Every time I move I say to myself that I will never do that again. Life has a way of proving me wrong. I like changing locations, it’s just the packing up part that I dislike. The really sad part about that is I’m good at it. No, I’m great. So much so that it takes much longer than it would any one else. I over wrap, over pack and use lots and lots of stretch plastic. My biggest fear was cost. What was it going to cost us to move all our crap from one end of the country to the other? Everyone I talked to said it couldn’t be done for less than $10,000. One guy that our family used often for local moves said he would “take care” of us and do it for $8,000. First I started calling moving companies. The lowest big I got was $12,000 and that was for exactly what I listed. So much as an extra box and the charges would start. Most bids exceeded $17,000 and unless I was selling a kidney, my prospects were looking bleak.
We did consider putting everything in storage and dealing with it later but I work from home and I have a lot of inventory and business related stuff that I would need. If I put it in storage that would mean my income would stop indefinitely which was not an option. We also (briefly) played with the idea of getting rid of everything and starting over. I preferred the avoid the latter scenario if at all possible. This got me thinking about a service I had used before called Uship. I’d had success with it but for smaller shipments, 30 boxes or less. I put up my request and waited for people to contact me. I got a lot of offers but I finally settled on one guy who did his best to offer me what I considered a great deal. He would have a 25 foot truck and I could use all the space in it. He had a boat to delivery along the way so he would be pulling that too but I didn’t care. He could move that 25 foot truck for $3700. The only hitch? I had to provide the movers. He would be helping but he needed people to load that truck and of course, I had to have everything ready (no problem there). Never mind that we still had no place to live in North Dakota and at this point I’m going on faith that something will just work out. I didn’t even realize how desperate the housing situation here was, I had no idea what I was taking that 25 foot truck into.
I am going to stop for a minute and say, I have the best family ever. We fight, we yell, we have been known to call each other names, gossip runs rampant and we sometimes drink too much act stupid (movies could be made of past Thanksgivings). However, when one of us needs something like this, all that is pushed aside and somehow, everything works out. Without them, it wouldn’t have mattered how cheap the mover would take the job for, it wouldn’t have gotten done. Although I’m telling this story backwards, it should be noted that my husband was already in North Dakota and working in Williston at this point. He wasn’t coming back home. I was on my own.
That mover I talked about earlier, I finalized with him and set the date. There was no turning back. My brother in law, my niece, my kids and one friend were set to come that day and help me move everything into that truck. So maybe by this point you’re wondering, where do you start first? Well, you have to decide, is everything going? I have a lot of stuff. No, that’s not really accurate. I have a gift for being able to stock and store things into small space so what looks like a normal 3 bedroom house would really fill a 5 bedroom house. I started with a storage unit. I rented a storage unit that was temperature controlled because I knew that most likely a good chunk of stuff would be staying. I started filling boxes and thankfully I had a good friend who would come over and we would fill her van up to capacity and take a trip down town and put it in the storage unit. She even let me repay the kindness through gifts of pottery and lunch. This was repeated multiple times until I began to see real space develop in the house. It’s hard to pack and organize when you don’t have the physical room to stack boxes and wrap furniture. So as I packed what I new I would keep, we transferred what we could move down to storage. I marked each box with either STORAGE or MOVE so if push came to shove, I would know what boxes I could live without.
This is where I end this part of the story. I will continue it but I wanted to convey to anyone considering moving here with their whole family like we did that you have to have a plan. Go room to room and make a list of what is a “must keep”, things you have to have to live here. Then start purging. Empty one room or even a part of a room and begin packing boxes and putting them into that cleared space. The best piece of advice I can give you at this point in the move, is keep a notebook of items you will need when you make the road trip. It’s easy to pack things and then realize you needed them. Perhaps you have pets and they need medication. Pack your travel bag ahead of time, things like that. Be prepared for all scenarios.
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