Monday, July 12, 2010

the art of moving

inspiring moving art:

big monday morning news here at the rikrak home, nicies.
... we're moving!
... this week!

we love our wonderful home and neighbourhood here in beautiful ottawa.
it's been a fabulous place for us to grow & explore & love.

and we love our wonderful NEW home and town, too.
at least for a little while. we're moving closer to toronto.
delightfully closer to our lovely families. we're so very very thrilled about that!

i survey the scene for you:
boxes packed floor to ceiling... everywhere.
corrugated cardboard my new best friend.
sifting and sorting and packing and unpacking.
nostalgic grins, smiles, laughs, teary goodbyes, hugs at every turn.

good-heavens - i'm a moving-mess! :)

it's the gamut of emotion here. i'll be honest... i've become a terrible mover.

i fluctuate between that great feeling of going thru our things, feeling refreshed by donating all of the STUFF we no longer need {isn't that a GREAT thing?!} and obsessively being sentimental over every little thing.

yes... i'm a nostalgic hoarder.

i am so nostalgic about every scrap of paper that has ever meant something (me: "ah, look honey... it's our receipt for dishsoap that we bought 5 years ago . . it has something spilled on it.. but we'd better save that nonetheless!"), and each & every piece of little rikrak's art (no matter how teeny tiny or 3-dimentionally massive) : each a masterpiece, of course!

indeed it's two steps forward, 9 steps back as we try to sort thru, package up, donate donate donate and more.

but over the past few weeks of packing i've become {slightly? a little bit?} better at prioritizing what STUFF is really important from what is just plain MORE STUFF.

so that's a very good thing, indeed.

packing is such a good metaphor for life isn't it? we'll get thru this time of weeding out, keeping what's important, re-discovering and re-prioritizing. and we very much look forward to the adventure ahead!

{on another packing note: i've discovered numerous unopened boxes in our storage room of late that are marked *TBS* ( that's my moving-shorthand for "to be sorted*- my brilliant cataloging term for last minute boxes!) ... "TBS 2003."

yes.. .i packed that box in 2003, never opened it since. good golly.

i hearby VOW not to have any TBS 2010 boxes this move, nicies! {stay tuned to see if i make it!}

"to be sorted" pretty much sums things up here! moving can be such a fine art, can't it?}

how do you tackle packing up and moving on?
wise tips you'd like to share?

surely you'd love to share YOUR ART OF MOVING!
hands-up if you're a sentimental hoarder?

hugs, lovelies.
here's to great new things ahead.
... off to sort.
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  1. Wishing you a smooth and happy move! Sorry I don't really have any tips for you. Last time I moved was in 2004 and it was only a few blocks.
    The experts would say if you haven't unpacked those boxes from 2003 they don't need to move again. But what do the experts know :P

    Safe journey.

  2. I just moved (home and city, too) and I'm finding it a lot easier to be ruthless now we're all moved in. Some things just don't fit with the style of the house, and with a baby on the way, a lot of possessions aren't going to fit with our new lifestyle. I have 400+ books which I love and re-read regularly, but only two alcoves for bookcases, and I doubt I'll have much time for reading after baby appears next month. I'll have to be very selective. And that's just the tip of the hoarding iceberg!

    Wishing you every success and happiness in your new home.

  3. thanks for the helpful, encouraging words, nicies!

    and girl_industries: very selective, indeed! and congrats on your exciting news ahead!

  4. Hands up here as a sentimental hoarder! :) I also realized my craft supply hoarding tendencies when we moved two years ago. SO. MANY. BOXES. marked "Craft". It became a bit of a joke after a while as our friends helped move us into our new home.

    My best moving tip: Color code floors and label rooms on boxes and the rooms themselves. Everything in the basement got a blue sticker with the room name written on it. Ground floor boxes got green sticker with the room name written on it, second story boxes had pink stickers, and garage boxes had yellow stickers. Once our moving help figured out the codes, it eliminated the "Where does this go" questions entirely. I've read that other folks color coordinate these box stickers with balloons in each room for the same effect.

    Good luck with everything!

  5. We're all so sad to see you leave, RR!

    The parks already miss you and little RR!

    My best moving tip: one box to keep. one box to sell. 3 boxes to donate!

    Talk later.

  6. I feel for you and your move!! And my hand it way up high for being a hoarder. Oh my!!

    Here's a moving tip: Put the contents label on all sides of the box. That way, the label side won't end up facing the wall!

  7. Oh, I hate packing! And unpacking! Eek. I second all other posts on labeling outside the boxes, on multiple sides. Then you know where to put the boxes once they have moved, and which are priorities to open up first.

    If you are a sentimental hoarder, I suggest you use all those shoe boxes you have been hoarding for packing. It helps compartmentalize the larger boxes in a structured and protected way. And chances are good you have lots of small items to pack.

    I also love to get apple boxes and paper boxes for packing - they are all a standard size and they have LIDS - which eliminates packing tape and lets you access things quickly while packing.

  8. Good luck with the moving!

    I'm moving soon too! I'm from Mexico, then moved 2 years ago to Argentina with my argentinian hubby, and soon will be moving to Netherlands because of his job!.

    The worst thing is that you think you have almost nothing, but when you start packaging you see you actually had collected A LOOOOT.

    I think that a good rule is to give away all the stuff you didn't use in a looong time thinking "someday it may be helpful", maybe NOW is helpful for someone else. Or maybe when you actually need it it will be so ruined that you'll have to buy a new one, so let things flow! Just keep the things that you really need or that are really close to your heart. (good luck with that! Is not easy at all :P)

  9. Good luck with your move! I totally feel you about being a hoarder of sentimental stuff. I've started to take digital photos of all the sentimental stuff I've been given over the years that is simply dust-catching and decorative without serving a purpose (coughcoughMOMcough). It makes me feel better about donating the "daughters are rainbows and sunshine" plaque (that of course doesn't match anything else in my house) because I have proof to help me remember she was thinking of me without needing to display it all the time nor find a place to store it in our oddly-shaped 19th-century apartment. Eventually I plan to have a batch of them printed and put them in an album together, which will take up far less space and be easier to store. :) If you do it before you move, that's even less to have to pack and lift (or less to pay movers to do for you).

    Regarding moving, be sure to also write on the sides of the boxes without stickers -- stickers can fall off during a move more easily than you'd think, and then you're stuck with a bunch of unlabeled boxes in your new house. And don't underestimate the eco-friendliness of your linens and t-shirts and little RR's stuffed animals as cushioning! Cheaper than bubble wrap, too.

  10. Good luck with the move!

    I keep things that are extremely sentimental. I usually go through my "stuff" once a year and toss what I no longer need or feel much for. My grandmother is what we call a "pack rat" and I don't want to be like that...I try, but some things just can't be thrown away!

  11. I used to be a sentimental hoarder, but after one too many moves during my single post-Uni days I finally caved and purged like crazy... I still have a small shoe box, but that is it! Now it's all about photos for me, which thankfully I can store on my computer!

    The best thing I leared in all of the moves... don't mix rooms in a box when packing, and even if you're dead tired when you unpack the truck, put the furniture and boxes in the rooms they belong right away, makes the unpacking so much easier!

    Good luck with your packing/move, and welcome to the GTA! Yay!

  12. great ideas and advice all around nicies!

    you're right - i used be a *good mover* back when mr. rikrak and i moved every september for 10 years! :)

    maybe i'm just getting old or it's the *keep everything* mommy in me!

    thanks for the encouraging words!

    and yay to the gta, nicole! :)thanks!

  13. Well, as someone who has moved about 20 times in the last ten years and many of which have been overseas... I have to say that letting go, while it is hard and sad also leaves room for more happiness to enter! Take loads of pictures, file away the really important stuff and recycle the rest! :-) I wish you the best in this precious time as you move closer to your family! I wish I could convince mine to move to Denmark!

  14. sentimental & nostalgic hoarders unite!

    I do not envy you! The act of moving is not fun. The best way to move is to hire someone to do it for you but this is not realistic for most people. So when it comes to the things you are worried about moving, ie the antique dresser, get your husband and a friend to do it and don't watch. Delegation is not underrated when moving!

    Good luck K and keep strong and remember how excited your are to be in your new home!

    oh yeah, and take out and dining out are highly recommended during the week of and after a move.

    xo, Katy

  15. LOL... having just gone through this myself, I can totally relate. My husband has kindly set aside (well, by "aside" I mean in a spot impossible for me to overlook and ignore for another moment!) all the "misc" boxes that I have accumulated.
    As I slowly open them to sort them out, I think to myself "gosh, why did I even pack this?". Then I just toss it all back into the same box, label it with "sorted misc" and shove it away for the next time we move. :)
    Good luck on your new adventure.

  16. We are moving too, just a mile across town- but all the same stresses of a bigger move. one advice- pack books in small boxes. Too big, and they are impossible to pick up. We have a lot of books.... so a lot of small boxes- but much easier to lift.

  17. I've moved a bazillion times (military child, antsy college student, and adventurous adult). Every time I move (average: 2 years) I take it as an opportunity to purge the house and really, really clean out. I still have all my hoarded stuff (why the hell do I need 75 barbies from when I was a kid?) but I get rid of all the putzy crap. I always give them to creative, small local charities. For example, in Boston I donated a lot to some homeless shelters for women, a veteran's shelter, and a "dress for success" program. In Maryland, I donated a lot to a charitable thrift store. Donating things means cleaning out your house AND getting tax deductions. :)

  18. Hope everything is easy as pie and you are settled in your new home before you know it! :)
    I dread the time when we pack up and move (not that we are planning anything) but it would be a nightmare for me to sort and discard and donate and pack and.... oh dear, I'm getting worried just thinking about it!

  19. hi!
    Congrats on moving. I am still unpacking and organizing after over 3 months of being in my new home!

    I am going to leave you a link to a post i did asking for moving tips- there's a bunch of good ones!!

  20. Well congrats on your new adventure and being closer to your family, that is wonderful!

    I was never an organized mover, then again I have never had much stuff.
    I too will be moving in about a month (aaaakkk) so I dont have much advice but it sounds like everyone else here has some really great tips that I will be taking with me on my move:)

  21. We're in the middle of a cross country move as well so feel your pain! Just focus on the end :)

  22. Ahh.. moving.. how exciting!! ..and a great time to finally get rid of at least the one or two things that you can let go of. ;p

    I completely understand how frustrating it can be to be a sentimental hoarder. One of the rooms in our basement just got flooded under the flooring a couple days ago. Nothing else got damaged, but after moving everything out of that room and into the living room, we could see just how much stuff we have! I was determined to get rid of a bunch of things, but by the end of the night I only came up with one small bag of recycles and one small bag of garbage. Aughh..

  23. I also moved recently. It was a nightmare. I concidered A checklist for moving to a new home", but didn't save lots of fingernails :)


thanks so much for your comments, nicies!
it's a joy to read what everyone writes here.
thank you!