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Mid-year Moving - Hit me with your best advice

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  • enbateau
    replied
    Hugs! We've never been on the receiving end of cheap craftsmanship in any of the houses we've bought, but I'll never forget going to replace floor boards that were just a hair thicker than how they are milled today, and we had to hire a carpenter to plane them down to match. And in another exasperating electrical nightmare, I wound up schooling my husband (who is amazingly gifted at all things plumbing, electrical and general construction) and father-in-law in the diagram of a split fan and light running off of a 3-terminal switch jumped off an existing line. It was epic. Then again, we military wives are often left to fix household disasters by ourselves while our husbands are out of country.

    I still dream of building our own place from scratch when my son gets older, but your recount has me remembering so many protracted (husbandless and fatherless) days where we just had to soldier on to get the reno done.

    Prayers for an enjoyable time learning new skills with the kids while you're in the thick of it and a return to MP joy once it's all done.

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  • Fireweed Prep
    replied
    Wow, MBentley it sounds like there's all sorts of "schooling" going on at your house! I bet amid feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, you are feeling proud of your accomplishments. I hope the rest of the restoration goes smoothly for you. It will be very much YOUR house once you move in!

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  • MBentley
    replied
    Update: So we've been camping. In our new house. Actually, it's been kind of fun. I don't know when we will go back and get our stuff - a few more weeks maybe.

    This stuff is almost funny and I'm still happy with this house. But this was my last 2 weeks:

    You know that moment when nothing goes to plan. Or the second plan. Or the 15th. Our close date moved forward and back and every other way. I ended up having 6 hours notice to pack up our entire family and make the 9hr drive. I thought I would be back a week later. That was 2 1/2 weeks ago. I didn't bring the books. I was lucky to remember socks and underwear for everyone. Since we've closed 13 days ago, I've ripped carpet, sheetrock, learned the nuances of push to click pex plumbing, learned how to install a second water heater in series, found out that the speckled tile wasn't actually speckled...that was ground in dirt..and discovered the miracle of grout paint. Thank GOD for the Oreck Orbiter or that would never have been cleaned! I've discovered that plumbers often leave massive holes in the foundation behind the sheetrock and under the tub, where carpenter ants can readily come in. I've learned that if you think your faucets have terrible water pressure, check the aerators for massive amounts of corrosion running through the pipes. I've learned how to get tack strips out of cement without gouging and leaving chunks of missing concrete. I've learned that water softeners and copper pipes are a bad combination. Also, having the house grounded to the same water pipes isn't a great combination either because the introduction of non-conductive pex piping will create static in the line - resulting in serious corrosion. I've learned how to replace ball valve joints after the valve pops off because of the corrosion - this happened TWICE! And how to turn off the house plumbing... I had no idea some plumbing was run on a closed loop or what a water heater pump did. I do now. Hubby and I have done all of this ourselves. It's been an adventure.

    Today I'm working in sheetrock repair, demolishing a bit more, and sometime soon, I'm going to be ripping out an exterior wall sitting bathtub - where I expect to find another plumber's 12x12 hole in need of clearing of a massive 6 inch deep carpenter ant bed and a backfill of quickcrete. And learn to lay laminate flooring. Thank goodness for Youtube tutorials.

    Today is our 23rd anniversary - and the first time that I can remember that MLK fell on the same Monday as the day we married. It was the only day he could get off all those years ago - those Navy days were a real roller coaster! Anyways, Just wanted to say hi to everyone out there. Luckily there was a local Mardel book store and I picked up some extra copies of curriculum over the weekend so school has officially resumed...somewhat...today. I hope everyone is doing okay out there!


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  • Enigma
    replied
    I would start with a spreadsheet listing by area what you want to do in each space. Just make a list and then prioritize what needs to happen first. Call pest control (Bio-Tech is my favorite.) first!!

    It will be wild and crazy for a bit no doubt, but if as you say you were able to find a place this fast at the right price and the right area, that is such a gift! Let the kids help as they are able and call it life skills. They will be fine. They are young.

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  • hermione310
    replied
    We've moved many, many times too. Hugs to you -- it's understandable that you lose patience and get snappy with the sheer volume of tasks you're trying to simultaneously complete. You're doing the best you can. Just staying sane is a challenge during these times.

    I second the recommendation to pack all of your own school things. If you have it organized in a particular way and want to get school up and running as quickly as possible on the other end, definitely pack it yourself. I've had to re-order lost curriculum that was later found shoved in a really funky (unrelated) box.

    One tip I got years ago that's worked really well is to create a tote bag for each kid. Put school items that the kids can complete themselves in each tote bag -- anything workbooky, books they can read on their own, etc. in the bags. If accomplishing anything educational doesn't seem possible immediately after the move, that's understandable -- put "keep busy" items in each bag like books, crayons, pipe cleaners, lunch bags to make paper bag puppets, activity books, ipods with audio books, etc. If you can find them at low cost (https://www.amazon.com/Linen-Towel-R...683039&sr=8-12), get each kid a bag and let them personalize it with fabric markers before the move. Put all bags in the "do not move" room to move yourselves -- the kids can whip them out during that chaotic initial unpacking phase.

    Congratulations on the move and so glad to hear you're getting close to extended family! What a blessing.

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  • KF2000
    replied
    MBentley , Oh Melissa! Wow...what a job! Definitely going to keep you in my prayers over this! We are still in the midst of our St. Andrew Novena - which is a beautiful and amazing prayer if you want to take it up right now. The gist is that you recite the same prayer 15 times each day from November 30 to Dec 25. Sounds a little nutty, but you'd be surprised how you end up reciting it even more than that just because it's on your mind and there is usually SO MUCH to pray for - which now includes you! https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/dev...ion-prayer-343

    As for the moving snafu....oh my goodness, this sounds like it will be amazing. Truly amazing. Unexpected hiccups, to be sure. But someday, amazing. First, give yourself a pass. You did not mess up here. Just because this will interfere with your normal routine and your specially crafted plans, does not mean you have made a mistake. In my life, God has often brought the most beautiful things, but they are never easy to actually get to. There is usually a lot of confusion, heartache, and disheveled life in front of them! I would look at this as a major life adventure for your whole family - the sort of thing that would make for a good children's novel (thinking Moffats or Homer Price right now!) Imagine you are in the middle of a comedy with lots of mishaps headed your way. Remember to give yourself time-outs when you need to take some deep breaths and regather your ability to go with the flow.

    And as for school, well, just do whatever you can whenever you can. Maybe you take three hours each day to head to the library and do some solid work there without the distractedness of the mess to bother you. Keep your progress to whatever can fit in that three hours. In two of our moves we needed to live at my folks for several weeks apiece, and we had to only bring what schoolwork (for three kids/then five kids) could fit into two milk crates (because that is what fit inside their front hall closet). They have been no worse for the wear and they loved having Nana and Papa around every day during those times.

    Our first house, we lived through renovating the kitchen to prep it for moving. Dh did everything himself. Then for house #2, we were in a row home in Philly. Same deal - needed new kitchen to sell it. But this time we learned from the previous experience and headed out to my folks give him the space he needed to work on it. And the worst was our previous home in northern Mississippi (in the country outside of Memphis). We arrived to a part of the world I had never seen before...incredibly green and swampy. Vines growing everywhere. So many depressed areas. As we drove down our last road to our house, I was already questioning our thought process in choosing this property (5 acres, 3 wooded, set back from the road with a barn). Seriously thinking we messed up. And then we arrive to see the painters leaving, who told us in broken English and lots of gestures that we had fleas in the carpets. ALL THE CARPETS. We immediately got a hotel, treated the carpets over the weekend, made arrangements to order new carpet, and then vacuumed three times a day for an entire week to make sure we did not leave any stragglers behind before the new carpets arrived. I thought for sure we were going to hate it. But guess what, we got used to how this part of the world looked, we had every kind of critter imaginable visit us on a daily basis, and we got to experience the sort of life we had always wanted even though it was only for a year. I still have a picture of the view from our front door as the background wallpaper on my computer. It was truly idyllic. Moral of that story: Hang in there! There is beauty awaiting you on the other side, and many special moments you will always remember along the way. Things YOU would never plan, but that GOD will bring your way just because HE CAN. <3

    Hugs and prayers to you,
    Sarah

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  • MBentley
    replied
    Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggghhhhhh!

    May I humbly ask for prayers?

    I agreed to purchase a house that only hubby and mother in law have seen. I sent them to it myself based on pics and discussions with our realtor (old family friend), but it's seriously going to require some elbow grease...and sheetrock apparently. But I could not pass this deal up. Now my move is going to be uber weird as we are moving (sort of?) into the new house with only about 5% of our stuff and renovating fast (with us doing the work ourselves) and then triggering the packers back at our current home once the carpet is in which will be weeks later. This is not a cosmetic "I don't like the carpet". It's "Seriously you didn't notice carpenter ants were re-creating the desert under the floor here"?!

    Hubby says I've been uncharacteristically snappy and I want to correct that. He's not wrong - I have been. I know that moves and new jobs are some of the most stressful, but in all my months of planning, this wasn't on the radar. In one week, all my planning was thrown out the window. And I did it myself. I made the argument for this house, and hubby is super excited. The bones are absolutely perfect but you could not call this anything but a distressed home. I don't think it's had maintenance in 13 years. So...I've got so much to do and I've totally neglected school for the last 2 weeks and I can foresee weeks and weeks of additional distractions because again - didn't plan for this.

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  • KF2000
    replied
    Oh Jodi - good point about the screws and stuff! We have also had that experience too - so be REALLY careful when you are unpacking that you check through paper before wadding it up and throwing it out of the way. Our nuts and screws were usually piled up and wrapped in moving paper - which means easily missed in the busy rush of unpacking!

    And I have to second the thing about disassemble/reassemble. Always check their work before letting kids sleep in their beds. We had one crew who did not assemble the bunk beds right. It was so bad, we were no longer able to bunk them. But they were the same folks who dented the freezer - so now that I am remembering that, I guess we would say we had one rough crew out of 8. But again, we were reimbursed for everything.

    AMDG,
    Sarah

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  • jen1134
    replied
    Looks like we're in a similar boat! We just found out last night that my parents were approved for a house about 20 minutes away from us (they're currently about an hour or hour and a half depending on traffic). The move-in date is less than two weeks from now and my mom is handicapped so...here we go. The plan is to keep Morning Time going and some of my 11yo's lessons since I already started those and don't want to repeat the school transition with him. Between the two of those, we'll do 2 hours of school a day and that's it. My highschoolers' two MPOA classes will start while we're in the middle of packing and it looks like we'll have to start everything else at the end of the month. Definitely not what I planned, but it will be good for my parents to be closer. So, solidarity to all!

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  • JodiSue
    replied
    I have skimmed the thread, so forgive me where I repeat. We've done this 5 times in the last 10 years. Two of those times have been mid school-year.

    I always let the movers pack everything, even (or especially) breakables and expensive stuff. This is because the movers carry full replacement insurance for all of it for us (you'll want to ask about this when they come to do your pre-move survey). If I pack it myself or take it myself and it breaks, I don't get any reimbursement. If the movers break it, they have to pay for it. Yes, sometimes claims can be a hassle, and if it's something super, super valuable that you absolutely don't want them to touch because you would be devastated that they lost or ruined it, I get it, but for the most part we let them handle everything. (ETA we have some small collectable coins and things, more like money, that we don't let them take because it would be easily pocketed, but I'm talking like wedding china or grandma's dishes and stuff like that.)

    Make a room or closet a "DO NOT PACK" area and mark it well. Pull all the stuff in there that you are taking with you, and if you can, make that room inaccessible to the movers in some way or at least mark it very clearly (sign on door) and double-check periodically that they are not going in there. They will give you a list of stuff they won't take at pre-move, but my experience varies with packers. Some of them have taken everything, even stuff they are not supposed to. Most often they've just left whatever they can't take if I haven't sorted it out myself. Do things like clean out your garbage cans that you want packed because they will pack them as they find them, which can be really gross on the other end. They should disassemble any furniture and reassemble it on the other end. Watch them with the screws and nuts and bolts they take out of your furniture because in my experience this is the #1 thing that gets lost on the other end. I have started giving them baggies and just keeping track of those things myself because they lose them or have to dig through every box to find them. One company out of five did a good job keeping track of all of those screws from our beds. Otherwise, we are all digging through boxes looking for the hardware in a mess of stuff.

    As far as school and logistics, I usually start our "move break" a week before our move. The kids are off from school and I go through each room in the house and purge, purge, purge, and set aside things I do not want the movers to take. Hubby disassembles all of our home theater stuff and takes pictures off the walls. I take all of our school stuff and pack it in its own bags or boxes, including flashcards, etc. (https://www.instagram.com/p/Bg9lS0_g..._web_copy_link) That picture was from our last move. I had one core in each bag and hung the flashcard rings on the handles. It was a pretty good system and we had six weeks where we were schooling not-in-a-house. After the movers bring our stuff to our new place, I usually give another week of break on school just for me to unpack. I do focus on getting a place set up where the kids can at least do school because I'm never really done unpacking for that week.

    If you need a longer break than those couple of weeks, I highly recommend at least doing math facts and Latin flashcards so that those things don't have to be re-learned mid-year after a move. Not that I know anything about that. :/
    Last edited by JodiSue; 09-02-2019, 01:24 PM.

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  • KF2000
    replied
    Melissa,

    We have usually had corporate movers, apart from one move we did ourselves in-town. We have always had fantastic experiences, and we have never held anything back from them. We have only had one major flaw, which was a dent in the top of our deep freezer for which we got paid but it still worked so we kept it! Ha!

    The only things I packed myself were our school books. We have rooms and rooms of bookshelves, and I knew from experience that all the boxes of books would simply get labeled “books” and I would have no idea where our school books were. So those I would pack up ahead of time to save that headache.

    I will say that I actually felt more comfortable with the movers packing even precious things (which we don’t have much of) simply because then it was insured and they are professionals at this. I have learned a lot by watching them, but if you get a good reputable company, they are probably going to pack your items more safely than you can. If you get to choose, do your research and pick the best you can find and afford. Then trust them. The folks we have met have all been people who love what they do and do it well.

    As long as I had the rooms labeled, those labels were written on the boxes by the movers. We did not need to do anything extra for that. But my advice is to pre-move; that is, go through your closets and rooms and make sure that things you want in the same place at the end, are in the same place to begin with. So for instance, I moved my medicine cabinet from the kitchen up to our master bathroom, along with all the similar items we kept in the kids’ bathrooms. That way, all the medicine/first aid stuff was in one place, was labeled master bathroom, and I had a more reasonable chance of finding it easily. I did that with towels, sheets, cleaning supplies - basically grouping things where I would think to find them. (and purged heavily while doing this)

    Lastly, the presurvey people will give you long lists of things movers will not take. This can seem like a total waste of the stuff you have to get rid of. Use up as much stuff as you can before you move, and then as it gets closer, buy smaller packages of things. But none of our movers have ever followed that list of items they supposedly wouldn’t take. So don’t throw it all out or give it away until you actually meet them and find out. The only things that has been true about has been propane tanks for gas grills, or fuel-type items for lawn equipment. No one takes those, obviously!

    Good luck!
    AMDG,
    Sarah
    Last edited by KF2000; 09-02-2019, 06:36 AM.

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  • Colomama
    replied
    I would keep precious things separate. We did exactly what you're talking about. Most stuff went into a shipping container. We separately packed and stored precious treasures in a small self storage place. So, TVs, Grandma's dishes, etc went there. We also packed things we might need easier access to in the next 6-8 months in there. So, all of our school books were there.

    We made a pact to have that storage unit emptied out within 2 months of moving in to our new house. We didn't want to get in the habit of having a storage unit.

    Now, I've never had a move go bad. Nothing broken or missing. No company holding our stuff hostage for higher fees, but those war stories are out there. We never tempted fate with irreplaceable items or expensive things like computers and TVs.

    I have relatives in midland-odessa and we actually visited this past summer. Horrifying recent events down there, sadly.

    Housing is super tight. So, be realistic about how long it may take to find a good house and plan accordingly with your packing.

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  • MBentley
    replied
    Thank you for that tip. Soap and stuffed animals. Sheesh.

    Colored tape - that is some real ingenuity!

    Actually it's going to be a weird move. I won't be roughing it too much because we will stay at Nana's until we purchase a house in Midland. The movers will be moving stuff into some storage until we call for it and then they will come back and unload it when we close on a new house. I won't have access to it at all during this storage period.

    If I do pack up breakable things like breakable heirlooms, is it safe to hand it off to them or will they end up at the bottom of stacked box pile, under the something lightweight and soft - like dumbbells? I'm trying to determine if I need to secure my own storage until we have closed on a new house for those things that can't be replaced, and just never hand them over at all.

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  • Colomama
    replied
    Anything that's really important (Grandma's dishes, heirloom items, antiques, sentimental things) pack up yourself.

    Pack clothes for a two week vacation in suitcases. Don't forget medicines, shampoo, razor etc.

    Pack your school books and necessities for the next month. Pencils, hole puncher, page protectors, those random things you use, but don't think you need, be sure to pack.

    Here's how these folks work...a supervisor does a walk through before hand to determine how many many hours to pack and how many trucks to request. Then three or four guys show up at 7 am and proceed to move at lightening speed through your house. They're not labeling boxes, they're not paying attention to what is in each box. Stuffed animals, in box. Add books from bookshelf on top. Toss in knick backs from bureau top. Then , just for fun put in some random bars of soap from the linen closet and tape it shut. End result...you have a general idea of what SHOULD be in each box, but no real firm idea. It's like a game of hide and seek with a pile of boxes.

    Now, these guys may also unpack your stuff at destination. Don't get confused and think they're putting stuff away. They unpack boxes and leave piles of stuff behind. They may put linen type things in your closet...sheets, pillows, soap, laundry detergent, clothes pins....hey it was all kind of linen right?

    I assigned a duct tape pattern to each home area (basement storage, boys bedroom, school room, kitchen, etc) I purchased two of each roll. On each door I hung a sign with a Swatch of that tape displayed. So, instead of marker labeling each box "boys bedroom" all that was required was a quick strip of tape on all boxes that left that room. When we arrived at the new house, you always beat the movers, I hung those signs back up. So, all of the pink zebra stripe boxes should go in the room with the pink zebra stripes sign (girls room). Any boxes spotted in storage without the correct tape could be quickly relocated.

    Oh, don't forget to pack paper plates, plastic silverware, TP, disenfectant, pain meds in your car with your school books and suitcases. You can survive for atleast a week while you organize and unbury.

    Edited: I was really worried these guys would go through my clothes, my 'unmentionables'. Nope, they just wrapped the dressers and moved them totally full. I was shocked. They had to be so heavy, but down the hallway they rolled.

    Some people recommend you walk through your house and take still photos and videos of your stuff to prove its condition prior to moving. No really, we didn't move a cracked TV or a keyboard broken in half.
    ​​
    Last edited by Colomama; 09-01-2019, 09:00 PM.

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  • MBentley
    replied
    Purge...Roger that.

    I will have movers apparently. They are part of the package. I've never moved this way before. It's always been just the 2 of us, a UHaul, and a lot of Advil for the back. Our last move, I hired movers for the last 5-6 big items we just couldn't move ourselves, but that move was only across town. I have a general guideline for what might be expected of us and it's not much detail. Apparently, there will be a pre-move survey. So any advice for what to expect of movers who actually "pack you up" would be awesome.

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