For those of you who are wondering where I've been, we're currently in the middle of our third family move in the last 25 months. We're starting to get good at it, but it still takes a while. Since I've got a few minutes to spare this morning - and I'm fed up with boxes and tape - I thought I'd share a few of the tips I've picked up.
Given how often academics move, I'd guess that some of you have your own hard-learned moving tips. Feel free to share them in the comments.
- U-Haul Rocks: Seriously. Yes, sometimes Budget is cheaper, but unless you're getting a 10' truck U-Haul has something that the others don't: a low deck. After the fourth or fifth trip up the ramp, you will really start to notice the difference between a 25" deck and a 48" deck.
- Books and other heavy items go in new boxes: Recycling boxes is a good idea. Putting 65 pounds of books in a box that's had tape ripped from it four or five times, not so much.
- 14"x14"x14" Boxes: They're not as easy to find (or as cheap) as the standard moving box sizes, but they're absolutely perfect for paperback novels. You can fit more than 100 in one box, they pack easily, and the box weight will only come in at around 40 pounds.
- Weigh your stuff before you load the truck: Especially if you're getting reimbursed based on the weight. There are two reasons for this. First, you'll know if you're anywhere near your maximum allowed weight for reimbursement purposes. Second, and possibly more important, you'll know if you're near or over the maximum load weight for the truck. You do not want to spend an hour unloading half a ton worth of boxes from the truck before you get to your destination. Trust me on that.
- If you're using professional movers, feed them: A moving crew that doesn't have to buy their own lunches or snacks is a happy moving crew. A happy moving crew doesn't break as much.
- If you're using professional movers, make sure they're hydrated: Provide lots of bottled water and gatorade, especially in the summer. Yes, OSHA says they're supposed to have a water jug for the truck, but it's not as appealing to most of them as the bottled option.
- The last two points also apply if you've conned friends or family into helping you move.
- If you're using your friends or family to help you move, hydration should never involve alcohol until the job is finished.
- That goes for professional movers, too.
- It's more environmentally sound to wrap fragile things in your linens: But if you use bubble wrap or newsprint you'll almost never have to pick glass splinters out of your ass in the middle of the night.
Let me know if you can think of things I've missed.