Here are some of my lessons learned and critical tips from the move.
Tip #1 – Set up Vital Stations
During packing and moving it’s natural for things to get chaotic. I found that establishing designated places for critical items (e.g. keys, wallet, ID, documents, chargers, etc.) was enormously helpful. This was especially useful when I was managing four distinct sets of keys and for moving supplies such as tape and scissors.
I recognized the importance of this concept after spending 10 frustrating minutes looking for my apartment keys. I was carrying a box down to the car when I realized I forgot something. I put the box down, unlocked the door, ran in, grabbed the item and then couldn’t find the keys to lock up. Turns out I had thrown them into the box. Moving generates a lot of activity and confusion so establishing some basic routines during the transition period is helpful.
(Note: Vital Stations are also useful for everyday life. It alleviates a lot of my stress to know exactly where I placed my keys, wallet, and phone.)
Tip #2 – Keep Things in Context
When the movers disassembled my bed frame they bagged the screws before taping them directly to the bed frame. Re-assembly was easy because everything was ready to go.
I was not so fortunate with my filing cabinet. *sigh* After boxing my physical files, I locked the cabinet so the drawers wouldn’t rattle around. Then I threw the keys into an unidentified box assuring myself that I would definitely remember which box they were in. When we were ready to unpack the files, I couldn’t remember where the keys were. I searched through my spare key collection and emerged triumphant with an option, insisting it was the right one. The key fit in the lock, but wouldn’t turn. After partially prying off the cabinet lid to jimmy (and break) the lock, we finally got the darned thing open. Then we discovered the metal slats on which the folders hang, had fallen out during the move.
Some weeks later I opened a box and found the real keys. I was wrong about the spare. Oops Lesson learned – next time I’m going to remove the metal slats, tape the keys to them, and place everything with the physical files. I still have two bankers boxes of files waiting to be unpacked. Maybe tip #2 should really be “Just Go Paperless.”