As I traveled so much, I learned how to pack light, but I always felt I was a little bit too nomad. I never had a permanent place to stay: No home, no properties, no refrigerator of my own, no pictures to hang on my own walls, and worst of all nobody to share my traveling with. I was all by myself.
During one of my job assignments I had to visit a project where a new port would be built. I was going to verify the environmental standards for the projects design. This is where I met the traveling man that would make me want to move to the moon if he asked me too. He was the supervisor for the whole project. I didn’t like him at first because we were so different in what environmental requirements were most fit for the project, but when he finally gave in I fell in love instantly.
We got married and after a year my first child was born and my moving passion became a secondary priority. My husband however, still works as an infrastructure supervisor, so we do get to travel a lot with him. We still move every couple of years to a new city, but things are different now. Today I think of all the things my kids need, the whole packing chaos, and the high stress levels of putting my children in a car or airplane every time we move.
Don’t take me wrong I still love traveling and meeting new cities and people, its just the moving, packing, unpacking, forgetting, buying again, leaving behind, that I’m not so into anymore. Things aren’t the way they used to be when I just took a backpack and left everything else behind. Today I have to worry about my husband’s studio, the children’s school, canceling water, gas and electric bills, new phone lines, baby’s stroller, high chair, car seat etc.
The first few moves were a nag, but after a while I had to set some very special moving rules to make my life easier and the moving process a lot less stressful. Id like to share some of these “moving the family” rules, so travelers like me can make it easier on their families when moving around.
Moving the Family Rules
R1. Don’t let the kids help when packing breakables. It’s very dangerous, mostly for the breakables.
R2. Always cancel electric, gas, and water bills at least 1 week before you move; eat out or have delivered, you don’t want to wash dishes, which you’ve probably already packed. Tell the kids you’re “goodbye camping” the house
R3. If you are moving with a moving company and have the budget, always get full service, since they pack and unpack, they are also committed to responding for any broken or damaged belonging.
R4. Tell your kids they can take 1 box of their favorite stuff, which they can pack themselves, this will entertain them long enough and convince them they are helping out on the move.
R5. If you have plants you don’t want to leave behind, have them loaded onto the truck last, this way they will suffer less.
R6. If you have pets like a dog or a cat, don’t feed it 1 day before the move, he will be hungry but wont barf in the car. read more: Moving your pets
R7. If you have fish, don’t even bother taking them with you, give them away and buy new fish at your new location. Tell your kids they’re in the truck with everything else.
R8. Never use old boxes when packing heavy stuff; old boxes are not steady; not good when packing books, dishware or breakables. Buy the boxes provided by the moving companies
R9. If your kid lost his favorite toy, tell him it’s in the moving truck and buy a new one for him, if you can’t replace it with an exact one, have him evolve into having a brand new favorite.
R10. Convince your children that you’re always moving to a better place, fill them with expectations regarding new school and friends, and comfort them on friends left behind. It is very important for children to learn about and understand change. Encourage them to call their old school friends on the phone once in a while.
R11. Tip the movers. They always work better when you tip them, especially since they are handling all your stuff.
R12. Play station portables are the way to go on long car trips. Children will stay quiet for good.
R13. Leave old things behind or give them away, even to the movers, they know what to do better than just taking things to the trash. Since many of them have just arrived from foreign countries they can even use your old things in their new homes.
R14. Always have furniture wrapped, its incredible how dirty those moving trucks can get on the inside.
R15. Don’t pick a moving company based upon the economic rate they give you initially, it will never be the same rate by the end of the move. Choose them based upon real recommendations from people you can call and ask about their service.
R16. Sales people at moving companies are very smart and convincing, ask to speak to the manager and if he sounds like a good guy, he probably is, go with your gut, you will probably be right.
R17. Never sign any paper at destination before your move has been completed successfully.
R18. Try to get there before the movers do (it usually is this way) because they will start unloading as soon as they get there.
R19. Try to move during the summer, moving when it rains is not a very good idea, your things might get spoiled. However, if you’ve already decided to move, pick a date and book it, because everybody wants to move during the summer and if you take too long in picking a date, you might have to wait.
R20. Never mess with your husband’s paperwork, let him do the packing on that one and save yourself a lot of trouble explaining why the prints were folded instead of rolled.
Believe it or not, these are careful considerations made by a woman with 3 kids and loads of stuff who has to move every couple of years and has taken the time to think about the most annoying and complicated steps in the moving process.