Saturday, November 10, 2012

Plan Very Carefully To Freak Out : A Moving Story

We signed the lease on a little 1920's bungalow in the Reynoldstown  area of Atlanta today. When I moved to Atlanta as an adult in 2003 I wanted to live in Little 5 Points, but as a still mostly broke post-college student with a supremely uptight fiance, we had to settle for a cheap apartment north of the city.

What you can see of the house from the street. 
This move was focused mainly on getting closer to our kid and out of the suburbs. We have been looking for about 6 weeks, not happy with anything we had found and I was beginning to fret when I happened on a listing for this small little brick house just a mile from Little 5 Points and just a stone's throw away from Grant Park and East Atlanta. This is the kind of coincidence I don't usually find myself on the favorable end of and I jumped on it.

I'm jittery with excitement. To be not only back in the city, back into an area where I can walk out my front door and be somewhere interesting in 10 minutes, without getting in the car, but into a house that has feel I have been after for a long time.

In order to assure that we got the house, we had to take it about 2 weeks earlier than originally planned. Once I have the keys, I am not going to be able to stand myself, so waiting the extra weeks wasn't going to work. Now, I find myself with about 10 days until we plan to have movers at the old house and I have just started the most cursory of packing.

These days are all very carefully planned, but I can already start to feel the freak out building. The slight panic of HOLY SHIT EVERYTHING TO DO!! ALL THE LISTS!! ALL THE CHECKING!! ALL THE THINGS!! is just under the surface of desperately trying to keep it all together and stick with my careful plan.

Moving To Do List (of DOOM)

  • Pack everything. Dust as you go. Consider what you are putting into the box and make sure that you really want to keep it- If you haven't touched it in 6 mo to 1 year you can probably live without it. Have a box or bag that is dedicated to donations and put it somewhere central to the house. Label each box clearly and on at least the top and one of the sides. Pack all the items that you use daily/weekly in each room in a single box marked "Open First". 
  • Change of Address. The USPS has made this stupidly easy. You have to have a credit/debit card to do the online change of address, but the $1 they charge is worth the trip to the post office. If you have to fill out and send in a card, check to see if your local library is closer, they typically have new resident / moving packets. Don't forget to change your address with all your magazines and catalogs, the USPS doesn't provide this service any longer. Start your forwarding 2 days prior to your actual move in date, it will help prevent you from lagging mail that arrives just at and after your move. 
  • Move utilities. Keep in mind that most providers will want to come out and install, change or otherwise try to justify a trip charge for your move. Cable/satellite providers also typically require that you have the electronics already at the house for testing purposes, but you don't want to be hassling with the movers and the cable guy at the same time. However, scheduling all your installations on the same day is a winner. 
  • Update insurance policies. Car, renters/homeowners, life insurance all have to be updated with the new address information and if not done in a timely manner can effect the policy payouts. If you are a renter like me and don't have renters insurance, you're an idiot and you should go and fix that right now
  • Update the DMV (or, DDS if you are in a state trying to get away from the DMV stigma). Again, most states have made this stupidly easy. In Georgia, you can do it online in a couple of minutes and it will update your voter registration at the same time. 
  • Empty the fridge. Stop going to the grocery, find reasons to use up condiments and dry goods. Eat what you have stored in the freezer. For the last week before any of my moves I end up eating crap, but it's for a short period of time and it's worth it not to have to throw everything away or risk spoiling it. 
  • Hire movers. The freak out about this is WAY closer to the surface. These people are going to be handling all my things and I don't like that at all, but I also don't want to schlep all my crap into this house. Packing for movers is more time consuming than packing when I know I am going to move it. They don't know what's in my boxes. Go with recommendations from friends, co-workers, do your homework with the BBB or Yelp or something.
I am surely forgetting something, but if I don't stop prattling on about moving and get into the list above, I may explode. Moving is a huge, stressful undertaking, but it's always been a great pleasure of mine to find, claim and set up a new space.

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