Saturday, May 29, 2010

More on moving

We have moved, halfway across the country, more than once. So, you would think that this inter-county move would have been a cinch. Unfortunately, both of us abhor moving. Which is kind of funny considering we have moved residences 6 times since we've married. Five years ago.

Most of the time, when moving locally, we've opted for the slow-move. This being when time in both locations overlap, allowing us to move a carload or two at a time, using our own or borrowed trucks to move the big stuff. We've also done most of the actual moving ourselves, with occasional help from friends or family. When we've had the inter-state move, we've opted for the big moving truck, or a pull-behind trailer because multiple trips were just not an option.

Honestly, the way we pack feels like it is more a lesson in how not to do it, efficiently, economically or ecologically friendly. Like I said, we hate moving. We hate packing. A few easy things get boxed up securely, but there inevitably is a frantic "get everything in a box NOW" period, in which most of the packing is accomplished. This has lead to use boxing up a whole bunch of random stuff, including important papers and less than important junk mail. I don't recommend this. I am minorly dreading the feeling I'll get when we sort through a box, only to find that it is out-dated insurance information, advertisements from three moves ago, and a few books.

Moving can be a great time to clear stuff out, provided you start earlier enough. I recommend that, not our whirlwind of packing.

If I had been a good green-mover, I would have started sorting and packing earlier, and donated a bunch of stuff. Like books that ended up packed and moved, or the bed rails that ended up in the garage. It is still a goal of mine to sort through the boxes as we unpack, and purge as best a pack-rat like me can.

This time, for the sake of time, sanity and gas, we went for a moving truck. We considered renting a pick up truck from a car rental agency, but since the drive between residences is 15-20 miles one way, and just how many books I have, I thought that the rental money saved would be eaten by the number of trips that the pick up would have had to make.  YMMV. (ha! An appropriate usage of that internet short-hand!) Be sure you understand your rental terms. One of the trade offs for using the moving truck for a local move was that we had to pay a dollar a mile. I think that our sanity was worth it.

The only frugal thing about this move is that we did it ourselves, with help from a wonderful aunt. Ways it could have been cheaper: if we had borrowed a pick up and used that, or if we had been more diligent about making food at home to eat (or if we had opted not to move at all!). Ways it could have been more expensive: if we had kept the truck longer; if we had hired day laborers to do the heavy lifting; or if we had hired out the entire job of moving.

There is probably a list a mile long of ways it could have been greener. But I am only human. And now, I have a whole house and yard to slowly greenify!

What are your thoughts on moving? Do you have a preferred way of doing it?

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