How to: Pack and Move Wine

How to pack wine for movingOh, hi there new best friend. You have so much wine you can’t drink it all before moving day? Or, you can’t imagine giving away your wine collection to friends as you pack up your house. You sure you don’t need some help drinking that? No? Okay, well, here’s some info how to deal with your wine and liquor collection when moving.

Wine is a) breakable b) spoils when exposed to heat and light c) expensive d) everybody’s best friend. <3 So how the hell are you going to move it across town, across the country or around the world? I can help with across town and even across the country but around the world is an entirely different topic of conversation I’m afraid we won’t be able to cover in post. International laws are another beast all together.

The good news is you don’t have to give up your collection just because you’re moving house and the bonus is that you have options.

Option one. There are wine storage facilities. These are specific temperature and climate controlled mini vaults for your liquid assets. They specialize in the thing you value so much. Find one near you and indulge in that monthly fee to keep your babies all safe and tucked in for sweet dreams.

Option two. Pack in boxes and drive in your car to keep as climate controlled as possible. Or pack in Styrofoam coolers to help with temperature regulation and keeping lights away as well as absorbing vibrations. You’ll want to pad each bottle with plenty of packing paper or bubble wrap, which will help with temperature control as well. Alcohol is never allowed on your full service moving truck. What a buzzkill, right?

Option three. Shipping through the mail or another carrier, though technically you may not be able to according to each state’s laws. You’ll want to ship in cooler months so that leaves you options to pack up your wine in coolers and leave with a friend who doesn’t mind storing for you and dropping off at UPS for you when the weather allows. You’ll want to note the contents as olive oil or glassware to get around any specific harassment. The rules aren’t entirely clear and I’m not telling you to break them, but the way I understand, since you’ll be shipping your personal property to yourself, not like from a winery.

If you don’t have a friend who can help you with this task, you can ask your local wine store or wine storage facility as they can often help with arranging storage and shipments for you.

how to ship wine bottles

Option four. There are moving companies that specialize in moving wine collections. Do a quick search for Professional Wine Shipping, though this may be the most expensive option. They’ll walk you through the entire process.

If you’re not hiring somebody to pack and ship your wine for you, you’ll want to pay attention to the best way to pack your wine bottles. You’ll need boxes large and strong enough for wine bottles, obviously, bubble wrap and packing paper, and packing tape.

Wine is shipped upright unless they are old bottles. Old bottles of wine should be shipped and stored on the side to keep the cork wet. You can always use a moving box on the non-seam side as the bottom of the box.

You’ll want to wrap each bottle of wine in three sheets of plain packing paper, tucking as you wrap. Bottles should never touch the walls of the moving box and never touch each other directly in the box. Empty space should be void filled with crumpled packing paper or bubble wrap. If you decide to wrap bottles in bubble wrap, you have the chance of keeping the bottle temperatures more stable through the move. Bubble wrap is great at helping to hold a tempe

How to pack and move wine

While we were busy writing this post, all our moms were on Pintrest deciding how to use all those old corks

rature as well as cushion.

If you box doesn’t fit the bottles nicely, you’ll need to pad boxes on all sides with packing paper. Of course you could go to a liquor store and pick up some heavy-duty boxes from them if that’s the option you’d like to go with. Even if the boxes have cardboard partitions in them, you’ll want to wrap the bottles in packing paper and make sure there is no room for any of the bottles to shift.

Now, there’s always a fifth option. You throw the biggest and best Great Gatsby party you can imagine for all the people you love and drink all that beautiful adult grape juice up so you don’t have to pack the bottles. And you can send us a personal invitation directly to…. I digress. Good luck out there, my movers and shakers.

 

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Two M words nobody likes: Millennials and Moving, plus 11 tips

MillennialsI am, ugh I hate this word, a Millennial. The talking heads like to call us the Digital Generation, Generation Y, and maybe a rival most-hated term, the Boomerang Generation. Those talking heads love to complain about how we’re ruining everything (did WE, those under 30 really get us into this financial mess?) and how we’re spoiled entitled brats who need constant reassurance. I can assure you, we are not. While there are some of us who have failed to properly launch our lives in the same timeframe our parents and grandparents had, it is more likely series of circumstances than lack of motivation. We’ve been raised with faster and faster digital devices and then been told that where all the jobs are. Yes, we Tweet and Instagram and text message a lot but we are a generation hungry, starving for both quality and density. Having amazing content in our faces at all times has pushed us to not settle, which is why we get married later and later and delay some basic life events like moving out of our parent’s houses. Jobs are still scarce since bosses think we just won’t work hard enough combined with corporate greed and old-school standards. We’re saddled with college debt and instead of accepting yet another unpaid internship, we are a generation of producers who are looking to push the button and have the luxury of taking our time to find that unique role of technology, digital and intelligence. You gotta give us a break every now and then, we were raised with special assemblies in elementary school about recycling, we were raised to realize everything matters.

It’s likely if you’re finding interest in this, you’re of this certain generation. And it’s not like you haven’t come from generations of men and women moving out of their parent’s nest. This isn’t a new concept, and I promise I won’t patronize you. You’re a beautiful, bright creature and we’re going to go places all without having to be assholes, you guys.

The first thing you should know other than I’m also a Millennial is I have moved out of my parent’s house and moved back in, only to move back out. I know the difficulty of each transition and they’re pretty fresh to share with you.

  1. piggy bankMoving is not cheap. There are so many things to consider. Moving boxes, moving supplies, moving trucks or your dad’s truck or your boyfriend’s truck or your retired neighbor’s truck, saying an adequate thank you to your helpers, gas for all those trucks. The list goes on and on. No matter what your new place is like, you should feel proud of your accomplishment because yay you get new freedom to be pantsless in your house. You get to text friends back on Friday night saying, Sorry, de-panted already and Netflix is cued up on the screen already. Maybe tomorrow? Keep all of this money spending in check by having a plan. A time plan, a budget plan, a thank you for helping me move for as cheap as possible plan. Your parents will be forgiving if you wait to thank their efforts for a few weeks while you settle in and recover your bank account.
  2. You’re going to have to buy things you’ve never had to own before because they were always shared by the collective household you lived in before. A modem, trashcan, trash bags, lamps. Forget about fancy TVs (is that a thing people do still? I have never purchased a TV and never had cable outside of my parent’s house) and designer furniture, you’re going to realize the super harsh reality of the price tag of a trashcan. Gross, I know. Add things here slowly. Start with the basics and add as needed. I started with a single cast iron pan my dad had gifted me and later purchased a pots and pans set once I was ready to do more cooking. Buy a spatula you like and is sturdy and will last a long time, I promise you won’t regret that purchase. But don’t run out and buy every knife you’ll think you ever need. Have one nice knife, find out it can cut cheese and bread and vegetables all with deft competence.
  3. home decorThis is a time to really develop a personal style. You don’t have to fill every wall with art from day one. You don’t have to have a formal sitting area. Pick up a rocking chair at a vintage store and the 50s coffee table at a thrift store because it’s $5. Or buy the Ikea special of the month. Or buy the expensive couch from Pottery Barn that makes you happy. And know you can’t afford the bookcases and kitchen table right now. There’s no rush to the finish line here, it’s your life, remember? It took me probably a year to get in a space where I wanted to be and everything since then has been adding and subtracting to refine my space.
  4. I recently had this conversation with a friend’s girlfriend who is still in college. There’s no shame in being included in some of your parent’s bills. Pay your own rent, for sure, but that Netflix account? Leach off that for as long as you want, I say. Pay your parents for your share of the cell phone bill because getting your own account means you will not get the same grandfathered-in rates your parents have secured. You’ll get off that eventually.
  5. There’s no such thing as what an adult is supposed to do. Guess what, you’re an adult and this is what you’re doing. Don’t compare yourself to your peers. You’re working on your own path, your own story. Keep yourself busy developing into an interesting person that can be single or alone or a full and rounded person in a relationship.
  6. Living alone? Yay, I love living alone. Realize the first week/s might feel super strange to you and you might get a little lonely. Use this new time to work on a hobby. Write that novel, paint that portrait, develop the recipe for the perfect mole sauce. Go out, sit at the bar, talk to others there just like you. Network!
  7. Moving in with roommates? All relationships need communication. Discuss realities and don’t let something drive you crazy until you’re sleeping back at your parent’s house just to get away from this crazy person. Please refrain from leaving passive aggressive notes.
  8. Respect your neighbors. Having a party? Knock on their door to let them know and invite them over. Give them your phone number and ask if you’re too loud to please give you a text or call and you’ll get it under control. This will avoid any noise ordinances if the police get called.
  9. You are what you eatPlease eat some vegetables, and not just when mom tells you to.
  10. You’ll discover some things you can buy at Ikea and some things you should spend a little more money on. I love Ikea, I love Target, they’re great places to get on-point trends to decorate my home but the truth is, the desk chips and those chairs are wobbly. You’ll need to decide, maybe more through trial and error, what is worth spending a little more money on.
  11. Put your bills on autopay. It’s not cute to get the gas turned off because you simply forgot to pay. And for petes sake, get renter’s insurance. It’s like, $8 a month. You are what you eat
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How to: Pack Records

How to pack vinyl recordsOh hey there, old-timey friend. Do you smoke a corn cob pipe and have a tin of moustache wax? Do you talk about the good-ole days and yell at kids to get off your lawn? Haha I don’t know why I imagined a person who listens to records like that. I mean, I’m a person who listens to records and grew up listening to my dad’s records (Hello Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Paul and Mary and old Alabama records!) and I don’t have a moustache or smoke a pipe, though maybe it’s only because the lack of testosterone in my body.

Look, no matter the reason you have for indulging in the very cumbersome and visceral experience of listening to records (I like it just for the pure indulgence of the experience! Others like the sound and others still are just hanging on to some other time in their life), your records are going to be one of the heaviest and delicate items you’ll move with you. While boxes of books will be just as heavy, they aren’t nearly as sensitive as records. record collections how to pack and moveVinyl records are made of, well laquer and vinyl and are sensitive to things like heat, are susceptible to damage like scratches and dust is so attracted to vinyl’s material it may make your records skip.

All of these are reasons to take a few extra steps to protect your records so they arrive at your new home unscathed from the rough process of moving. I’m going to list a few different ways of packing so you know you have options.

Options for supplies:
    •    Record box or Book box or Kitchen Dish box
    •    Milk crate
    •    Packing paper
    •    Packing tape

There’s a few important rules you’ll need to remember when packing your records.
    •    Records are sensitive to heat
    •    Records are stronger as units
    •    Records should never be packed flat, always standing upright
    •    Boxes should be as snug of fit as possible

So those are the basics. And really the only direction you need. Milk crates are great because they’re 12” x 12”, which, conveniently are the size of records. They’re sturdy and have handles which are convenient. But milk crates are not covered and open to the elements which could be bad for you as you dash around in a light rain on moving day. Record boxes are boxes specifically meant to handle the weight and size of records. These are sold through very specialty dealers and can get pricey pretty quickly.

Book boxes, which are similar in size to record boxes are great because you can source them easily. Book boxes are 16” x 12” x 12” which are perfect for records. Keep a check on the weight, though, and fill up any empty space which lighter items or crumpled packing paper.

Kitchen dish boxes are double walled to handle the weight and help absorb any shock or vibration the box will get in transit. But, they are not perfectly sized for records so you’ll need to pack a lot of packing paper or bubble wrap in all of the empty spaces. You don’t want those records shifting in the box.

Moving recordsAny box you use will need to be taped really well. We recommend using two to three pieces of packing tape across the bottom seam of the moving box. Make sure these boxes are noted which side is up as you really, really, really want to keep those records upright in the box. If they’re flat, they have so much surface area to warp and absorb impact and get damaged that way. If you’re not filling a box entirely with records, make sure the weight is evenly distributed. And remember, remember, remember to lift these boxes with your legs and not your back.
If you can avoid it, don’t move records in bad months like August. And if you can afford it, move records in climate controlled moving trucks. If not, keeping them out of direct sunlight is the next best option and keeping them in as climate controlled environment as possible.
You know what? Sitting on a porch in a rocking chair with a nice glass of ice tea and twisting a moustache while listening to a good record and yelling at those kids to get off my lawn sounds like a lovely way to spend an evening. Keep on doing you, you beautiful creature.

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Shedding the winter layers

Springtime melting snow emerging from the layers of weight you packed onIt’s (not officially but come-on, close enough) Spring! You’re retiring cabin fever and getting out of your godforsaken home into the sunshine and vitamin D to chase the SADs away. Warmer, longer, brighter, happier , more positive days are here, my friends. Woohoo. You’re probably already drunk on sunshine. You’re like Davy Crocket out there in the bright world discovering all the artifacts that were covered and preserved under the multiple snowpocalypse storms of the winter. I have a friend in Chicago who found an entire bag of chocolate chip cookies looking fresh as the day they were baked. Another person discovered their long lost iPhone under a pile of snow. Miraculously it still worked and wasn’t even shattered. Crazy world we live in. What a beautiful season Spring is, right? I know it’s not for a couple more days, the Spring Equinox is Thursday but it’s Spring in our hearts!

Pack away those extra layersLet’s chat about some of the ways you can start to shed those winter hibernation layers you packed on the last few months.  You know, the ones you’ve been piling on in the cold months telling yourself, it’s cool, you know you’re not this giant and puffy in real life. Like real life is a season other than six feet of snow. You know once winter ends you won’t continue to resemble to marshmallow man from Ghost Busters. (RIP Harold Ramis!) Let’s get ready for Spring dresses and outdoor music festivals and ugh, bikini season together.

Options!

  1. Start by removing the actual layers! You don’t need those smartwool long johns and wool socks and boots and puffy jackets. Whew! You’ve lost 10 pounds already, look how slim and attractive you are. Feel how strong and light you are. Notice how much easier it is to have good posture. Damn, son, im-prove-ment! And! You don’t look like a blog anymore. You have elbow bones and noticeable back fat. Whoops, that’s a layer that will be a little harder to take off. Pack those extra alyers away into storage for next year. So freeing.
  2. Try dieting. I personally recommend the moving diet. It’s this hip new diet I just made up where you get all of your physical activity and strength building activities by packing all your stuff in boxes and moving it to a new home. I know, I know, it is a complex diet so let’s walk through some of the specifics. Or, at the least, this is a diet full of complex carbs. One) Moving requires you to purge all the things you don’t want. It’s physical weight being removed from your life. That’s probably hundreds of pounds! Hundreds! Especially if you looked around and decided that spouse or partner you’ve been hanging onto a little too long needs to go. Hundreds of so last season pounds gone. Two) Moving requires you to use your arms, hands, legs, torso, to stand sit walk and occasionally demonstrate your new strength by hurling an item across the room in a fit of rage or frustration or exhaustion. So many calories have been burned. So many pounds lost. Of course, during thi time you will need to properly fuel up with fatty and comples carbs like pizza! And hot cheetos. While other health coaches may tell you, Everything In Moderation and, CAREFUL with all those carbs, I’m telling you to throw caution to the wind. Pizza soothes your soul. It fills your belly. Everybody smiles when pizza is delivered. Use pizza and moving boxes to help you lose winter weightAlso, during this time of stress calories don’t count. I’ll repeat myself. Calories. Don’t. Count. Everybody knows this! It’s written into the constitution, I believe. Plus really full, heavy moving boxes counteracts all the calories you aren’t counting because they don’t count. It’s like eating celery. Three) If you don’t believe me about the no calories thing, you have A LOT of stuff you’re going to need to move. That legit burns.
  3. Have you tried shedding emotional weight? You have no idea how freeing for bikini season it is to look around and loose that baggage. Your shoulders and back feel lighter instantly. Take all that is weighing down your heart and self-esteem and simply set it down and walk through the door without it on. It’s almost like your new life is in a nudist colony, that’s how naked you might feel without all your familiar safety blankets of issues to carry around. Flaunt your new self. Talk about the weight you lost this way. This is about Letting Go Of The Things That Do Not Serve You.

Look at you, you are gorgeous now!  Ready for bikini season like you didn’t just spend four month stuck indoors eating cookies and drinking hot toddies. Check yourself out, look at that speedo / bikini-ready bod.

Think you don’t have a bikini body yet? Check this out, I have the perfect solution for you.

Do you have a body? Yes, check!

Do you have a bikini? Yes, check!

Put bikini on body.

I bet you didn’t know it was so easy to transition seasons. I’m glad we got to chat about this today, I’m here for you, boo. As for the Spring cleaning… you’re on your own with that.

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Dog shaming for humans who move like idiots

people shaming for poor movingWhat if pet shaming was a thing that expanded beyond Fido and Fluffy? What if it was acceptable behavior to shame the people you’ve helped move? All those poor behaviors written clearly out of a board and hung around their neck for all the world to see how they’ve wasted time, energy and resources. Bonus points if a photo is to be taken at the end of the long moving day while they are sweaty and dirty and unattractive? How satisfying would that be?

Is this mean spirited? Whatever, you know you’ve internally complained about these same people before. Like the quote that came from Dan Harmon I posted a few months back, “One minute you’re carrying a box because you want to help your friend, the next minute, you’re carrying the same box to be a good person and a few steps later, after not getting some thank you you decided you deserved, you’re carrying a box because your asshole friend is a selfish piece of shit and you can’t wait to move out of your house just to make him lift a piano and you hope it crushes him to death.” Maybe your thoughts haven’t been this intense but surely you’ve been left longing for some sort of acknowledgment for your efforts/energies/time/resources.

makes you want to drive the moving truck off a cliffI’m not saying if I had the opportunity to shame the people I love for being inadequately prepared for their move that I absolutely would. I have too much compassion and empathy and realize what a giant PITA moving is and that life happens and not everything can be accounted for and life happens which means not everything can go according to a plan you thought you carefully calculated. I mean, I hold my friends and loved ones to (sometimes impossibly) high standards but I can still acknowledge we are all human and, well, shit happens. Maybe if I lived in an alternate universe where this shaming behavior was acceptable (our human-ness became less so? But wouldn’t that mean these behaviors would also mean less, we would put less weight into these silly interactions? We would help somebody move and we wouldn’t feel they “owe” us something like preparedness, organization, or gratitude. So maybe this alternate universe doesn’t exist, it never could exist because to let go of the things that make us human mean they would no longer bother us even if we had the opportunity to shame them. I mean, I just got into science fiction in the last year because I grew up assuming it was about science and space and some boring tech stuff but really! Really it’s about exploring the limits of being human in a different environment like the deep south or NYC or fucking rush hour traffic. I’m so happy I opened myself up to scifi because it’s been a really great journey. I’m sure you, the reader, was really worried about my current state of reading materials so I’m glad that’s out in the open now. All that because the alternate universe.)

Poorly packed and ready to moveSo what if you could shame your friends for their bad moving behavior? What sign would you hang around their neck? What would you complain about? This is, of course, all in vain somebody will read this and be more prepared for their helper friends. Also, get it off your chest. Let it go, put it out there and set yourself free! It’s liberating! Lucky for you, I have some ideas to get you started if you’re complainer-shy.

I didn’t get everything packed so instead of loading the moving van, my moving party had to pack/clean/organize instead. My three hour moving event turned into six hours.

Instead of labeling the boxes and furniture that belong in the storage unit I reserved ahead of time, I let it get randomly loaded into the moving truck without reason. This made my movers load, unload and reload the moving truck. I wasted their time and energy.

I never thanked my movers. Not with words or gratitude or money or a meal or a thank you gift. I am an asshole that nobody will ever help move again.  Next time I ask for help I will be upset everybody is magically out of town.

I did not purge anything and instead of being a good move, it was like an episode of hoarders. I should have hired professional movers because I don’t know enough people to shorten the time efforts of the people who used to love me.

Alright, you guys. Do good things. Read good books. Get into science fiction! And most importantly, don’t make your loved ones shame you for your terrible moving practices. Do the things you need to do to get ready. I know they’re not fun, obviously they are not fun. Obviously there’s other ways to spend your time and money but do it so you don’t waste everybody else’s time and money. Okie dokie. Adios.

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Looking to relocate cities / states?

Things to consider before movingThere’s a plethora of things you should consider prior to packing the moving boxes, ordering the moving van and employing all your friends to help. I’m not talking about checking off a moving list to make the move itself successful but rather the steps you can take to ensure the move is as permanent as you intend for it to be. Because, as is my mantra by now, moving is really stupidly expensive. Besides the energy and time it sucks away from the fun things in life, all those boxes you threw out for the expensive electronics now need to be replaced. It’s not like one Flat Screen TV Box is expensive, it’s that you probably have two or three or more you need to buy now. How many dinners out are you sacrificing to protect those expensive toys? Yeah, this is why moving is expensive and why you most likely do not want to do it again in six months when you find out you hate your new location.

So what else? Here are a few questions to consider.

What is the political climate like? If you’re on one extreme and the new location is on the other extreme, you’re likely to get frustrated with your neighbors, coworkers and community at large. You’ll give up on the place long before you move away. Things to consider before moving

Have you visited for a temperature gauge of the community? I’m not talking weather and Doppler reports but personalities and culture though weather may play a significant role. What if you’re coming from sunny Florida and heading to dreary Minnesota in winter, especially this recent winter full of snow days. Visiting in person can give you a feel for the city before you move. Spend more than a day. Walk around and pretend you live there, note things that both excite you and frustrate you. Are people snobby everywhere you go but your Midwestern attitude is polite and pleasant? Another way to gauge is via online research. This can greatly reveal the interests and personality types when the anonymity of the internet comes into play.

This really is an important thing to consider, no matter how small you may think it is. You may not recognize right away the differences between coasts but you roll up with your moving truck full of your boxes and furniture, you may start to notice things you thought you didn’t have to think about before. If you can’t relate or find your niche, you’ll be likely to be getting out ASAP.

Consider resources before movingWhat are the available resources? If your family is your main resource, your life-force and support system, you might want to reconsider moving 3,000 miles from them. What else is important to you? Farm fresh food, a roller derby group, art museums? What gets you excited? What supports your passion? It’s not like these places are unique to any one area of the world but you’ll need to consider your budget in relation to them. Maybe you cannot afford to be located near the things you love and it may leave you feeling isolated. Sure, New York has subways to get you to destinations but major sprawling metropolitans like Dallas, Los Angeles or Phoenix might have you driving 45 minutes plus to those life sustaining activities / hobbies / careers. Just consider it.

There’s probably an infinite number more questions to consider. Will I like my landlord / neighbors / local grocery? Will I be able to live the lifestyle I aspire to? Will I find a new friend group to take away the loneliness? The thing is, you can ask yourself all of the questions and carefully consider the options but you may just not know until you’ve taken the plunge. You may not know until you’re attempting to buy a rotisserie chicken on a Tuesday night with all the other people you just realized you hate. You may do all you can to research and it may just not pan out. Don’t beat yourself out about it, okay? At least you did some work to try to prevent this.

You tried! You’re trying! The only constant is change so let’s embrace that. First investigate, do some recognizance. And then commit one way or another. Some things you can think until you’re blue but you won’t know until you try. I tell my best friend, an over thinker, Less Thinking More Doing. I mean, that advice is for the over thinkers in the crowd, not for those looking to forgive their lack of research. Maybe this is all the worst contradictory advice ever. Whatever, yo. It’s just a blog.

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The best ways to thank your DIY move helpers

You are a statistic. You are one of the 40 million people (according to the U.S. Census Bureau) who picked up and moved in the United States every year. Wow, that’s a formidable force. Do you know the definition of formidable?

for·mi·da·ble

adjective

inspiring fear or respect through being impressively large, powerful, intense, or capable.

What I have to say is I respect you. Moving is tough work, it forces you to evaluate your relationship with your things, it strains relationships around you, it tests your actual physical strength and no matter how joyful the reason for the move, it is considered by psychologists as one of the most stressful events in our lives.

I’m not going to make a guess how many of those 40 million people completed a DIY move vs. a full service moving company but my guess is the percentage of DIYers is pretty darn high. You know what comes with DIY moves that also inspires respect? DIY move helpers. Seriously, let’s give a round of applause to those family and friends that have stepped up to the plate, no matter the weather or their own lives going on and carried the other half of the couch covered in a plastic sofa cover and loaded and unloaded those moving boxes. Bravo to them!

The best ways to thank your DIY move helpers[1]Don’t tell me you don’t thank your helpers. If you don’t, I won’t hear it and I won’t respond to it. Or, I don’t understand the question and I won’t respond to it. For the rest of us, have your thanks been adequate? Have they been awesome? Really, have they inspired awe? Probably not.

Here’s some ideas how to get people excited to help you move again in the future.

  1. Food is the obvious starting point. My couch is an inherited piece of beauty from my great grandparents. It’s heavy, like two grown men struggle with this heavy. I have two options here. I could buy a lighter couch or I could thank the parties that carried it for me profusely. Moving burns calories and makes people hungry. Feeding people is perfectly acceptable! If you don’t think food can inspire awe, you’ve never eaten the perfect peach in the middle of the summer with the juice dripping down your chin thinking that if life ended now, you’d be okay with it. But if you decide to feed people, this is not the time to buy a couple of five dollar pizzas. That’s why people will hate you and why they’ll be ‘busy’ next time you are moving. You didn’t even nourish them in ways that made them happy. Try regional favorites. Here in Arizona we have the best Mexican food outside of Mexico. Debate that all you want, you silly Californians with your silly burritos. Sonoran Mexican food is an art and produces beautiful and unique Mexican food. This was a cheap post-couch-moving late lunch that involved lots of salsa, cold beers and other than people being a little sore or tired, genuinely happy.
  2. Thank your moving helpers with a dinner partyCan’t dine with your helpers right then? Send them on their way with their own six pack of beer or your favorite bottled beverage (I personally love to send them with a mix of my favorite fizzy water and a few bottles of this sparkling grapefruit juice I adore) and an invitation to a fabulous dinner party in the near future. Need dinner party menu ideas? Try Braised beef ribs, caramelized butternut squash and a mixed green salad with a bright vinaigrette to cut the fat. Or fish baked in parchment, lemon risotto and lots of stir fried zucchini. Offer lots of wine, water and iced tea. Toast a beverage of your choice. Don’t mistake this for a housewarming party and recognize you may still have unpacked boxes lying around.
  3. Send each helper a personalized thank you note, post card or letter. If a couple who lives together helped, send an individual note to each person. Really, they’ll enjoy this. Be genuine and be brief. State how you could not have done it without them. Really, you absolutely needed their muscles to get the table through the doorframe.
  4. Offer up a return service, like babysitting for free or dogsitting on their extended vacation. Hopefully they helped you move because they love you and want to see you succeed in life not so they could get a return on their investment. But hanging with their kid while they take a rare date night out wouldn’t kill you, would it?
  5. Treat your moving helpers with a spa day if you have a lot of moneyAre you cash-flush and want to go out of your way? Send your helpers to beauty services like a massage for those that helped with the heaviest items or the ones that chipped their nail polish carrying all those boxes for a fresh manicure. Not that cash flush? Give each person a goody bag of arnica gel/cream (helps with muscles soreness), a new bottle of nailpolish, maybe a loofah and a bath bomb.
  6. Probably more than any thank you gift at the end, the biggest gift you can give is being organized and ready-to-go when they arrive. Make sure the moving truck is there. And the boxes are sealed. And you have a game plan like what order things should go in the truck and if you know somebody is particularly good at organizing space, delegate the task of directing where boxes and furniture should be stacked in the truck to them. The only finger they’ll have to lift is when pointing. Being organized is probably the only way to keep your relationships from suffering. Being organized extends to having plenty of water on hand, soap and paper towels for washing dirty hands.
  7. Bonus if you’re getting pizza/food delivered after moving. Get your TV or music system set-up the day prior to the move so when everybody is relaxing, there’s some entertainment to be had.

So go forth, my little gifters. Be so amazing they’ll forget about lifting those boxes full of crap for you up three flights of stairs. Be awe inspiring. Be grateful.

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Zoom Zoom. Commuting with mindfulness

Staying calm while commutingI talk a lot about moving, packing and all things home here. Today I want to take a little detour (hah, this pun you’ll get in a minute) and talk about the things we do to have these opportunities to have these homes and move to live in other locations. The jobs and careers that give us the opportunity for a paycheck, to travel and see how people live in different parts of the world, to move to new places. But in our quest for adventure and experience, there are so many monotonous and mundane everyday tasks we have to slug through. Let’s take one of the experiences and see how we can tolerate it better, find little moments of joy and manage the everyday stress better.

Commuting is a fact of life for most Americans. While it would be lovely to wake up and have your office just a five minute walk down the street with your favorite bakery and coffee shop in between, that’s basically not a reality. Commuting can be a walk to the subway, lightrail or bus stop, which I consider those to be the lucky ones being more passive in your commute, freeing up the time while somebody else drives that vehicle to your destination to  read a book, get started working or knit an afghan with your time instead of steering. For millions of other Americans, their mornings and evenings are full of driving a vehicle, often directly into the rising or setting sun. That is my reality, I drive into the rising sun in the morning and directly into the setting sun in the evening. Obviously the winter months are more intense since the days are so much shorter but I’m pretty much banking on future blindness from all these direct sunrays burning through my corneas.

Commuting is often synonymous with stress. It takes a yoga zen master to stay calm in never-ending bumper to bumper. So what can you do to help these bookending daily trips more pleasurable?

Audiobooks and Podcasts. Why not use your time to work your way through an interesting book? What about podcasts that can be eye-opening, make you laugh or bring new insight into your personal or professional growth. Find a podcast in your industry, educate yourself and start incorporating your new knowledge into your job, impress your boss with thoughtful  insights, get a promotion and finally achieve that corner office. Funny how you can take that time back in your control, even if you can’t directly open a book or newspaper because you’re steering.

Commuting with joyPlaylists. You know what’s a great stress reliever? Dancing. Dancing in your car amps you up for what’s to come, relieves stress, burns calories and spreads joy. If classical music is your jam, then do your thing Ms. Jackson! Do your thing to the fullest. If it’s Fleetwood Mac, crank that up and Go Your Own Way.

Commuting with intelligenceBreathing Meditation. Yes, you’re just a cog in the machine. You can’t make traffic open up, you can’t stop people from cutting you off. So why not let it go. Don’t get worked up because that stress and anxiety is not serving you.  If it makes you feel better, try the glass is half full approach. That guy who cut you off is late for an important meeting. Maybe the woman honking her horn spilled coffee and is frazzled today. Or, I don’t know, let’s be honest, maybe they’re just an asshole. Sorry for the language. But who they are doesn’t matter to you, they’ll be gone from your life in minutes. Let it go. Breathe through it. It’s not serving you. Move through it.

Posted in Fun, Getting involved, How To, Motivation, Motivation and stress reducer, Moving Tips | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Discipline: A Motivational Poster

moving disciplineDiscipline. I dare you to succeed at anything in life without discipline. Discipline and character are so closely related its like squares and rectangles. Think back to geometry for that one. I came across this definition recently.

Character – the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life – is the source from which self respect springs.

Ahhh, isn’t it so true?

Discipline will bring you success in all forms from working out to getting a promotion at work to have a successful and flawless moving experience. Let’s talk about the different ways you can apply discipline for success when you’re moving.

  • Pay attention to your personal calendar or timeline.
  • Actually, you know what? Back it up a step. MAKE A CALENDAR. Yeah, it’s boring as a life activity but! But! Two minutes, or really more like 20 minutes considering the internet and smart phones and  I don’t know, ordering a pizza to reward yourself for even thinking about starting the task. So, like, two minutes of real work. If everything in life was so easy you did two minutes of real work and got months, weeks and days of benefit, we’d never stop doing things. We might be unstoppable, you guys!
  • Now that you’ve made a calendar, stick to it. The reason why we spread it out over time is to make the tasks smaller and more manageable. It might seem like cleaning the kitchen will take. all. day. but it is more likely to take an hour. See, that didn’t ruin everything, did it? Put your change of address in, at least stick to that one task. I didn’t do this once and it resulted in a doctor’s office getting a collection agency for a $20 copay I didn’t know I owed because I didn’t update my address. Whoops. Don’t be me.
  • Actually do the purging before you do the packing. This will take real discipline. You’ll want to say, I’ll just do it later. Or I’ll do it when I unpack. Nope! A) You could have saved everybody the effort of not having to move the extra stuff you packed. B) When you’re unpacking you already have so much other stuff you need to deal with. Like buying a plunger. And finding ways to dispose of a house full of boxes and packing paper without the recycle bin overloading and getting a fee for that. C) The last thing you’ll want to do is repack the car with the clothes and items you decided to purge after you’ve moved to haul it off to the donation center. You’re more likely to throw things away or worse, keep them, one of these choices which results in more landfill waste than necessary. Figure out which one does that for yourself.
  • Discipline. I dare you to succeed at anything in life without discipline. Discipline and character are so closely related its like squares and rectangles. I came across this definition recently.     Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self respect springs. Ahhh, isn't it so true?  Discipline will bring you success in working out to getting a promotion at work to have a successful and flawless moving experience. Let's talk about the different ways you can apply discipline for success.      ⁃    Pay attention to your personal calendar or timeline.     ⁃    Actually, you know what? Back it up a step. MAKE A CALENDAR. Yeah, it's boring as a life activity but! But! Two minutes, or really more like 20 minutes considering the internet and smart phones and  don't know, ordering a pizza to reward yourself for even thinking about starting the task. So, like, two minutes of real work. If everything in your life was so easy you did two minutes of real work and got months, weeks and days of benefit, we'd never stop doing things. We might be unstoppable, you guys!     ⁃    Now that you've made a calendar, stick to it. The reason why we spread it out over time is to make the tasks smaller and more manageable. It might seem like cleaning the kitchen will take. all. day. but it is more likely to take an hour. See, that didn't ruin everything, did it? Put your change of address in, at least stick to that one task. I didn't do this once and it resulted in a doctor's office getting a collection agency for a $20 copay I didn't know I owed because I didn't update my address. Whoops. Don't be me.     ⁃    Actually do the purging before you do the packing. This will take real discipline. You'll want to say, I'll just do it later. Or I'll do it when I unpack. Nope! A) You could have saved everybody the effort of not having to move the extra stuff you packed. B) When you're unpacking you already have so much other stuff you need to deal with. Like buying a plunger. And finding ways to dispose of a house full of boxes and packing paper without the recycle bin overloading and getting a fee for that. C) The last thing you'll want to do is repack the car with the clothes and items you decided to purge after you've moved to haul it off to the donation center. You're more likely to throw things away or worse, keep them which results in more landfill waste than necessary.     ⁃    Actually unpack. If you set aside Sunday to unpacking and decorating and washing your dishes so you can cook in your new kitchen instead of eating out the rest of the week and getting fatter and fatter all because you decided to go to a kickball game instead. Look at that for a run-on sentence. That's what hoarding does to you. Eventually you start to hoard words in your mouth until they come out in long non-sensical run-on sentences.     ⁃    BUDGET. Ugh, I'm on a budget right now and it's the most boring thing I've done in my life. I want to groan every time I want to spend money and can't. How boring. But budgeting doesn't just mean your money. It's time and resources. Budgeting your resources is extra importing if you have loved ones helping you move. Their time and energy is valuable beyond dollars, though you could have hired full service movers, and if you don't utilize it well they may not help you in the future or worse, you'll be stuck in a rough spot because you didn't get the move done in time. Boo.     ⁃    Be kind. How does this relate to discipline? Obviously you've never thought about it then, son. Sorry, that was not a kind sentence. I apologize. Kindness is a choice. There will be days in your moving process that you'll be grumpy in a foul mood and anything but kind. The days you'll be short and snap at your spouse or friend or roommate or the pizza delivery boy. Remember. Remember. Remember. It's an active choice. Be kind.     ⁃    Be committed. Commitment is discipline. Or is it? I'm single, live alone, have no kids but still show up to work on time every day then go to yoga and manage to cook myself three healthy meals a day. That sounds like commitment, right? RIGHT? I'm committed to my lifestyle. Be that committed to your moving while you have to do it.  Well, thanks kids for gathering around for story time. If you manage your time correctly, you'll be able to show up on time for it next week. Discipline. Commitment. Character. Full circle.Actually unpack. If you set aside Sunday to unpacking and decorating and washing your dishes so you can cook in your new kitchen instead of eating out the rest of the week and getting fatter and fatter all because you decided to go to a kickball game instead. Look at that for a run-on sentence. That’s what hoarding does to you. Eventually you start to hoard words in your mouth until they come out in long non-sensical run-on sentences.
  • BUDGET. Ugh, I’m on a budget right now and it’s the most boring thing I’ve done in my life. I want to groan every time I want to spend money and can’t. How boring. Budgeting takes real discipline you may not have the stamina for. At least try it though. Budgeting doesn’t just mean your money. It’s time and resources. Budgeting your resources is extra important if you have loved ones helping you move. Their time and energy is valuable beyond dollars, though you could have hired full service movers, and if you don’t utilize it well they may not help you in the future or worse, you’ll be stuck in a rough spot because you didn’t get the move done in time. Boo.
  • Be kind. How does this relate to discipline? Obviously you’ve never thought about it then, son. Sorry, that was not a kind sentence. I apologize. Kindness is a choice. There will be days in your moving process that you’ll be grumpy or in a foul mood or anything but kind. The days you’ll be short and snap at your spouse or friend or roommate or the pizza delivery boy. Remember. Remember. Remember. It’s an active choice. Be kind.
  • Be committed. Commitment is discipline. Or is it? I’m single, live alone, have no kids but still show up to work on time every day then go to yoga and manage to cook myself three healthy meals a day. That sounds like commitment, right? RIGHT? I’m committed to my lifestyle. Be that committed to your moving while you have to do it.

Discipline. I dare you to succeed at anything in life without discipline. Discipline and character are so closely related its like squares and rectangles. I came across this definition recently.     Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self respect springs. Ahhh, isn't it so true?  Discipline will bring you success in working out to getting a promotion at work to have a successful and flawless moving experience. Let's talk about the different ways you can apply discipline for success.      ⁃    Pay attention to your personal calendar or timeline.     ⁃    Actually, you know what? Back it up a step. MAKE A CALENDAR. Yeah, it's boring as a life activity but! But! Two minutes, or really more like 20 minutes considering the internet and smart phones and  don't know, ordering a pizza to reward yourself for even thinking about starting the task. So, like, two minutes of real work. If everything in your life was so easy you did two minutes of real work and got months, weeks and days of benefit, we'd never stop doing things. We might be unstoppable, you guys!     ⁃    Now that you've made a calendar, stick to it. The reason why we spread it out over time is to make the tasks smaller and more manageable. It might seem like cleaning the kitchen will take. all. day. but it is more likely to take an hour. See, that didn't ruin everything, did it? Put your change of address in, at least stick to that one task. I didn't do this once and it resulted in a doctor's office getting a collection agency for a $20 copay I didn't know I owed because I didn't update my address. Whoops. Don't be me.     ⁃    Actually do the purging before you do the packing. This will take real discipline. You'll want to say, I'll just do it later. Or I'll do it when I unpack. Nope! A) You could have saved everybody the effort of not having to move the extra stuff you packed. B) When you're unpacking you already have so much other stuff you need to deal with. Like buying a plunger. And finding ways to dispose of a house full of boxes and packing paper without the recycle bin overloading and getting a fee for that. C) The last thing you'll want to do is repack the car with the clothes and items you decided to purge after you've moved to haul it off to the donation center. You're more likely to throw things away or worse, keep them which results in more landfill waste than necessary.     ⁃    Actually unpack. If you set aside Sunday to unpacking and decorating and washing your dishes so you can cook in your new kitchen instead of eating out the rest of the week and getting fatter and fatter all because you decided to go to a kickball game instead. Look at that for a run-on sentence. That's what hoarding does to you. Eventually you start to hoard words in your mouth until they come out in long non-sensical run-on sentences.     ⁃    BUDGET. Ugh, I'm on a budget right now and it's the most boring thing I've done in my life. I want to groan every time I want to spend money and can't. How boring. But budgeting doesn't just mean your money. It's time and resources. Budgeting your resources is extra importing if you have loved ones helping you move. Their time and energy is valuable beyond dollars, though you could have hired full service movers, and if you don't utilize it well they may not help you in the future or worse, you'll be stuck in a rough spot because you didn't get the move done in time. Boo.     ⁃    Be kind. How does this relate to discipline? Obviously you've never thought about it then, son. Sorry, that was not a kind sentence. I apologize. Kindness is a choice. There will be days in your moving process that you'll be grumpy in a foul mood and anything but kind. The days you'll be short and snap at your spouse or friend or roommate or the pizza delivery boy. Remember. Remember. Remember. It's an active choice. Be kind.     ⁃    Be committed. Commitment is discipline. Or is it? I'm single, live alone, have no kids but still show up to work on time every day then go to yoga and manage to cook myself three healthy meals a day. That sounds like commitment, right? RIGHT? I'm committed to my lifestyle. Be that committed to your moving while you have to do it.  Well, thanks kids for gathering around for story time. If you manage your time correctly, you'll be able to show up on time for it next week. Discipline. Commitment. Character. Full circle.Well, thanks kids for gathering around for story time. If you manage your time correctly, you’ll be able to show up on time for it next week. Discipline. Commitment. Character. Full circle.

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Full Service Moving Companies 101

Full service moving comapnies, avoid the woesLook here Mr. Fancypants, just because you can afford something doesn’t mean you should necessarily pay for it. Your big corporate job with all the great benefits and your paychecks, maybe those aren’t all working up to hiring full service movers. Maybe your big paycheck should be saved for college funds or rainy day funds or, get this novel idea, travel funds. Yeah, don’t be afraid to leave your stuff behind and pick up and just go to another country or another state or anywhere.

So what if your funds have already been saved into buying a house funds or you value your free time or you don’t have enough friends to call in favors for. Maybe you’re pregnant and are not supposed to be lifting heavy things. So go ahead and hire those full service movers. But! But, here’s a few things to keep in mind when you do. And don’t say we didn’t tell you I told you so when you get the bill after and you had to give up your fancy travel plans. Don't give away your money when going with a full service moving comapny

  • Use the internet to research your moving companies. Yelp is a great place to start for honest reviews form passionate customers who have already experienced the service. Obviously take these reviews with a grain of salt but take in an overall tone here.
  • Ask friends and families for referrals from companies they have used. Sometimes they’ll get a nice kickback for referring you and then maybe you can all go out to Happy Hour, on them of course since you’re brokebrokebroke.
  • Carefully read the contract regarding expensive and delicate items. Did you know how incredibly fragile large flash screen TVs are? I have an aunt and uncle who just moved from Connecticut to Florida and used a full service moving company and while the overall experience was positive, their 60″ flat screen TV was damaged and wouldn’t turn on after they arrived. They spent two weeks using a baby TV while waiting for the repairman to come out and look at it. Of course, if you had moved yourself, the same issues might have come up.
  • You may want or need to purchase additional movers insurance, specifically to cover incidents like I noted above with the TV. That is another cost to consider.
  • A general rule of thumb is movers won’t touch your plants. You’ll need to make other arrangements like giving them way to neighbors or transporting them yourself.
  • You’ll need to hire a specialty mover to handle items like pianos and wine. Your average mover is aware how sensitive these items are and while they are certain they could handle safely, it’s better to leave to the guys who are willing to take up that liability.
  • Important documents should never be left with movers as insurance and contracts may expressly noted they won’t cover. This means you might have to buy a small package of medium sized moving boxes, perfect for documents and other items you’ll need to pack yourself and keep in safe keeping.
    If you’re worried you’re a victim of a scam or moving fraud, visit the US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Household Goods Program at www.protectyourmove.gov for more resources.

charlie-brown-lucyOf course, follow your gut instinct and don’t be afraid to speak up if you think something is not right when you are managing your move. Be polite and kind and you’ll find that kindness and warmth is returned. Really, be nice to those guys. There’s a reason you didn’t want to lift that heavy couch yourself.

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