Some people live in the same place forever. My parents, for example, have been in their house, the home I grew up in, for like 40+ years and will likely never move. On the other hand, I have moved more times than I can even recall at this point. In fact, during a recent credit check they asked me to confirm some last known addresses that made be feel I’d been on the move like Whitey Bulger for half my life. Anyway, that all changed during my final big kahuna long distance move of a couple years ago when I traded in my snow shoes for golf clubs and headed from Massachusetts to North Carolina. Learn from my mistakes, friends. Please follow my tips for surviving a long distance move!
So yeah, I had moved a million times, even with some distance. But this whole long distance thing posed a bunch of new challenges. And by challenges I mean, it was miserable. In my situation, there was all the stuff that needed to vacate the home I sold and just go sit somewhere, anywhere really, until I moved and found a new home to put it in. There was a car that needed to go down South, I needed to have enough stuff packed to live and work out of for who knows how long, and then there’s that dog of mine who has a whole bunch of his own special needs! So let’s start with what I did with all that stuff.
Organize and Label Absolutely Everything!
This one I’ve learned the hard way over the years and is especially CRUCIAL if you own any Ikea furniture whatsoever…and you Ikea furniture owners know exactly what I’m talking about. During this move I knew it would be weeks to months (turned out to be 9 months) before I was reunited with all my laminate birch pieces, plus they would be in transit themselves.
Mrs. Jacob Clayton is known for her brilliant ideas and just like that the Tupperware and plastic bag sticky label technique was born. We designated one bureau to jam up with all of these nut and bolt collections and it definitely cut the back-breaking reassembly time and my temper tantrums in half.
I strongly recommend this even for short moves! As you settle into your new home, perhaps a DIY home organization binder or dvd organization project is in your near future.
Pack it In Like Some Peas in a POD
This was a first for me and I did a whole bunch of obsessive compulsive research and psychotic online review stalking before making a decision to put all my stuff in a POD. In my previous moves I always packed and drove a rented moving truck. This time I needed storage and then moving and then maybe more storage and who knows, possibly more moving. So what happens is this giant truck backs into your driveway and unloads your own personal storage unit. This truly takes all of 2 minutes. They leave, you fill it, and lock it, and when you’re ready, you let them know and they come back to whisk it away.
That’s all my stuff after it went from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to Wilmington North Carolina to Oak Island. I couldn’t really help but think of George Carlin throughout this whole process and if I had to do it all again I’d probably just start over with new stuff, or live in a hut. But the PODS process was super easy, I could track a lot of things online which makes me happy, I didn’t have to drive a massive truck, I didn’t have to find storage units, AND (possibly the best thing about the POD), there’s no ramp so you can just walk your stuff right in. I would definitely recommend this for short moves as well. I’ll never move again but when they cart my dead body out of here they can ship me to Heaven in a POD!
Tips for Surviving a Long Distance Move with Your Pet
Finally, and this was a big one for me, if you’ve ever tried to travel with your pet you know it ain’t easy. I’ve moved with cats before and they are certainly vocal in the little carriers aren’t they!?!?!? And sometimes they make a not so nice gesture in said carriers! But otherwise, the meowing stops eventually and music helps. But this was a big trip for my little Ruby pup to go back to his Southern, blue heeler roots. Since he has diabetes, his feedings of homemade diabetic dog food, insulin injections, and exercise regimen are pretty strict, so we did our best to research and plan hotel stops along the way.
Enter GoPetFriendly.com. I came to know the GoPetFriendly folks through BlogPaws and not only are they awesome, dog-loving peeps, their story is inspiring and their website is a life and time saver. You can plan a route and check out hotels along the way, they’ve got destination guides, real-life accounts of places they’ve been, and more. My recommendation is to read all the fine print on all the individual hotel websites and/or call them. In a lot of instances they will allow pets, which does make them friendlier than hotels that won’t, per se, but there are often restrictions and additional fees. Which isn’t really too friendly at all is it? And who could deny this face passing thru town? Ruby says wake me when we get to the beach and safe travels in your next big move!