Thursday, 8 October 2015

By on October 8th, 2015 in Barbara, relocation

08:38 – Barbara is starting today on packing up to stage the move. Even if this particular deal falls through, we will be moving, so it makes sense to get as much of the seldom-used stuff as possible boxed up and labeled.

We’ve been saving good cardboard boxes and packing material for months, and we get a lot of deliveries. The finished area downstairs is now so full of boxes, some broken down and some not, that it’s difficult to navigate the narrow corridors through the ceiling-high piles of boxes. Eventually, Barbara will get those filled, sealed, labeled, and ready to go.

Fortunately, much of our long-term storage food is from the LDS Home Storage Center and Augason Farms and is in cases of six #10 cans each. That’s something like 250 #10 cans, already boxed up. Much of the rest is already in boxed or shrink-wrapped cases of stuff like Bush’s Best Baked Beans (15 boxes at 8 cans/box), cases of canned soups, meats, vegetables, fruits, and so on (several dozen cases), bottled water (a couple dozen cases), assorted pastas and sauces (several dozen cases), and so on. Along with a bunch of miscellaneous stuff.

Then there’s science kit stuff, both finished goods inventory and components. I have to manage that carefully to make sure we can ship kits uninterrupted during the move. There’s a lot to do, but we’ll get it done.

35 Comments and discussion on "Thursday, 8 October 2015"

  1. Denis says:

    Best wishes for (preparing for) the move. We hired “professional” packers/movers for our (hopefully) last move, and it was still quite an ordeal.* We seemed to have far too much “stuff”, but I still couldn’t identify anything (of mine**) from which I’d really want to be parted.

    * To add insult to injury, the movers not only inflated their final price while half our stuff was still hostage on their truck, but they also drank all my beer! You should be safe from that with keeping it in-house, and if you’re not, then you can have a party.
    ** My wife’s stuff was another matter entirely.

  2. pcb_duffer says:

    If you need good boxes, and patronize a local restaurant, the box that frozen french fries come in are particularly good for moving. They’re reasonably small, and fairly sturdy (designed to hold 30# of fries); in particular they’re useful for books.

  3. Jim B says:

    I have a lot of stuff to keep track of. I learned a long time ago to simply put a unique number on each box. Enter the items in the box in a spreadsheet, one record per item. Create columns for the box number, location, etc. You will figure out the rest. You could carry a tablet around to enter the location of each box as it is moved.

    Now you have a useful inventory in one place. You won’t have to wander around looking for the box with the item you need when you want it.

  4. nick says:

    While my life has been stable for some time now, I used to move often. So for anyone moving,

    Some tips:

    Smaller boxes are better. Especially for heavy stuff like books.

    Uniform sizes are better. Easier to ‘cube out’ your truck.

    Pack every box full so it will support weight. Again, for the stacking and moving.

    Cheap thin boxes are a heartache and waste of your precious time.

    Bankers boxes are great if you have to buy boxes. Uniform size, sturdy, fold flat for reuse, handles! Tape the lids on though.

    Labels- simple letter or number on each side of each box! Don’t list on boxes. Keep a written inventory of everything that goes into each box. Try to keep ‘like with like’ but fill each box. It seems like a lot of trouble, but other than “kitchen drawers” type boxes, you will want this. It’s unlikely that you will unpack every box upon arrival. When you need something, you will be able to go directly to that box. List each book, or take a photo of the contents. At least be specific as to type “First edition modern sci fi. Paperback romances. Prepper reference books.” I recommend being specific and listing every book. The best benefit is that you will have a complete inventory of your possessions for insurance purposes. You may find that you have significant amounts of money in books or cds, even at used prices.

    This is an opportunity to get rid of stuff. LOTS of stuff.

    When you unpack, get rid of stuff. Lots of stuff.

    Don’t be surprised if you end up buying new furniture and accessories. Your existing stuff may look worn and shabby in the new environment. Budget for it. (Really, I’m the most pragmatic person in the world for some things, and I ended up buying some new stuff, and the spouse bought even more.)

    If you are moving in stages, make your security upgrades BEFORE you leave a bunch of your stuff, conveniently packed in boxes, stacked in the garage or house. Your neighbors won’t be surprised to see trucks loading or strangers moving around, makes it easy for a thief.

    Be especially cautious with high value items. Don’t bring in guns/ammo/stacks of laptops, electronics while people can see. Pull into the garage for those items. Don’t leave labeled boxes where they can be seen.

    I’m sure there is other good advice, this is what helped me the most as I crisscrossed the country a couple of times, and moved locally several (10-12) times.


    Alternatively, you can label each box prominently “BOOKS” and your box number. I’m tempted to quote Chris Rock, on the power of books, ‘like kryptonite’ ….

  5. nick says:

    So here’s some confirmation of something suspected after MS bought out Skype and changed it technically.

    “Police wiretaps of their Skype conversations …”

    “Italian DIGOS anti-terror police, who had been monitoring ‘hours and hours’ of their Skype conversations, swooped in to arrest them…”

    IIRC, originally skype was encrypted and distributed, with a piece of each conversation going thru a bunch of other PCs running skype. In fact some people objected to that, as others were “using” your pc.


    I could be wrong of course.

  6. Denis says:

    “Be especially cautious with high value items. Don’t bring in guns/ammo/stacks of laptops, electronics while people can see. Pull into the garage for those items.”

    LOL. I moved my paltry collection of firearms in the dead of night. I was quite impressed how much weight a station wagon can carry without actually rubbing on the ground. Too bad there was mishap with a deep running river en route.

  7. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Thanks for all the detailed advice. There are several items I hadn’t thought about.

    Barbara will be throwing out a lot of stuff. We’ll be able to fill a trash cart from my office alone. (I’m the keeper; she’s the thrower-away.)

    We’ll keep our current den furniture and use it in the downstairs den. Upstairs furniture will be mostly new purchases, over time. The vertical freezer and current refrigerator will be in the garage for food storage and kit stuff that needs to be refrigerated or frozen.

  8. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    We won’t be inventorying books individually. We have several thousand of them. What I’ll do instead is shoot hi-res images of the shelves before we pack them.

  9. Chad says:

    Last time we moved we didn’t hire a moving company. We rented a 26′ truck and 12′ trailer from U-Haul. We did all of the packing and unpacking ourselves, but we hired generic laborers at are origination and destination to carry the stuff out of the house and onto the truck and then off of the truck and into the appropriate floor/room in the house. We did all of the packing and supervised the labor and drove the truck, so that negated most of the damage. It was a LOT cheaper than a full service move. You can get a few laborers for a few hours for fairly cheap. Packing and unpacking boxes is easy as is driving a truck, but let someone else do the heavy lifting and walking.

    I will say that the best looking and best maintained rental trucks I’ve seen are probably from Penske, but they cost an arm and a leg. U-Haul will try and rent you some real junkers, so it’s important to go to a U-Haul location that has a large inventory of vehicles so you can be picky.

  10. nick says:

    “What I’ll do instead is shoot hi-res images of the shelves before we pack them.”

    That works, or shoot the stack before putting it in the box, ie, shoot the box number, then the stack. There are software solutions for inventorying media like books and dvds, etc. Most of them will use a picture of the UPC code to look the media up online. Unfortunately, many books share the same UPC code, so you end up doing a bunch of data entry. It also doesn’t know things like “first edition” or “signed”.

    A cheap but complete way to do a backup for insurance purposes is to video every room in 360 deg, narrating all the time. “This is the shelf full of signed first editions, this is the Limited Edition printing, here is the brass antique banker’s lamp from aunt sofia’s estate….” This helps because we get complacent and don’t really ‘see’ the things we are familiar with. Be as detailed and complete as you can. If you need it, you will REALLY need it.


  11. rick says:

    I will say that the best looking and best maintained rental trucks I’ve seen are probably from Penske, but they cost an arm and a leg. U-Haul will try and rent you some real junkers, so it’s important to go to a U-Haul location that has a large inventory of vehicles so you can be picky.

    We moved across country twice in the early ’80’s. While it was a while ago, I doubt things have change much. We were able to play Penske and U-Haul against each other and ended up with a good price both times. It depends on where the trucks are and where they want them.

    We moved recently for the first time in 30 years. Except for heavy furniture and appliances, we moved everything ourselves. As our new house is about half the size of the old one, we got rid of a lot of stuff. We didn’t keep much furniture from the old house. Nothing seriously damaged. A few new scratches on furniture, nothing serious.

    Rick in Portland

  12. rick says:

    You can get a few laborers for a few hours for fairly cheap. Packing and unpacking boxes is easy as is driving a truck, but let someone else do the heavy lifting and walking.

    The laborers were all U.S. citizens or legal immigrants, right?

    Rick in Portland

  13. dkreck says:

    @Rick The laborers were all U.S. citizens or legal immigrants, right?

    Well don’t hire in front of Home Depot. Use a legit temp service. That way you are covered by their insurance and all pay and taxes taken care of.

  14. Miles_Teg says:

    I considered packing myself and driving a truck from Canberra to Adelaide (1200 km) but then I felt I didn’t have the time, focus and energy. It only cost me $4k to use pros, and I was happy with that. There was some minor damage to stuff but not worth making a fuss over.

    I have the same problem with books: 25 years ago I made a detailed inventory, which hasn’t been updated since 2000. I really must do it…

  15. Rick H says:

    On our last move, the old house was sold before the new house was ready. So we had about a month of ‘stay at the sister’s house’ time.

    So, like the previous move, we used one of those “rent a semi-trailer’ services. Worked out real well. They deliver the trailer, you pack it up over a couple of days (with helpers), lock it up, and they take it off to their secure storage place. Then deliver it to the new place when you are ready, where you can unpack over several days (with more help).

    Even with all of the downsizing, still managed to fill up the entire trailer. (You pay by the linear foot, if you don’t use the entire trailer.) But it was quite convenient to be able to load/unload over several days if needed. (We had some help from neighbors and church members, so load/unload was done in just a few hours.)

    Both times, we used the service from U-Pack ( Was quite pleased with the whole process. A bit cheaper than hiring a moving van, plus they will store it for you in their secure lots if needed.

  16. nick says:

    When I moved to TX I used a 53ft tractor trailer. Filled it too, nose to tail. I was moving a workshop as well as a household, but still, lots of stuff.

    I arranged it thru contacts in my industry, but you can do similar as a consumer. Be warned that commercial freight companies have very low limits on insurance, something like a dollar / pound. If you do have damage, you aren’t likely to have recourse.

    This is not something most people would use, but it is an option.


  17. Chad says:

    The laborers were all U.S. citizens or legal immigrants, right?

    Hey, man, we’re all citizens of this planet called Earth… lol

    Honestly, as long as my liability is covered and I don’t have any safety concerns for my family or our property, I’ll pay anyone willing to do an honest day’s hard work. I don’t care if they’re an ex-con, illegal immigrant, recovering addict, or an Ivy League college student looking for spending cash. Hell, first generation immigrants are usually very hard workers. It’s their kids and grandkids who walk around with a chip on their shoulder and think the US owes them a living. I pay cash and I figure it’s up to them or their agency to make sure their taxes get paid.

    90% of the time, who I use is whoever the temp agency provides. 🙂 Though, IIRC, U-Haul also had a list of people they could refer you to if you needed help loading/unloading.

  18. Jim B says:

    Haven’t digested this because my head hurts from other “work” today. Need some R&R first.

  19. dkreck says:

    What’s to wrap your head around? The people that pay have to pay more to cover all the freeloaders who pay little to nothing. Ain’t Obamacare great? All those people now covered. Affordable care.

  20. DadCooks says:

    @Jim B – what you linked will not digest well if you are on Medicare and NOT drawing Social Security, that is the real kicker. The hidden message, that is not so hidden to the informed, is that Social Security and Medicare are in big trouble and it is getting exponentially worse due to all the people being allowed into the system who have never paid one dime into it. For you and me, we have to have the proper number of qualified years of contributions. But be on the dole all your life and/or an illegal immigrant then you get it all, no “qualifying” required.

  21. nick says:

    And remember, obamacare stole money from medicare to pay for “obamacare”. Which they then provided by putting millions on medicare….


  22. nick says:

    Wow, the days have been starting off cool but by the late afternoon they are smokin’.

    I went out to dig the footing for my grape arbor. Got one done last week, needed to finish. THOUGHT it was cool out. Nope. It’s 90 with 50% RH. No wonder I’m wiped.

    I did get the hole dug, and filled back up with concrete.


  23. rick says:

    I don’t care if they’re an ex-con, illegal immigrant, recovering addict, or an Ivy League college student looking for spending cash.

    If there were no jobs for illegal immigrants, there would be a lot fewer. Why do we blame the illegals when, if they make it into the country, they get jobs which give them a better life than in Mexico?

  24. dkreck says:

    Work off the books, pay no taxes, spend little here and send the rest home, over burden public services.
    Need some more?

  25. rick says:

    Who allows them to work off the books? Those hiring them. They do it because it saves them money. If you want to stop the illegals, fine the guys who hire them. Give a percentage to anybody who turns an employer in. Until we do that, we’re not really serious about stopping illegal immigration.

  26. paul says:

    If you need a dishwasher for the new house, this is what I bought to replace my “would be 30 in November” KitchenAid Imperial KDI-21 (by Hobart):

    It’s this year’s model. Old Faithful dropped a pump bearing by the sound. Everything still works except for actually spraying water. Which is sort of the entire point. No parts available anywhere I looked. Bummer. Time to shop.

    We went into Austin and looked at Costco, Sears Appliance Outlet, Lowes, and Home Depot. Nothing at Costco. Sears, well, it’s Sears and they can have available what they have on display in four weeks. Yeah right, every appliance I have ever bought from Sears is at least a week late to arrive. Lowes and Home Depot stocks nothing but cheap apartment grade units…. but they can order it for you! None of the three will sell you the floor model. WTF, it’s a sale. I don’t need the cardboard box!

    Screw it. I went to KitchenAid’s site and picked the middle of the line model. Yeah, I know everything is built by Whirlpool now. Yeah, it was $1070 with tax and delivered to the house from Home Depot after three very long weeks of hand washing stuff. I paid $519.70 with tax for the old machine, I expected to get something as good or better for twice the money after 30 years. 🙂 Lowes was a little less but buying in mid-August with delivery around October 25 ain’t gonna work.

    It was tested on the assembly line. Sopping wet inside and built four days before I received it. And it leaked. None of my connections leaked. I called Whirlpool on Monday. The tech was here from Austin on Wednesday. He found the bad spot weld and I found a partial tube of silicone. Then the question was “do you want an entirely new machine or do you want me to replace the tub?” I told him whatever is better for you. We got a new tub. I got to watch him field strip a dishwasher. He did not disconnect the drain line from the pump. He removed the pump… not very messy that way. File that tip away for future use.

    We asked what dishwasher he would buy. He said to get anything with a stainless steel tub and the rinse aid dispenser. After that it’s just features like special cycles and rack options but the actual “wash the dishes” parts are the same.

    I could have gone with a $450 Whirlpool if I had known. I /do/ like what I bought. ProWash is great. The ProScrub option uses another set of jets in the back of the machine and it will clean a lasagna pan. The third rack is great for knives and spatulas. The part of me that makes a buffalo nickle bellow with pain isn’t very happy. 🙂

    The new machine has wheels on the back. Easier to install. But it tends to move… The repair guy said to get some self stick sandpaper and put a patch under the front leveling feet. Sticky side to the floor. I’m using 100 grit. Works great.

  27. nick says:

    I like scratch and dent stores for appliances.

    We have a Sears Outlet, and another outlet for high end brands, as well as a few other stores. In fact we have 2 sears outlets in driving distance.

    The only appliances we bought new retail, our washer and dryer, have been very disappointing and knowing I paid full price just twists the knife. They are high end, but the washer takes forever, the drier always needs an additional cycle or touch up, and the membrane control panels are cracked and peeling. The pump in the washer has been replaced, and disassembled and cleaned to restore function. So a big expensive disappointment.

    Dishwasher and fridge have been great.


  28. Jim says:

    I’m quite proud of the fact that I have _never_ purchased a new appliance. Dave’s Used Appliances (Or Bob’s, or Pedro’s) has always had something used that looks nice, works well, and costs 1/5 the price of the new appliance. And I’ve never had one last less than 10 years. (maybe it helps that I fix them myself, too.)

    Jim the cheap bastard.

  29. DadCooks says:

    Okay, Dad has a short story long… 😉

    We have a local appliance dealer, family owned since 1950 and in the same location. They have survived despite a plethora of other appliance dealers. They are one of the best kept secrets in town. They keep a small inventory in the back, no fancy showroom, but can get whatever you want delivered usually next day or two (comes from Seattle or Portland). Prices are competitive and they will do an Internet search and price match plus discount another 5%. They do their own delivery, two strapping high school boys do the grunt work and an experienced adult who has worked there for 20+ years. They coordinate all service work and only use experienced factory trained and authorized repair people. Rates are at least 10% less than anyone else.

    When our refrigerator died a couple of years ago, I of course went to them and had exactly what I wanted in 2 days (took an extra day because the pass was closed due to snow). The “unloader” scratched one of the door handles, he could have easily not brought it up or reversed the handle so it didn’t show. The “supervisor” and “unloader” fell all over themselves apologizing and promising a new handle in a week (BTW, I was watching the unload on the security cam so this was not a scam to hide something more substantial). When the store owner arrived to install the replacement handle he also brought along some other accessories to help with storage convenience storage in the refrigerator and freezer.

    We bought a top of the line Bosch dishwasher from them 25 years ago. The old service guy (BTW his name is Guy) has replaced the pump twice and the electronics 3 times. The last time he was out, he mentioned that he was retiring and clearing out his parts. He left us a spare motor and 2 electronic modules as well as a soap dispenser.

    Just an example of the kind of business and service that is the very rare exception today.

  30. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    You must be in a small town.

  31. DadCooks says:

    Putting on my Chamber of Commerce hat:

    No small town, I am in what is referred to as the Tri-Cities WA, we have lived here since 1979 (2010 census 193,567): Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco in Southeastern WA. We are the third largest metropolitan area of WA state (2010 census 253,340).,_Washington

    Despite steady rapid growth fueled by people fleeing Californication and the East Coast we do maintain a sense of community, however that is slowly vanishing.

  32. OFD says:

    Yo, Mr. DadCooks; they ever gonna return that Kennewick guy to the local native population, any Colville tribe members still around?

  33. DadCooks says:

    Warning, micro-aggression ahead:
    @OFD, I gave up trying to keep up with the “tribes”. The courts are more worried about those old bones of the “Kennewick Man” than the “tribes”. The “tribes” are too busy with their casinos and fleecing the paleface with their “native caught” salmon. IIRC not too long ago the state returned the bones to some native group, no matter that the bones belonged to a “tribe” that hasn’t existed for a thousand years. BTW, there were some more bones found this year so we are in a rinse and repeat cycle.

  34. OFD says:

    I get it; same deal here; the local tribes are Western Abenaki and further to the west are Mohawks. To the east, the Eastern Abenakis, and Passamaqoddy. Local developers were doing a project ten miles north of here in Swanton a few years back and simply bulldozed and steam-rollered any bones they found, to create some nice gravel parking lots, I guess. Locals were pissed off but it faded; OFD, in fact, looks more Native American than most of the local Abenakis. Nobody up here much gives a chit about any of it.

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