Nearly every American has moved at some time in life. I’ve moved. Not much, and always before when I moved I had very little, so there wasn’t a lot to pack, but now, after more than twenty years in the same home, storing up STUFF and filling the basement and every room upstairs with far more than we have ever needed or even wanted, we’re in the middle of a move.
My advice to you? Be cautious and organized. How I wish I’d followed my own advice, but then, I had to learn the hard way.
First of all, moving a whole home is dangerous. Nearly 70% of homes in Missouri have brown recluse spiders in them. They don’t bother me. Or at least, they haven’t until now. But when I’m reaching beneath a pile of things I haven’t moved in ten years, I have to consider that some little creature under there might have staked out a claim, and if my fingers try to take it away, those little creatures will fight back. Fortunately, that was one thing that didn’t happen. If you move, and if you live in Missouri, wear gloves and be cautious. Also, make sure you don’t pick up these little creatures as hitchhikers to the next home.
Another danger–falling things. Things like large rolls of plastic furniture wrap. These rolls weigh probably 15 pounds. When one of these rolls falls on a big toe, one will scream loudly and then faint. When this happens, after reviving, wrap the wounded area with an ice pack.
Another falling thing: large mixing bowls. When one is so scattered, moving from room to room in an effort to decide what to do next–it’s called the but-first syndrome–be cautious about lifting slippery things like large, heavy cooking items. They will almost surely slip from your hand and fall on your foot. And you will scream and pass out. By this time your spouse will be prepared with the frozen peas. Expect to limp for a few days.
Another danger–constant confusion. When one goes out to call the cat in for the night, and when that cat decides to tease one and stay just out of reach, be cautious about holding the door open with one leg while grabbing for the cat with the other. Storm doors that have always otherwise seemed harmless can become dangerous when one is distracted. They are spring-loaded, and they will swing back and slam into one’s knee. And you will scream and frighten the cat away for the rest of the night. Make sure your spouse has frozen peas ready for the boo-boo. And be prepared to limp the next day. When the bruises appear, cover them. One does not want one’s poor, belabored spouse to be accused of spousal abuse.
Another danger–handling exercise equipment for the first time in twenty years. Oh, sure, it might look great to have all that exercise equipment in the family room. Anyone who visits might think you’re in great shape. The trick is using it and remaining familiar with the movements. When the tough, he-man spouse tries to fold it up to be moved so that it can sit in your new family room and make you appear to be in shape, caution spouse to move slowly and read directions. The spouse, of course, will not listen and will try to do it the way he’s sure it should be done, and spouse will pinch his finger and shout loudly enough to frighten the cat who is still hiding outside. Get the smelling salts. Male spouses can pass out as easily as female spouses. Get peas for the boo-boo and reassure spouse he will not lose his finger.
Beware the danger of confusion. Someone I know who is well-versed in moving advised me to box one room at a time…no, wait a minute, more than one person told me that. I’m thinking maybe five or six people told me that. Did I listen? Ha! I find myself rambling from room to room in a daze, overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. You know that thing about how you eat a whole elephant one piece at a time? Not that I recommend this kind of repast, but still. Our house is like an unruly elephant, and not only have I tried to eat an ear, a tail, and a toenail at the same time, I’ve become so overwhelmed that I could not function with a clear mind. I’m still not focusing.
This is how NOT TO MOVE belongings in a house one has lived in for twenty years. If you’re like me, you won’t pay any attention to my warnings. So the first thing I advise is that you buy a bag or two of frozen peas and ask for help. Both will come in very handy.