Moving is a process that usually takes anywhere from 90 to 120 days. If you and your family become involved in the process, you will find it can be a well organized and efficient experience.
Or, you can do it like me, where moving was a process that took about three days with the help of my 11-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son, and one month later I still can't find our two cats or the sofa.
So maybe you'd better not do it like me.
According to all of the books on the subject it's rather amazing how many books there are on the topic of filling a box and moving it from one place to another the most important moving rule to remember is: "Plan, organize, plan, organize, plan, organize." If you can master those two concepts, it is said, you are well on your way to an efficient and painless move.
I wouldn't know. But I'm willing to take the experts' word on it.
The first step the pros advise is that you make a list of what you need to do and when you need to do it. One approach is to make a calendar of events for your moving time table.
Another approach would be to wait until the new owners of your old house are ready to have you removed physically from the premises. By then they will likely be more than happy to carry all of your heavier belongings out to the moving truck and perhaps even from the truck into your new home if you just sit in their driveway for a few hours appearing to have no intention of going anywhere.
Some time before moving day actually rolls around, it is wise to consider what you really do or do not need. Like the sofa your mother-in-law gave you that's been in the basement for two years. Or those children you had and tried to make a friendly and cooperative connection with, but failed.
Here's a valuable rule of thumb on this topic: Chances are, if you haven't used it or gotten along with it in the last year, you probably never will.
If you have been wanting a new refrigerator with an icemaker, now may be the time to buy one that matches your new kitchen. And if your washer and dryer are getting old and battered, consider selling them.
(Important note to men: If you should choose to do this, and you have no intention of replacing these appliances, do not apprise your wife of your plan. This course of action will allow you to pocket the money and save your marriage when, at your new house, you wonder aloud, "What the heck did we do with the washer and dryer?")
Garage sales are another American tradition that are especially useful before moving. They enable you to sell unwanted furniture, appliances, clothing, nuclear wastes, disease-contaminated items, and fish products with expired freshness dates while putting a little more welcomed spending money in your pocket.
The kid's room is usually a good place to start when it comes to eliminations. Although we've already covered that, here's one more tip: Be discreet.
There are two categories of things that cannot go with the mover and that you probably will not want to drag around yourself: perishable food items and hazardous materials ... which can be the same thing if you're talking about, oh, salmon patr tuna casserole.
Plan your meals to use up the contents of your freezer at least a week before you go. If your freezer contains those three sides of elk from your last hunting trip, prepare to be the fattest person on your new block.
That's the bad news. The good news is that your monstrous obesity will elicit such sympathy from your new neighbors that they'll say, "No! You sit down! Let us unload the truck for you!"
And if you buy that, man oh man, you really are in need of a change in atmosphere.