Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Note to Future Selves

Dear Esther & Jared,

We are writing the two of you in regards to the topic of moving. We know from past experience that when 5 years or so have passed you will forget the many details and horrors of moving and you will once again optimistically embark on this colossal task. We know that we will not be able to persuade you from moving again, but we hope to pass down some of the lessons and insider info learned in an effort to help your future endeavor.

#1 Get a realtor from the get go.
Just do it.  We know it would be nice to sell your home by owner but a realtor can advertise your home so much better than you ever could and they know all the ins and outs of the real estate contracts and laws etc...  (Some of this may have been market and time of year issues.)

#2 Get a copy of the contract and write down the closing date, checking it twice.
Remember how you thought you were closing on Weds. the 19th which was perfect but then you found out not even a full week before, that the contract had actually said you were closing on Monday the 17th which turned out more stressful than you could ever imagine?  The most important part is to get a copy of the contract...harass your realtor if need be. It's your right and it's smart.

#3 While on the subject of closing days, try to arrange it as early as possible to move from your old home into your new home without having days of homelessness in between.
You can't make an offer on your new home until you have an offer that comes with a set closing date on your old home but then the closing date on your new home which is set after the old home's date has to be at least 30 days out and neither your buyers of your old home nor the sellers of your new home will move the closing dates thus resulting in a week of homelessness. The homelessness resulted in renting a moving truck for a week and storing all your worldly possessions on it while you lived in your brother's basement. THANKS Tom & Jessie! To take all of this convolutedness out of the equation just make a condition in the contract stating that we can move the date of closing of our old home to match the closing date of our new home.

#4 Most absolutely, definitely, and assuredly have your mom come the week before to help you pack, especially if Jared is out of town 5 days out of 7 and you have an adoption conference, a baptism, and Aurora's first birthday party on the 3 weekends preceding the move.
There is no way you would have even been remotely ready if your mom hadn't come. THANKS MOM!!!

#5 Have babysitting for Aurora, and any other children you may have by that point, the week before the move and at the very least for the whole day of the move.
This will be an absolute must if #4 is not possible the next time. Even if your mom is there it still would be helpful. You have friends, family, visiting teachers...just ask, just do it. You will be happier. Your children will be happier.

#6 Lowes' moving boxes
After researching for boxes online where Lowes didn't even list moving boxes and no one else listed prices nor would answer their phones for price inquiry...Remember how you went to UPS and bought boxes, lots of boxes, and then found out towards the end that Lowes had better boxes for half the price.  Also, even though you have to go late and you're already really tired from packing all day, go to Wal-Mart around 11pm and collect boxes for free from the stockers.  Other options include liquor stores, fast food places, and work.

#7 Have the cat's sedatives be in liquid form and if possible ditto on the babysitting (see #5)
Don't pack their sedatives away.  Then don't forget which box they were in.  Then don't place the forgotten box at the bottom of a large stack of boxes. Then after looking in two other boxes and finally digging out and opening the right box have the sedatives be in pill form that the cats wouldn't take even when dissolved in tuna if their life depended upon it.  Remember how your cats were pretty freaked out the day of the move...maybe designate a young friend who is a cat lover to watch over your furry children.

#8 As much as possible, do not schedule any big family events the weekend before you move on a Monday.
Tiff and Fam: Please understand we do not regret coming whatsoever to Ethan's baptism and being able to spend time with family. We know it was out of our control and your control that these two big events happened to be the same weekend and it might have been resolved differently if we had done step #1. We would make the same choice again if we were to do it over.  But in the future I hope not to have to make the choice at all and skip all added stress and tiredness.

#9 Invite more than 5 people to help you load the truck but less than 20
This time you remembered how you had been to moves where there were tons of people helping and to keep themselves busy and feeling useful they pretty much grab & go and the truck is packed quite haphazardly without any order or sense and it's pretty chaotic and out of control. Well remember how asking for around 5 people to come and help resulted in 2 people for an hour and then another 2 people for another hour and it ended up taking over 4hrs to load the truck with the new buyers doing drive-bys of the house every half hour the last 2 hours of the loading and you didn't leave Lexington until 10pm and didn't arrive at your brother's house (see #3) until 1am?  A BIG THANK YOU to those who helped us move! It would of been so much worse without you and we are sorry it was so chaotic and we had so many odds & ends not accounted for before you got there.

#10 Bigger Moving Truck
About those odds & ends: You always have way more stuff, especially odds & ends, than you ever imagined could possibly be in your house but you most certainly do have them. It doesn't matter if you collected them slowly over time or if they were multiplying like rabbits the day of the move, they're still there and need a space on your moving truck. If you think a 10ft truck is plenty of space, then go up to the next size. If you think a 16ft truck is plenty of space, then go up to the next size. If your stuff won't fit in a 26ft truck than get rid of stuff before the day of the move. You will not have the mental nor emotional availability to decide the day of the move what to take to the curb or what to take on the truck. For your remembrance you thought a 16ft truck would be just right and it almost was, almost. You had to fill up Jared's Dad's pick up truck with the overflow and then unload it into your brother's garage (remember #3) at 1am. THANKS DAD!!!  Also, despite the fact that other companies (aka Enterprise) have 16 ft trucks, they are in fact, not as big as Uhaul 16 ft trucks.  (No, this is not a 1 lb of feathers vs. 1 lb of rocks question.)  Uhaul legitimately has more space.  Plus Uhaul has ramps rather than lift-gates.  Lift-gates stink.

You may be thinking this letter was written with a little too much drama, ingratitude (we are grateful to be living together again!) and cynical but we know that in a few years these memories and feelings will fade and thus, we wanted to give you a full detailed description in a place where you can't lose it.

One last piece of advice, if you can swing it just hire someone to pack, load, drive and unload all your stuff. That would take care of many of the items on your list. Although there would most likely be new items to remember for the "next time" then.

Esther & Jared


  1. #6 - Go to Kroger and get big apple boxes for free! That is what I learned.

    Congrats on finally selling your home and moving, I hope all is going well.

  2. Hi Esther.
    I couldn't help but chuckle reading this. Jason and I have been married 9 years and have moved 7 times. (sigh) I have often thought about writing similar lists after each move. Even after packing up our belongings so many times, I still underestimate the time it takes to pack. Hope the unpacking and decorating are going smoothly as you gather strength during the aftermath of a move.
    ~Heather V

  3. Moving is one of the more arduous tasks in life, isn't it? That's a great memo. I may have to look it up if we ever have to move again. (Cross fingers, hope not.)

  4. Yes, let me never forget either...also, loads of sympathy coming your way!