Self-Moving Tips for People with Books and Cats

Last week I moved from Orlando, Florida to Denver, Colorado. We made it in one piece, and so did our stuff! I read about moving and packing, but here is some info which I don't recall reading in the guides:

  • Audiobooks or a motivational soundtrack improve home hunting, job hunting, packing, long drives, and unpacking.
  • While packing, spread your books across many boxes. Avoid filling more than half of a box with books. Next time I'm going to try media mail, so I can skip loading them into the van.
  • Your "essentials" box, which will be unpacked immediately after moving, should include all the usual daily use items plus: a shower curtain, towels, a bath mat, the cat's scratching post, and laundry detergent.
  • If you're moving yourself with a rented van, keep the van out of tight spaces such as full parking lots, narrow roads, and dead-end streets. Extricating the van without hitting anything can be a harrowing experience.
  • Add 25% of the Google Maps time estimate to obtain the time it will take a full moving van to traverse that same distance.
  • If you're moving from sea level to a place nicknamed "the Mile-High City," soda cans packed into a cooler at the beginning of the trip may explode near the end of the trip. This is nifty, but also messy and startling when it happens while driving.
  • If your new home has stairs, get ahold of one of those dollies/hand trucks with the tread on the back (ideally like this one some MIT engineers designed). Not as good as an elevator, but better than falling down the stairs with a bookshelf on top of you.
  • Place and fill bookshelves early in your unpacking process. Books take up a lot of floor space.
  • Your cat will probably forgive you for moving her. Mine did.

I love Denver so far! I opened the windows in July and was not filled with immediate regret. And, the continuing countdown: Barbary Station will be available to read in just three months, on October 31, 2017. If you don't want to wait that long to read it, sign up for this Goodreads give-away before August 9 for a chance to win a free copy!

R. E. Stearns