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Helpful Moving Tips

Well, friends, I’m officially one week away from renting a massive U-Haul and  moving to Maine!

Which means I’m in that super fun stage of vacillating between panic that we won’t get everything packed, and wishing I hadn’t just packed the damn soy sauce because now I can’t make dinner.

But I figured I’d take a break from packing, in August, in a house with no air conditioning and roughly half a million books, to share a few things I’ve learned about the moving process.

Tip 1: Don’t. Move.

rental truck hitting bridge
This could be you.

Really. Don’t.

I’m knee-deep in boxes labeled “Misc. HEAVY” and I’m here to tell you: It’s not worth it!

We’re moving because my husband got a teaching position outside of Portland, Maine. Portland’s a 10 hour drive from Buffalo (our current home base) and I’m seriously considering asking him to commute.

It would be easier.

Tip 2: The Liquor Store is Your Friend

I know, you didn’t need me to tell you this, right?

But seriously. You know what liquor stores have in abundance? That’s right – boxes. Tons and tons of boxes. And, unlike U-Haul or Home Depot, our local liquor store gives those boxes away for free.

Maybe it helps that we’re on a first name basis with the guys at our local liquor store (isn’t everyone..?) or maybe they’re just happy to get rid of some boxes. Whatever the reason, those free booze boxes are the best thing since reusable packing tape dispensers.


They’re perfect for books!

belle and books
Booze and books – what more do you need?

Tip 3: Kids Don’t Help

I’ve got two small children. And it turns out kids love boxes.

Empty boxes, that is.

So, every time I fill a box, the kids empty it for me. Or they cry because I’ve destroyed their “little house” or their “racing box” by filling it with useless books.

Also, if you’re packing up a house with small children underfoot, you’d damn well better remember where you put each and every stuffed animal. Because when your kid wants Gray the Dinosaur, “He’s packed!” is not an acceptable answer.

Photo on 8-4-16 at 7.10 PM
Gray the Dinosaur is no longer packed.

Tip 4: Get Rid of Everything

My aunt once told me moving is so hard because, as you pack, you re-live every decision you’ve ever made.

Oh, look, a ticket stub from the night train to Rome in 2001! Hey, a letter from an old boyfriend! Wonder what he’s up to these days – maybe I’ll just pop on the old Facebook and check it out…

This is great. For about a day. And then I reached the stage where I’m going to throw it all away.

All. Of. It.


Because no matter how carefully I plan my moves (and there have been many, many moves), I always reach that point where I look at all the wonderful possessions I’ve so carefully collected and think, “Do I actually like this stuff enough to haul it across the country?”


All right, that’s it for my helpful moving tips.

I’m going to have a gin and tonic.


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