Friday, June 19, 2015

The Moving Chronicles I {The Statistics of Leaving}

The Moving Chronicles I {The Statistics of Leaving} Water and Pen
I've moved about ten times in the seventeen years I've been on this earth. And I'll be moving once more this fall, but (hopefully) I'll be there for four years.

And growing up I used to hate moving. I didn't understand how it was a blessing or anything, I was stubborn and I wanted to stay where my friends were. I didn't want to leave the house I'd been living in (I mean, I was pretty good at decorating! ;) Moving is hard.

It struck me that a lot of people don't know what it feels like to pack up their entire house and move across the country. A lot of people stay in one state their entire life. That's crazy to me! The longest I've stayed somewhere is four years. The shortest I've stayed somewhere is six months. I've been on the East coast, the West coast, and into the Pacific.

So this is going to be a series blog posting. This first one is about preparations for moving and all that jazz. There's a lot more than you might think. Of course it's different for everybody, but I'm going to give you a personal, up-close look at how my family does it. As personal and up-close we can get within these next paragraphs, anyway. Hopefully this is helpful for any characters of yours who go through the moving process/move a lot!

1. Housing 
Once we find out where we're moving, we generally look at housing in the area dad will be working in. It's nice to find a house before you get somewhere. Not all people do that, I'm sure, but it's nice to move in right when you get there. Sometimes we'll even take a trip out to look at houses before we move. We did that when we moved to Colorado because my parents decided to buy a house.
However, this last move was a bit different. We had to wait about a month to get the house we wanted, so we were in a hotel for weeks.

2. Packing
So this works differently for different families. What we do is secure a packing company to come and pack our stuff into boxes. They wrap Every. Single. Item. with multiple sheets of that packing paper stuff. But it's weird because sometimes they'll wrap a little doodad (ie: a random game piece that was laying around) like five times and then wrap the fragile vase only once.  They put the things into boxes, label the boxes according to which room they belong in, tape em up, then they're gone. This usually takes hours, but doesn't go into another day.
Randoms about packing day
a.) There's usually about three or four packers from a company. They'll separate into the house and each of them will take a room. This means there's going to be like four different kinds of music blaring through your house and you can't do anything about it. Last time I believe we had country, rock, and some sort of rap or something. And then my mom was in the kitchen playing Christian music. It was crazy.
b.) They won't pack liquids or valuables like jewelry. I can't remember why liquids are a no-go, but if you have paint, shampoo, soap, anything liquid, they won't take it. Jewelry and the like is a no-go because they don't want to be held accountable if something comes up missing. They won't pack up costume jewelry either. But it's really for their protection and yours.
c.) Besides the liquid and jewelry thing, anything in sight WILL be packed up. We usually stuff a closet or room full of the stuff we're taking on our move (luggage, instruments, anything we're going to need after our stuff is gone, during the trip, and before our stuff arrives at our new place). So if you don't have your stuff set apart, it's going to get packed. Even your dirty clothes will get packed. It's happened to me before. *facepalm*
d.) When they're done, you're going to have boxes. Boxes everywhere. They will be piled high to the ceiling so you think they're going to fall on you.

3. Movers
These are the people who come the day after or even up to a week after your stuff is all packed up. And usually (seriously almost always) movers are late. They should come earlier in the morning so they can finish by night, but sometimes they don't come until afternoon and it goes until eight or nine at night.
They roll out plastic to protect your carpets, and the doors are flung wide open for easy in and out access. So if you have pets, you better make sure they're secure someplace or at a friend's house. The movers process is involved. My dad usually has a checklist to make sure everything is going good and everything is accounted for. (Though I can't remember if this is just for receiving the stuff after the move, or both).
+ Randoms about the movers
a.) It's polite courtesy to feed them during whatever meals they're at your house for. We make sure water bottles are handy and Gatorade to replenish whatever they're losing as they work. It's heavy-duty work to move the boxes and furniture. Fruits like watermelon are refreshing for them.
b.) When they're done getting your stuff into their ginormous moving truck out front of your house, that's the last time you're going to see your stuff for a long time, depending on where you're moving.
c.) If you can't get your stuff right away (if you're staying in a hotel for a month or something), your stuff will be stored in a nearby storage unit. And when you're ready, the new movers (for unloading) will pick up your stuff and bring it to your house.

4. Cleaning
I'm sure you can hire people to deep clean your house before you leave, but after living in it for however long, it'll need to be cleaned. Everything is open now. So get ready to vacuum, clean bathrooms, clean windows, baseboards, fill in holes in the walls, paint, etc. A lot of times we'll get somebody to come in and do the carpets, I think. There's a lot of stuff to get ready for the next people. Even if nobody is moving in after you leave, it wouldn't be cool to leave behind a dirty house.

5. Road Trip!
After all business is taken care of and the house is ready to go, it's time to head to the next destination! Hopefully the hotels/camping areas (wherever you'll be staying during your move) have been taken care of already. If you have pets, you have to make sure the hotel you're looking at staying in lets pets stay too. If you're going to be staying at a few hotels along the way, it's nice to have a special hotel bag with clothes in it that's easily accessible so you don't have to unpack the entire vehicle looking for whatever you need overnight.
We usually have any valuables with us that we didn't want taken. This includes laptops, video gaming consoles, and instruments, as well as personal information like bank stuff, insurance stuff, and important papers. Don't forget medical papers!


So that's the end of the first installment of The Moving Chronicles! I hope it was helpful and you can add some realism to your oc's moving experience!

The next post will (hopefully) cover some behind the scenes stuff (emotional reactions to moving).

God Bless!
Rachel