February 26, 2016

The second we found out that mold had contaminated our household goods, the movers packed up everything and took it all back to their warehouse. They didn’t want mold getting into our home, and they sure didn’t want to breathe it in. Nick and I didn’t get to see the rest of our goods until a few weeks later, when professionals went through each item with us (you can read more about that here).

While we waited, Nick and I started thinking about our most precious things: the guestbooks from our wedding, my great-grandmother’s jewelry box, letters we had written to each other over the years, things we have collected through our travels, scrapbooks, a wine cabinet that my dad had handcrafted for us, our precious books, a painting that all of our wedding guests wrote messages on during our wedding reception, the books my mom had been collecting for me my whole life. We wondered if these things would be safe or if they were lost forever.

Somehow, we got lucky, and the only sentimental items that we lost were our books. I have no idea how that happened. Even though I am still sad about our books, I am grateful that that is all we lost.

We got lucky this time, but I’m not taking that chance again.

Moving PCS Tips (2 of 2)

Whenever we move, we always carry suitcases filled with things we need while our stuff is in transit. We usually take an air mattress, sheets, a blanket, clothes, and some basic cooking supplies, just to hold us over until the movers get to our new place.

The next time we move, I am going to take stock of what I have and take with me anything that I could not bear to lose. Sentimental things.

Sure, the moving company is responsible for taking care of your household goods, and you should be able to trust that they will treat your precious items with the care that they deserve. You can read all of the articles about moving that are out there about how to best prepare. I did. And you should.

But there are accidents, crazy weather, and things that you can’t even think of that could go wrong. No one had ever warned me about mold. And I know people who have had entire boxes go missing, never to be found again. What if your love letters were in that box that just vanished?

Side note: if the moving company does ruin or break anything, they will pay for it. But some things are just not replaceable.

My #1 Moving Tip is that you should carry with you anything that is irreplaceable. Don’t give these things to the movers.

You should always take with your any important documents like your birth certificate and passport. And if you are a military family, you will need your orders.

But I would also encourage you to set aside any photo albums, personal items, or heirlooms that you would be devastated if you lost. Obviously there are some things that you just cannot take with you. Some things are too big or too heavy, like my precious vintage typewriter. You just have to be on top of the movers to make sure that they pack these items the best way possible, and hope that everything works out okay.

But if you go through your things, I am sure you will find greeting cards, letters, photo albums, jewelry, drawings, things from your parents and grandparents, and other smaller items that you want to make sure survives your move. Things that can never be replaced. Fill up a bag or small suitcase with your favorite things. Don’t take a chance on losing those precious printed photos from your childhood.

What would you carry with you if you moved?

Moving PCS Tips (1 of 2)

– Carolann


12 responses to “My #1 Moving Tip”

  1. Cait says:

    great post my friend and i agree with your tip!

  2. Emma says:

    I so sad that you had this experience!

    • Carolann says:

      If I can help it not happen to anyone else, I will be happy! We got pretty lucky with not losing too many of our favorite things. It’s been a huge pain in the but though 😉

  3. I wouldn’t have even thought about taking some of our sentimental things during a move, but that’s so such a good idea! I don’t know what I would do if I were to lose all of our pictures or something else really close to my heart.

    • Carolann says:

      You know, it vaguely crossed my mind. I had a binder with all of my favorite things I had written in college, and other special letters and stuff. I was going to carry it with me. I took it aside. But at the last second I said, “I’m being silly. It will be fine.” And then it got destroyed. So yes if you do move make sure you take your favorite things with you and don’t give it to the movers!

  4. Jenn says:

    Totally taking this one to heart. We have even talked about keeping some sentimental stuff with my parents or renting a small storage space until he gets out of the military. If not, the sentimental stuff will definitely be coming with us.

  5. Jenna B says:

    I always keep on us the blanket my grandmother crocheted me when I was a kid. It’s something I could never get back. I would be devastated if it was ruined in a move.

    • Carolann says:

      Hi Jenna! I have a blanket that my grandma crocheted as well! I have to keep that with me this time. It’s truly irreplaceable.

  6. kari says:

    Great advice! When we moved to DC as military newlyweds, all our shipments (1 from the Pacific NW, 1 from the South, and 1 from Pakistan) were delayed by 3+ weeks. We ended up needing to borrow an air mattress, bedding, and basic cooking supplies. A good reminder that we should transport some of these directly to our next location ourselves!

    • Carolann says:

      Oh no!! I totally know the feeling. I am so lucky to be just a few hours away from my parents here in Connecticut. They loaned us sheets, blankets, even stuff to cook with. Luckily we were also able to borrow some stuff from the base.

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