar thing. 

Do you know how much we made from an old box of pennies? $80!!!

So that was our prize for packing this weekend. The first three rooms went very quickly and I feel like we made a ton of progress. And we even had time for a little stroll to get [free] coffee!

Let’s hope the next few weeks go as smoothly, and we’ll be moved in no time. Right? RIGHT?!  What’s your best tip for packing/moving? Any lessons learned the hard way moving with a baby?


20 responses to “She Says… The Big Move (Part 1)

  1. We are also packing and moving, hopefully at the end of the month. You are lucky that at least Owen isn’t a toddler yet because Coraline has a way of unpacking boxes as I am packing them. My tip is to leave yourself a ton of time to get it done 🙂

  2. Ah, moving. The greatest pain in the butt known to mankind. Second only to unpacking after moving.

    After having one military move, I have vowed to never pack my own things again. When we moved into this house, I packed my clothing…that’s it. The movers came in, labeled everything, packed it all up, and then moved it. It’s just a shame we didn’t pay them to unpack the stuff too. 🙂

  3. HAHA. the coffee thing kills me because me and my husband are the SAME way. he makes fun of me every time I take out my coin purse to pay for my coffee. I too feel like when you use coins, it’s like a “free” cup of coffee! Enjoy your S-bucks card! 🙂

  4. I echo what Kim said – be glad that Owen isn’t a toddler. We just moved a few weeks ago with our 2.5 year old and he kept saying, “I helping” every time he opened up a box, “emptied” a shelf, etc. Hard to explain why that was NOT, in fact, helping! And sadly, he learned a new word the day of the actual move when I kept catching him doing something dangerous in our not-yet-child-proofed new place – “Oh, dammit!” Thankfully, he forgot it as quickly as he learned it! My only tip is something you’ve already done – adjust your expectations! Not just for the packing up, but also for the unpacking! I never thought I’d be one of those people who would leave boxes unpacked for weeks – I am now! 🙂 Good luck with everything!

  5. Ahem, must correct myself – not “unpacked boxes,” but “packed.” We still have multiple “still packed” boxes lurking in our hallway! And it’s all okay! 🙂

  6. $80! in pennies! that rocks! man, I’m going to go scrounge around our couch.

    My only advice, after moving with a 6 month old is, be open. I had to learn the hardway that my obsessive planning, while it worked for The Hubs & I, our 6 month old Vivian didn’t get the memo. So my “timeline” was off by a few hours/days…but in the end, it worked out.

    good luck!

  7. As you know, I just moved. We were lucky to have friends come over for a few hours to entertain Lucy so we could BOTH pack when she was awake – it was a life saver. Also, when we actually moved in, we did it on a day she was at daycare so she wouldn’t be underfoot and we wouldn’t disrupt naps, etc. If that’s not possible, I would say just get Owen’s room set up first thing so he can rest and play as normal while the rest of the move and unpacking is happening.

  8. Jenna (Hello, I Love You)

    I wish I had some tips for moving with a baby! We are planning to move about 2 months after I have the baby (yes, we are nuts!) so I will definitely be looking in the comment section for tips. Good luck! 🙂

  9. My parents used to save all of their loose change during the year and then we would cash it in before going on vacation. My brother and I then split the money as out vacation spending money, but $80 for Starbucks is great!

    I think Beth has some great suggestions for moving with a baby. My suggestion for moving is not to pack anything that you don’t really want/need. It’s a great time to go through all of your stuff and really narrow down what you need, thus having less to pack/move.

  10. The movers will usually do a very good job packing everything (kitchen stuff, pictures, china, etc.) and will label and organize it all by room. All you really have to worry about is your clothes, books, and any valuables or stuff you don’t want the movers dealing with. My husband used to work for a moving company (Gentle Giant), and the difference between how we packed before then and how we packed after he had learned all the tricks was HUGE.
    Good luck! I agree, it’s better that you’re moving now than if Owen were 2 years old and wanting to “help” all the time! Enjoy the excitement. If you can channel it into momentum to keep you motivated to unpack when you get there, you’ll be golden.

  11. I don’t have any tips (when I bought my house, it was 1 mile away from where I lived with my parents and I took a whole YEAR moving my stuff there before my wedding). We were talking item by item. LOL. All I can say is I know you two are very busy people, but very resourceful and efficient so you’ll get it done. Good luck!!

  12. Woohoo! I did that once and I was going on a girls weekend trip to Toronto and decided to cash in! I had sooo many toonies & loonies (in Canada our change racks up SUPER quick because we don’t have $1 or $2 bills anymore!) and I had something like $185 of “free” money I took with me to pay for cabs, drinks etc etc and it ended up being the BEST perk because I didn’t feel like I was dipping into my “spending money” the entire time 🙂

    We packed our own boxes, but hired a moving company to move us and they had a deal where used boxes were free and if we purchased new boxes, we’d get 50% back if we returned them which ended up being great because their boxes were the right size & the “wardrobe” boxes made packing closets easy peasy!

    Very excited for you guys and your new home, it sounds wonderful! Our new home has a (double) garage too and somehow it’s PACKED to the brim the day we moved in and we have no idea where we stored the stuff before! It’s attached and became a lifesaver for getting Cameron in and out of the car in the winter time, and groceries too!

  13. I LOVE to hear how you are adjusting your expectations – I need to be doing more of that! $80 in starbucks coffee is a pretty good reward for a simple change in mentality!

    We moved with a 2 year old and a 4 month old. It was torturous. But my husband won’t go along with outlined plans like Benjamin seems to. One of our conflicts in personality that adds a lot of…um…”spice” to our life! I hope your move goes well – I’m so excited for you guys!

  14. Hey Kate! If you guys run out of boxes, we still have a ton leftover from our move.

  15. As a person who just moved (YESTERDAY!– and I still need to clean the old place), I’m a) exhausted, and b) full of things to recommend. The move cost us $40– $32 on the truck, $5 in gas, and $3 in packing tape. We just bought our first home, and after downpayment checks, I wanted a nice cushion, so saving anywhere is nice.

    I hit up work and Trader Joes for boxes, which was a success. But, I am a fan of binning things. There are the nice large bins with clickable/lockable lids that I love, and the bins are see-through. All our camping, outdoor, biking, scrapbooking, crafts, dog supplies, etc are all put into labeled containers. So now, I have a large percentage of my house that I DON’T have to unpack right away, if ever. Bliss.

    As for free packing supplies, we didn’t use this resource this time because it wasn’t needed. But, if you wander the aisles of Walmart between 12 and 3am, you can load up on all th eboxes and packing supplies you need. No joke. And all free.

    I’m also a huge fan of using saran wrap on nice pieces. Wood, glass, you name it. It also works for keeping things together (I wrapped two serving trays together, for eg).

    We also moved over all our essentials first: Bath, clothing, basic kitchen supplies, bed, and animals (they’re essential in that we want them settled asap and not having to be too stressed out). It has worked wonderfully. And, since you ahve a garage, you can keep most of your things in the garage– just put the boxes into the garage in the order you want to go through them. That way, you’re pulling a box or two into the house, dealing with it, collapsing it, and putting everything away- only one box at a time. Especially with a small kidlet, it would be nice to know that there’s nothing small or dangerous he coudl accidentally access in a box left unattended.

    Ok, that’s more than enough jabbering from me!

  16. I snorted when I read that you were excited about “a master bathroom that we can actually make noise in at night.” (I know, I’m immature & dirty.)

    I’m so excited for this move– my only tip is to be very specific with what you write on the boxes. “Kitchen Stuff” is not as helpful as “dishes” or “cups.” It may not seem important, but it’ll come in handy when you’re standing in a house of boxes and you’re really thirsty.

    I can’t wait to see more pics when you move in!!

  17. And now, I realize that I’m not only immature but also an idiot– I thought that said Master BEDROOM!!! 😉

  18. Stef, I too read it as master BEDROOM, and thought Kate was telling a little too much….

  19. Stef and Benjamin, You guys are dirty. And funny. Clearly I was blissfully unaware of what I had (not) written!

  20. I read “bedroom” too! Makes me wonder what else I misread . . . ?

    I echo Stef – being specific about labelling boxes saves so much time and energy rummaging through endless boxes looking for “slow cooker” or “coffeepot.” I started out doing this then slacked off at the end and regretted it – still do when I search through boxes in basement almost THREE years later trying to find something….

    I had the movers pack the “fragile” stuff but noticed that their method was to LOOSELY wrap, in several layers of newspaper, my delicate china, etc. That way there was a considerable volume of air between the layers that protected things. Took up more room but was very fast and effective.

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