Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Moving Mode

I just cried at the scene in Speed when Keanu Reeves' character makes Sandra Bullock's character jump the bus because a piece of the highway is missing. That's got to signify PMS, right? Otherwise I'm just batshit insane. Also, why am I watching this 1994 movie laden with commercial interruptions at the loudest decibel possible every four minutes? I dunno.


We are in full-on Getting Ready To Move Mode. The ONE enjoyable part of moving is tossing all the junk one tends to accumulate in the course of living a life. And the stuff I get attached to is bizarre. Can I throw this out? Serge will ask. Nope. But why? It's a box of dirty, old shoes? Well what if they come back in style? Violet might want them. Violet ain't gonna want your dirty old... Ridiculous... Junky... His voice trails off as he returns the thirty pound box to the garage. What? I shout. WHAT? But he is too smart to respond.

I got rid of the shoes. And bags and bags of girl baby clothes although it broke my heart. I couldn't even go through the stuff because I knew I'd find excuses to keep damn near everything in all the bags. But if I have another kid it's going to be years away, well, not too many years, I'm no spring chicken - but long enough that it isn't worth lugging around eight Hefty bags of clothes. Hell, you don't need but five or six 0-3 month onesies for a newborn anyway. And the kid'll probably outgrow two of 'em before you pull off the tags. Babies never even wear half the shit they're given. You get all stoked about cute onesies and smart, little outfits that cost eight million bucks at Babies-R-Us and your kid ends up in the same onesie because it offers easiest access to the poopy diapers you're changing twelve times a day.

So we are shedding more items than Max & Milo shed dog hair and that is saying a lot. We want to be lean and mean when the moving truck rolls up in June. Speaking of moving trucks, we went back and forth forever before deciding that we're going to ship the car - it'll cost the same as gas would - and Serge will drive the moving truck while I drive our SUV. We are packing and loading the moving truck ourselves. And probably filing for divorce immediately thereafter. Then you can all smugly say We told you so!

OH MY GOD OH MY GOD IT'S GOING TO SUCK IT'S GOING TO SUCK. Sorry. Did I say that out loud? So yeah. I guess that makes it option #1 from this post. Except we're shipping the car. It's going to be long, it's going to be insane, someone is going to throw tantrums and cry - the kids won't be easy either - but we'll git-r-done.

I had something to tell you! Shit! What was it? Really, I had something good to tell you and now I can't remember it. Aw, hell. I hate when that happens. If I think of it I'll let you know.

If you've got any tips or tricks for successful moving, be it packing or on the road, we'd sure appreciate any advice. Someone already advised detouring around Chicago which we duly noted and have implemented in our travel plan. Is there some sort of giant ball of yarn between Utah and Pennsylvania that we'd be remiss not to view in person?

Oh! I remember what I was going to tell you! I was checking Serge's email (we're expecting an important email - more on that later) and I found out he's a member of "The Civil War Book Club". Not only that but he signed up to get email notifications when someone posts in The Civil War Book Club forum. This is how he gets his kicks, y'all. And I thought I married a rock star.

Reader Comments (15)

How did y'all decide to move?

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRoona

label your boxes so you're not hunting for stuff once you hit PA. you'll be exhausted when you arrive and you won't need the stress of trying to find things. and don't pack your keys.

my parents drove cross country with two kids (we were 2 and 6 at the time). they found it best to start each day hella-early and then stop for the day just after lunch. they picked hotels where we could run around, not that henry will care much about that yet :) but violet will--so you will. and the dogs will.

if you drive through joliet, there' a prison there :) and you might hit akron, birthplace of the zipper. double ha. download yelp for your phone--pretty decent app that will tell you what's nearby.

and the ohio and the penna turnpike suck. serge should know this but be warned. damn road gives me hives! if you are following each other, and you want to mess with him, pay his toll once. next time through, don't pay it. heh.

good luck! i

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranna

If Serge likes the Civil War, he should be reading this guy at The Atlantic.

He does this kind of thing:

Rock star (or rap star, anyway) meets Civil War. He'll love it.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkajey

Books on tape, movies, kid music, a portable potty chair, crayons and paper for the wee 'uns, beverages, snacks, ear plugs and a great big helping of humor. I love PA, my little sister is in Annville (right outside of Hershey). Enjoy your move. Even if it sucks, it will be something you'll always remember!

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRhi

We used walkie talkies when we did our cross country moves (Montana to Louisiana and then Louisiana to Wisconsin). They're easier to handle than cell phones.

Definitely shed as much stuff as you can. Nothing is more irritating than unpacking and going "Why in the hell did I keep this?' I was super attached to our patio furniture and I insisted we move it to Wisconsin with us and we have yet to have a place with a yard. So the stupid heavy stuff ended up at Goodwill. We could have sold it at our yardsale.

It's not a race. Don't push yourself beyond your limits when it comes to driving. If the weather gets horrible, don't try and drive through it, it's not worth it. You have dogs and kids so you'll be making frequent stops anyway (we traveled with cats and had to drug them).

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjeneria

My husband and I are in the process of moving from the UK to Texas. I'm THOROUGHLY enjoying throwing stuff away. When you know stuff is going to cost about $12 per cubic foot, you reallllly start to prioritize what you are going to keep. The only furniture that is coming along is two tall sets of drawers which were wedding gifts from my parents.

good luck with the move!

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanni

I know you already made the decisions about movers and all, but as a frugal mother I have to share this...

My hubby and I moved from MD to PA with our 6 month old and 2 year old daughters a few years ago. We belabored a lot over how to do it, because we don't have a lot of extra money lying around. What we ended up doing is this- we packed up all our stuff, we paid local movers to pack it all into the moving truck, we drove the truck up to PA, and then we paid local movers to unload the truck once we got there. I was surprised at how little it cost that way. The only reason we had the movers unpack the truck was because my husband had no leave at his new job and we didn't have anybody to help in the new town. But it was so great not to have to worry about lugging furniture upstairs. And since all we'd done was watch the kiddos and basically point in which direction the stuff needed to go, we had LOTS of energy after the movers left to start unpacking!

Being in a similar situation to you, I just feel like if you're gonna take the plunge and do the drive yourselves, in two different vehicles (one of them a big ass moving truck), that it would save you all's sanity to spend a couple hundred dollars to have somebody load it up for you, at least. The way we figured, these mover guys know how to pack a truck so that the stuff is safe and (hopefully) won't break. So that would be worth it to you too, not having to worry so much about how your stuff is faring in the back of that truck all the way across the country.

Just my 2 cents. Take it or leave it. And good luck!

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCC

I like where @jeneria's at with the drugs. Drugs for the dogs and kids while driving (can you drug an infant?), drugs for YOU when you get there... ha ha :) I second all the items @Rhi mentioned, and would add sunblock (for the dreaded driver's side burn) and handi-wipes. Good luck!

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPinkieBling

Consider taking photos of boxes just before you seal and label them, then load the photos onto a website or email them to yourself so you can even better find things in boxes when you get there (and posted online so you can find the photos when you get there). If you can get the label in the photo, even better! Pack all the things you need to cook your favorite meal in a box and mark it open first. Be sure you have towels in another "open almost first" box and toilet paper (maybe also paper towels for emergency cleaning when you arrive). Hiring help (or recruiting it) to unload the truck is a very smart idea, I fully agree with it. Don't get lazy with labeling boxes, or you end up like us with a pile of unlabeled boxes waiting to be unpacked... Be sure to get the driving vehicle a tune-up and oil change just before you leave so it doesn't break at an awkward time in the middle of fields of nothing.

You'll do fine! Take it one day at a time, one box at a time, and you'll get there.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

hi! my husband owns a moving company, and i have the same advice as CC above- hire someone to load and unload your truck. it will only take 2 guys a couple of hours and save you mucho hassle. label the boxes ridiculously well, and have everything you will need for 2 weeks in suitcases. good luck!

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdiana

I've moved at least 20 times in my short 28 years...thanks to a Military childhood and now the uncanny inability to sit still...the last move was from Dallas to Chicago through the storm of the century. Uhaul offers an amazing service where you can see a list of movers/packers in your area you're leaving and moving too... if you pack everything they will do the heavy lifting in to or out of the truck for you. They usually have all the equipment to load up the heavy stuff too...worth the investment!

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Best moving advice - give husband lots of BJs. Works every time.

DO NOT speed through Nebraska!!! It's the state of endless straightaways and speed traps...

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHanni

Pollygina here thinks It's amazing to me how you can FORGET about the old crap you leave behind just as easily as you'll find new traysures at all those Pa. yard sales coming up! I just found a 1920s sterling silver rickshaw salt and pepper holder complete with driver AND moving wheels. What the heck I need that for but it was COOL for a buck and I saw one online for about $350. Okay so it's gonna be fun moving into your NEW HOME with all of it's old house sounds and sheeeeeet. I would say that it would be nice to get off the main road from time to time and check out the back roads. You have GPS, right?

May 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergina gosh...Monica...LOOK what I found at a YARD SALE just the other day....for TEN BUCKS!!

and this guy wants $800 on Ebay... starting bid? NO WAY..yes! Oh you are gonna LOVE those Pa. roadside steals!!!!!!

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergina

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