Okay, so when you move, you find a place, pack, move there and then unpack after arrival. Pretty simple steps right?
Sure, for some people. But this is only true if you have a completed place to move into. If you’re moving to a build site, transferring to an RV or tiny house from a house, the typical pack, move, unpack, isn’t going to be part of the process. It’s going to be messy. As much as you prepare and stay organized, the chaos will sneak into the situation and punch you right in the throat.
I did all the prep and made some irritating mistakes that cost me money and a little bit of my sanity. I made a list of some stuff I did wrong and maybe you can take these tips and get it right… or at least I can help you hang on to some of your cash and joy.
One: Where are the f*cking Q-tips? Oh yes… things such as Q-tips, extra toothpaste, deodorant or soap will suck out your soul if you don’t know where they are. I usually have a backup of all these things in my bathroom, but when you pack and move but can’t unpack for a while, it’s really important to know where the box of extra bathroom stuff is located so you can get to it quickly in your time of need. Put it somewhere accessible and label it!
Two: Detailed Labels. It’s all fine and dandy to put ‘kitchen’ or ‘bedroom’ on the box. I’ve gone over this tip before, but I’m really, really trying to get it right when it comes to the labels. I found out that I HAVE to write out what’s in the box. If I can just read a label that says ‘Bathroom: deodorant, cotton balls, shampoo, soap, toothpaste…’ etc, then my life is so much easier! Especially if I’m not able to unpack it for a while (until my tiny house is done).
Three: Shelves in the storage unit/area. I used to work at a storage facility and one thing I always told my clients was to put up shelves. Obviously not the wall mount type (DON’T DO THAT IN A STORAGE UNIT), but the good sturdy ones you assemble that can hold a few totes and boxes you need to access more often. An organized unit, tent, carport, shed or shipping container can save you headaches when you need to find that one thing you need but packed away because you didn’t think you’d need it.
Four: Totes. Sure cardboard is great, but for longer term storage, stacking, and the off chance of lots of moisture, that cardboard box is going to become the thing that gives you an ulcer. Over time (sometimes a couple days) those boxes fall in on themselves, bottoms fall out or they collect moisture. Go with totes. Obviously those totes can be expensive so pack them with the really important stuff or stuff that absolutely can’t get wet or smushed a bit from stacking.
Five: Become comfortable being uncomfortable. Yeah, that’s a thing. When you’re living in a chaotic mess you’ll have to decide if you want to be miserable or sorta happy. It’s temporary until your house is done, but it can feel like forever. The key is to find ways to give yourself some creature comforts while living in a dusty, loud mess. Put an easy chair in a room with a stack of books and escape to that room for an hour. Put up some lights around a temporary patio with a couple chairs. Just find that little thing that gives you a happy vibe and do it. Make it happen so you can focus on yourself once in a while instead of only the house project. Peace is what matters.
I’m sure I’ll discover more things as I go along with this journey. Until next time, keep them boots wandering!