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Boxes, boxes everywhere…

May 31, 2011

Memorial Day weekend was a BIG packing weekend for D and I.  We take possession of our new place tomorrow and move in this coming Saturday.  This weekend, he and I were extremely motivated and got a ton of stuff done– we packed up almost the entire kitchen, dis-assembled our enormous IKEA wardrobes and packed all of our clothing, our bookcases… we’re probably about 80-85% packed at this point.

Our Living Room right now...

I’m also happy with how he and I have done dealing with each other through the stress brought on by so many sudden changes.  I accepted this position 2 weeks ago.  In that time, we’ve found an apartment, made a new budget, opening a joint checking account, planned our new layout for the apartment, and packed most of our place up.  And we’ve done it without having a major argument or even getting all that snippy with each other.

Tips for moving without killing each other:

  • Know what the other person needs: D doesn’t handle change well– it stresses him out, so I know I need to constantly reassure him that everything is going to be OK until we are finally all moved in.  I require lots of positive reenforcement during major projects, so he knows to end a major packing session with high fives or compliment me on how much I’ve accomplished.  Knowing this about each other kept both of our stress levels lower and helped avoid petty fights a ‘la “OMG! I TOLD you a hundred times that everything is going to be FINE!  STOP freaking out!”– I may have thought that a hundred times in the last 2 weeks, but I didn’t say it.
  • Not everything is a “ditch to die in”: Our new apartment has required a lot of big choices and new purchases– shower curtains, a new bed, and 2 new chairs so far… we don’t always agree style-wise, but we’ve both been good about compromising with the other on what we want so we aren’t yelling in Bed Bath & Beyond over stupid shower curtains
  • Music makes everything more fun– packing up your kitchen with a rocking playlist is a lot less annoying
  • Google Docs Spreadsheets are the greatest thing ever– I made one and shared it with D’s gmail account.  Now we can both always see and update our budget, our to-do list, our to-buy list, our “take it over in the car before the move” list, and our “things to sell on craigslist” list… have you noticed I like lists?

Tips for less stressful moving:

  • Get into your new space as early as possible and MEASURE EVERYTHING.  How big are the windows, how big are all of the rooms, where does the door frame fall on the wall, are there sophets in the ceiling… I used to work at IKEA and the number of times people came in and bought a room full of new furniture for a space they had never measured taught me that this is a must
  • If you are really type-A like me, you can map out your new space and cut out all of your furniture to scale on graph paper so that you can figure out where you want everything to go.  I had a lot of fun with this part

I swear I'm not crazy... I just really like graph paper

  • Pack a suitcase a week ahead– D and I each packed a suitcase as if we were going on a week long trip– clothes, shoes and toiletries, that way we could pack up all the rest of our stuff but know we had all of the basics we would need for the rest of our time in the old apartment
  • Assemble a packing team in advance and create a system.  D and I have numerous awesome friends who are going to help us on moving day, and I have a plan for how we will use each of them effectively so we can be done as quickly as possible.
  • Reward your packing team: we’re making sure to have cold drinks on hand at the old place and the new place, as well as ordering food to be ready to pick up as soon as we’re done moving.  We’re also planning on giving out some lovely adult beverages so everyone can relax after the big move
  • Set up the apartment with a few essentials ahead of time.  We’re taking over toilet paper, paper towels, trashbags, water, sodas, beer, setting up our shower curtains, bringing towels, shower gel and bathmats.  That way, when the move is over, folks can hop in the shower and clean up if they need to, grab a cold drink, or take a seat.

I’m hoping the rest of this week goes smoothly… I also need to finish writing my year-end report for my current position and then pack up and move from my old office to my new one– but I’m just not going to think about that yet.  How was your long weekend?

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