Moving from Los Angeles to Montana. (Part 3 – advice)

This was my first time moving. Clearly, I am not an expert on moving. I do, however, consider myself to be a near-expert on over-preparing and not actually doing very much. I did so much research and yet did not budget my time correctly at all. Packing was a hilarious nightmare, I’d pack one or two boxes and then spend the rest of the day on the computer, usually doing more research. I ended up packing 30 boxes and did most of it in the final two days before moving, rushing like mad the night before.

I read a few blogs that gave some great advice, so I’d like to share my favorite tips as well as tell you what you should probably expect. It’s needless to say if you’ve moved at least once before, you’ll at least have a vague idea about all of this, but you can still laugh at my fiasco.

  • You will need more boxes and bubble wrap than you ever imagined.
  • You will need a comical amount of each, especially if you’re a family of 2+ people who has at least 20 years of crap that needs to be cleared or packed. (We’re a family of three who’d lived in the same house for 30 years.)

  • Say goodbye to your manicure.
  • Your cuticles are going to look like hell, your nails will end up short and jagged.

  • No matter what, you are going to leave things behind.
  • You’re going to be frazzled, it’s just going to happen.

  • If you’re moving with pets, don’t forget to research for that.
  • Have plenty of food and meds (if they need any) in case you can’t get to a store/vet for a couple of days. Look up pet-friendly hotels, don’t just think you can leave the animal in their crate in the car overnight.

  • If you hesitate or ask yourself if you want to toss/donate something, the answer is yes.
  • If you’re not sure about something, get rid of it. Don’t waste time making up your mind about something you obviously don’t love or can live without.

  • Sell the big stuff, donate the little stuff.
  • Instead of sitting on ebay for hours listing all your property and then dealing with that, have a yard sale for any expensive items and donate things like clothing and old toys. Losing out on a few dozen dollars is worth the time you save, even if you think you have a lot of time.

  • Try to avoid packing too many “junk/misc” boxes.
  • Label your boxes properly and don’t let yourself make more than one box labelled “miscellaneous” as you inevitably run out of time and patience. You’re just guaranteeing at least one situation where you’ll start unpacking a box and ask yourself “Why did I pack this?!”

  • Color code boxes for each room, and/or use a numbering system. Then keep a list with that info for move-in day.
  • You are definitely going to want to keep track of all your boxes somehow, this will make it so much easier to quickly make sure all your stuff made it off the moving truck and where you want it.

  • Pack books, clothing, & stuffed animals in a trash bag before putting them inside a box.
  • Everything will be safe from potential water damage, and you can pack more clothing in boxes with this trick since you can smoosh the bag down the get all the air out.


Packing up my toys and the box is practically nothing but dinosaurs.

A photo posted by Heatherface (@hthrfc) on

→ For previous entries in this series: [Part 1] [Part 2]

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