A tongue-in-cheek guide to moving house

Courtesy of Australia’s domain.com, here’s a helpful and humorous article on how to move house.

Ensure that your move does not coincide with big family or life events: I would strongly advise against moving during the first or last trimesters of pregnancy. In fact, the middle bit is best avoided too. My husband can confirm that trying to pack up a house around your wife while she is under the influence of powerful nesting instincts comes with its own set of unique challenges.

. . .

During one move, in a fit of efficiency, we dropped off our newly acquired front door key at a local key cutter to have copies made. We were patting ourselves on the back for being ahead of the game right up until we arrived, with packed car and mewling cat, at our new home. The keys, of course, were still in our previous suburb, a good hour away. This particular mistake may have led to some mild marital discord.

. . .

Every single move, we manage to fill a big cardboard box with books. The result is either an impossibly heavy box or a box without a bottom. Having a box dump paperbacks all over your feet does little to improve the mood on moving day.

. . .

Opening boxes in your new home should be carried out with extreme caution, particularly if there is any kind of sharp implement involved. Similarly, if you plan to cut handles into the sides of cardboard boxes, do so before you fill them up. Take my word for it – cutting holes into already packed boxes does not end well for teddy bears.

There’s more at the link.  Good for a laugh, but some useful advice, too.



  1. A couple of my aquaintance who were moved quite a bit more frequently than I was explained the secrets: purchase where you want to eventually be but rent where you are, including the furniture and vehicles (make sure there's an early termination clause in the lease or rental agreement that's as beneficial as possible; in our cases corporate picked up the tab on those), minimize the personal belongings you have to move (they had a pair of caster-equipped plywood crates built, specifically sized to just fit inside a standard GM/Chevy/Ford/Dodge cargo van, in which cookware, plates, dishes, linens, etc. and some wall art could be tightly packed), and their combined clothing woud fit inside 4 extra-large suitases and a pair of carry-ons (corp paid overweight baggage fees.) On one occasion corporate paid for air freighting those crates from one coast to the other).

    Use national, not local, financial institutions, and have sufficient contacts to enable someone in the "new" place to FedEx a yellow pages (Al Gore's Intertubes have eliminated this step) so you can line up rental realtors, furniture rental, vehicle lease, etc. from afar.

    The trick is to minimize the exteraneous crap and streamline everything else so you can get settled ASAP and Resume Normal Life. They survived 14 moves in 18 years doing it this way (corporate eventually made the mistake of sending him right where they wanted to retire; they already owned there (purchased on a vacation) so some obfuscation and job title juggling kept them in place long enough to get to a Pull The Pin date).

    Yes, in a culture ike that you wind up living like gypsies, but having been through it myself enough times to get fairly good at it, the goal is to not focus on the move, but instead be prepared for it and focus on life between moves. Think "25 year plan."

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