Congratulations! You’ve decided to move. Before you start bulking up with boxes, there are a few facts you should be sure to learn. Knowing all of your available resources and creating a long term moving plan will help you avoid the hassles that can haunt you before, during, and after moving day.
“What would you say best qualifies you to give relocation advice?”
The office was strategically windowless. Outside, the sun above South Florida went on eating everything, peeling cream and beige paint from every side of stucco buildings and putting sweat to every still or moving body in its touch.
“Well,” I said, “I’ve moved around quite a lot.”
The PR director and managing editor scribbled blue-inked notes on matching legal pads. The air conditioner breathed long, throaty gusts of cold air that tunneled between us, a little tundra now and then at my bare knees.
I said, “Actually, I just recently relocated here from Atlanta.”
The PR director looked up finally from his legal pad, his chin sinking into an out-of-season black turtle neck with long, silky sleeves.
“Atlanta? Really?” he said. “I have a brother there. I know that area very well. So, what made you decide to move down here?”
The shadowy walls were hung with framed photographs of smiling, sweaty movers shaking hands with big-toothed customers, all grins. A dark-haired mover in a white uniform was busy lifting two children into the cab of his moving truck as if they all might take a ride. Another joined a family for a barbecue in their new backyard, dog romping in the grass. I drank coconut rum from the bottle, threw my summer clothes in suitcases, and filled the back of my gray Chevy with whatever it would hold – loose books, strappy sandals stacked together – for the big move south.
“Well,” I said, “the warm weather, of course!” Insert laughter. “But really I’m getting married sometime soon, and my boyfriend is from here originally – so here we are.”
“That’s wonderful,” the PR director said. “I think you’ll be wonderful working here.”
Make announcing your move an event! A Go-Away-Give-Away Party is a perfect opportunity to free yourself of furniture and other items you may not want to take with you to your new home. Make and decorate fun cards to let your friends and family know your new address. Don’t forget to alert your local post office of your upcoming change of address as well! You can submit a change-of-address form to your local branch or online.
There was very little left of me to keep inside our house in Boca. Zachary leafed through the books stacked in the trunk of my car, pulled the ones that didn’t please him.
“Do you know this writer?” he said.
I had many friends who’d written books, kept them shelved among the classics, textbooks, pleasure reads.
“I don’t want to see these books every day,” he said. “I’ll keep thinking you’ve fucked some of these writers.”
We chose a big townhouse near the ocean and bought new furniture to fill it. I assembled chairs and bookcases, my hands growing red calluses the shape of a screwdriver. Zachary emptied what was left in my packed car and carried the boxes, suitcases up to the spare bedroom, closed the door.
“This is our home now,” he said.
When it comes time to decide on a moving day, remember – avoiding peak moving days can save you a bundle! When possible, consider scheduling your move on a Wednesday and in the middle of the month when fewer people are likely to be moving. Also, be sure to keep in mind that scheduling a move during a holiday can result in additional costs.
I started work on a Thursday. Zachary complained that the air conditioning worked better in my car than in his, so I drove his tan Buick south from Boca to Margate where the big car dealerships lived, all the while rolling the window down and up again for air or to avoid direct sun.
Being a new employee of a moving company, I found, did not require much training. I wrote three sample articles advising customers how and where to move before being given the green light from my official trainer.
“If there’s anything you discover you don’t know about relocation techniques,” she said, “Google it.”
Draw a map of your new home to help you decide on optimal furniture arrangement! This will aid you and your movers when it’s time to empty the contents of your moving truck. Use measuring tape to determine the dimensions of each room in your new home and then measure your furniture – especially large pieces – to be sure that each item will fit comfortably in its new space.
I vacuumed the sofa, scrubbed the countertops, bleached the doorknobs, light switches, faucets, his car keys, anything that he might touch and find soiled. I took two showers a day. This is our home now. We live in it. We live in it together, I whispered to myself, my hands turning red in the dishwater.
But to maintain a home can be as difficult as moving into one.
By some bad chance, I would let one of his cardigans drop to the floor between the washer and its tumbling dry low. The dog would track in dirt. Traffic would rise up unexpectedly, and I wouldn’t make it home before he would – and he’d know at once that I had let another man’s hand under my sundress. That I would leave someday without warning. That I was ill-equipped to keep him safe at home.
“I hate you,” he said. “I hate that I ever wanted to live here with you.”
He threw a chair against a wall, and it cracked an awful cracking and fell clumsy in pieces to the floor.
When it comes to deciding on the perfect moving company to handle your next move, always do your homework! Ask friends and neighbors for advice when needed and be sure to get quotes from multiple options. When moving, it is never safe to settle for shoddy service!
There is often a gully between what is promised and what is received.
I made the mistake several months in of Googling the moving company I was working for. I’d heard other writers in the office discussing reputation management – how they were busy writing articles defending the company from claims of highway robbery.
What I found was a dozen reports from customers who had trusted the company to transport their home goods from one location to the next only to be suddenly swindled. Movers, they said, had loaded their furniture and other personal belongings onto moving trucks but refused to let those items leave the trucks until they had been paid an additional fee – hard cash.
On my lunch break, I called Zach teary-voiced from the bathroom to confess that I’d been unknowingly complicit in a scam.
“Why do you care about that?” he said. “You didn’t hurt anyone.”
I put my fingernails into the soft pink lines of my palms until they let out a little blood.
“Just finish the day and come home,” he said. “I’ll see you at home.”
Pricing will vary based on factors such as the size of your move, services required, and moving period. If you receive a quote by telephone or online, it may not be a true representation of final costs. To receive the most accurate quote, request that an agent walk through your entire home and make a list of moveable items. If your move necessitates special services, ask about special deals or lump pricing. Negotiation is always an option!
“I quit my job,” Zachary said through the telephone.
I was driving to work, swerving through morning traffic and tour buses taxiing vacationers to and from the beach.
“I just can’t do it anymore,” he said. “I feel like I’m losing myself. I feel like I’m falling apart.”
He was crying, his voice going far away, coming closer. I cut across a lane and then another, made a quick U-turn.
“Can you come home?” he said.
When I found him, he was on the carpet, his body long but listless lying flat that way, face down. He had cried soft spots into the carpet until he’d tired himself out and would no longer speak. I stretched out the floor beside him and lay there for hours, but he still wouldn’t move. He would not eat or shower, would not lift himself even to walk upstairs to bed. He stayed that way a day and then another and again until almost a week had passed that way, un-budged.
In the quiet, I sent an email to the PR director: Fiancée very sick. Has, well, mental issues. Must be taken care of full time. Don’t want to have to leave the company. Possible for me to work from home?
We were suddenly with a single income. We were negotiating unfortunate motions.
The PR director, possibly black turtle-necked, wrote back: Of course.
In the wave of little miracles, as if he had telepathically received the news, Zachary rolled to his opposite side on the carpet.
“It’s so bright in here,” he said.
So I closed and kept closing the blinds until we could no longer see each other in the quick shadow.
Moving is a lot of work! You can stay ahead of the headache by creating a running check list to keep track of every upcoming step. Keep your checklist posted somewhere visible to keep yourself motivated!
When moving, be sure to label every box with specific information regarding its contents and where it should be placed in your new home.
When moving, prepare a dark, quiet space where your family cat can feel comfortable and out of reach of your moving crew’s feet.
When moving, make sure the man you love is eating three meals a day and that he isn’t taking more Valium than he should be taking.
When moving, pack extra snacks and bottles of water for you and your family.
When moving, don’t cry when the man you love breaks all the dishes in the cupboards. Wake up early so that you’ll have time to finish all your work for the day and to sweep up the shattered dishware if you need to.
When moving, help the man you love find a less stressful job teaching classes at the local community college. Tell him that the money doesn’t matter even though you’re working extra hours to make ends meet.
When moving, tell him anything you need to tell him so that things won’t get bad won’t be bad won’t stay bad forever.
When moving, go ahead and get the hell out.
Moving with fragile items? Don’t risk chipping that fine china. Ask about professional packing services! Trained experts can skillfully box, move, and unpack even your daintiest keepsakes.
A move, no matter how well orchestrated, does not always conclude as successfully as planned. A set of wine glasses will slip and shatter. An antique vanity will chip at one corner. And sometimes, whole items are lost. A box or two will slide unnoticed off the back of a truck. A customer won’t have the necessary insurance to cover unexpected disaster. In the event of similar bad luck, moving can often necessitate moving on.
When he put his hands around my throat, left shiny purple vessels blown beneath my skin, I did not debate the merits of newspaper versus wax paper for safely transporting my dishware. I was no longer concerned with what might be broken in the process. I moved and went on moving, out the door and up the block, over one state line and then another until the moving felt less like moving and more like breathing. More like joy.
Our professional movers offer topnotch services whether your move is taking you across the street or across the country! Call us now for a free quote!
Moving is said to be one of the most physically and emotionally stressful events a human can experience in a lifetime – second only to the unexpected death of a loved one.
I am so so sorry to have to tell you this.
But – read very closely – it can be done.
Kat Dixon is the author of two full-length poetry collections, TEMPORARY YES (Artistically Declined Press 2012) and BLACK RACKET OCEAN (89Plus/LUMA Publications 2014), and the novella HERE/OTHER (Artistically Declined Press 2014). She lives in Seoul and online at www.isthiskatdixon.com.