Moving House — the horror and beauty

In the course of waaaaaaaayy too many moves I’ve become pretty good at doing it *nearly* all myself. Add four (yes, FOUR) children in the mix and suddenly Netflix becomes the electronic babysitter, and it’s pizza, again, for dinner (served on rustic paper napkins) because I don’t have time to cook, do dishes, and pack up an entire household too.

And, lemme tell you, I’ve had some horror stories.

Moving can be pure hell. Trucks don’t show up when they’re supposed to, rental contacts mysteriously disappear, and the people who were supposed to help fall through cracks in the earth’s crust, never to be seen again.

Oh, I was supposed to help you move? Oh, uh, yeah… I had this thing, with my girlfriend, and I know you just gave me a car, but, yeah. I can’t make it.

True story.

Forget free labour or friendly obligations — seriously, I gave someone an actual (albeit heavily used) CAR and they still wouldn’t help me move.

Even though I offered to pay them.

Think on that for a moment.

In another move my prebooked 26’ truck was suddenly downsized to a 9’ cube van, due to reasons unknown by the rental company – and no amount of badgering middle managers or crying on social media would change it.

At this point I had less than 60 days to move and I actually had no idea *where* we were moving to. We’d been given notice by our landlord, and although our plan was to buy, we were now forced to rent again. The problem is rentals are hard to come by in our town, and even harder when you don’t have time to look.

I immediately moved all my belongings into storage with a local company that allowed customers complimentary use of their 20’ truck. My stuff was packed, stored, and then eventually relocated, in stages, all using the complimentary vehicle which I shuttled back and forth across town. Costs to me for were storage and gas, actually ending up cheaper than the rental truck I’d ordered.

I still had no idea where we were moving to.

I hopped on social media, and leveraged all of my local networks to try to find accommodation for our rather large family and pets, and ended up connecting with a local realtor, who was in the process of purchasing a house they wanted to rent.

Bingo. We became the first tenants.

I learned three things out of this situation: (a) I really like driving a 20’ truck, and (b) even the best laid plans fall through. In the rental truck situation, according to all *ahem, majormovingtruckrentalcompanywithaletterU’s* computer systems, there wasn’t a decent sized rental truck available anywhere in the county; a claim which I’m still skeptical of; this was an early spring move (there was still snow on the ground) and the local real estate market hadn’t taken off yet. I honestly don’t think that many other people were moving.

But (c) the biggest lesson of all was the power of social connections – it was actual human relationships with that got us a place to live, and, as it turned out, led us on to our next (now permanent) place, complete with highly reputable moving company that did all truck driving and furniture lifting for me, all at a reasonable price.

In this era of algorithms and search results, SEO optimization and the latest insta-whatever, it’s nice to know that there’s a real human behind the screen, and people are willing to take the time to help each other out.

As for that missing moving truck? Who knows what happened to it – maybe it joined that friend with my old car.

Considering a move? Relocation? Questions? Comments? Concerns? Drop me a line

For moving advice and strategies, please see The 5 P’s of Moving, or Moving is a Pain in the @ss