How to move ALL your household stuff in 4 days August 26 2014, 1 Comment

Thirteen days ago we were told that Finkie Dad's job is moving to another state! Even by frequently-moving military standards, we had very short notice! Jay and I were left to come up with a plan to move all our stuff, sans professional movers, in a matter 4 days! Life has been somewhat chaotic for the Finkie Family lately. If you're in the military or you find yourself having to tackle a daunting DIY move, I've come up with a list of things that helped us.

1. Find Storage for not-so-fluffy stuff. After months of planning Storage for Fluffy Stuff, I ironically had to find a place to store everything else in our house. We were lucky to find a storage unit that was located 3 minutes from our house! Any closer and we could have walked our stuff over there. This short trip made traveling and hauling stuff back and forth so much faster. We were able to make several drop off trips in the same day. If you need one, find a storage unit that's nearby!

2. Channel your inner truck driver. I have always wanted to be a truck driver... yes, I'll admit, it's on my bucket list! We rented a 20 foot U-haul and now I think I want my own 20 foot truck! I was thrilled when the lady at the U-haul place said, "You'll be driving a commercial vehicle." I had visions of myself road trippin' big-rig style into the sunset! So far this is the biggest thing I've driven and feet-wise, I'm just 34 feet shy of driving a full 54 foot container! When going from a sedan to a truck, just remember to drive slowly, cautiously, and defensively. Don't forget to make wide turns and check your blind spot. I even managed to back up on the driveway without guidance and without demolishing our house! There's no rear-view mirror, but those huge side mirrors are all you need. Just remember there are blind spots behind those!

3. Washable, washable, washable crayons. If you have kids like we do, you'll need a way to entertain them while you're moving. The Finkie Kids were coloring in their coloring books while we were busy running around. They had a box of randomly mixed washable and not-at-all-washable crayons. If you didn't know before, crayons can be permanent! The 'permanent' crayon scribbles, courtesy of Finkie Boy, only ended up on the tile flooring where I have yet to scrub it off with bleach. The crayon wall art masterpiece that Finkie Boy made was quickly removed because, luckily, it was a washable crayon. We now know we're never buying another non-washable crayon! Hmmm, if washable crayons are labeled washable, shouldn't regular crayons be labeled as "Non-Washable Crayons"? Haha!

4. Coordinate Ant Power. My biggest fear in moving our fully furnished 4 bedroom house was the giant dresser in our bedroom set. From the moment I realized we were doing this move ourselves, that 9 drawer, 300 lb dresser kept tormenting me each time I walked past it. I told myself if ants can lift things 20 times their weight I should be able to move this gigantic dresser just me and Jay! Jay cleverly gave me my old scuba gloves to protect my hands. It was the most use my scuba gloves have gotten in years! I'm glad he insisted I wear it because it really helped me get a good grip on the furniture while we were flexing our ant power! Don't forget to protect your hands, lift with your knees, and take short breaks every few feet if needed. I'm a small 5 foot gal and I was still able lift our bedroom set! 

5. Go sledding down your staircase. What's big and floppy and really, really heavy? You guessed it... a king-size memory foam mattress! Moving the 300 lb dresser was a walk in the park compared to this. It was a wrestling match: Team Finkie Parents vs. The Supersize Burrito! Jay was full of brilliant ideas and folded the memory foam mattress in half as we each grabbed our corners and scooted it towards the top of the staircase. In order to keep Supersize Burrito from winning this match, Jay jumped on top of it and went sledding down the staircase head first. It ended up being the highlight of our DIY move! I stood at the top of the stairs laughing myself to tears and cheering our team on! I don't know if I'd recommend this to anyone, but it seemed better than getting pinned under a 500 lb mattress . Don't forget to get creative and carefully leverage your power. +1 Finkie Parents, 0 Supersize Burrito!

6. Tetris Tower O' Stuff. All our heavy items ended up in our storage unit before the little knickknacks and odd-shaped items... and we somehow have mostly odd-shaped items. Getting everything to fit is like a fun game of Tetris! Think outside the box and get those odd-shaped stuff to fit together. Yes, we may have perched our wicker bench upside down on top of our grill but it worked in maximizing our cubic feet! I just hope our Tower O' Dining Chairs which touches the ceiling doesn't topple over in case there's another Nor Cal Napa earthquake! 

7. Taco Bell anyone?  In our frequently-relocating Finkie Family, we've managed to come up with moving day traditions! When we're tired of trying to eat everything in our freezer or pantry, which is hard to do in 1 week, we get Taco Bell! We've been doing this since 2007 and haven't missed a single Taco Bell moving day lunch break, even when we lived in Japan! Find fun ways to make the move all about the journey and enjoy the whole should-be-grueling process!

8. Use Finkie Futon as your furniture. Now that everything is in storage, we saved 1 finkie futon to use as a daytime lounger! At night we take our bedding, pillows, and stuffed animals out. I'm glad I still have a lounger even though we're down to our bare minimum stuff. Don't forget to save your finkie futon and fold it away when you're done using it! 

If you have a DIY move I hope this list helps you out! You can do it, too! We said several times, "This DIY move is crazy but let's make it happen!" We were up for the challenge and it ended up being a great husband and wife team building experience!