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In the first five years of our marriage, my husband and I moved five times. In 2010, we moved to Utah, rented for a while, and then bought a house. We remained in the house we purchased since. With the booming housing market and low-interest rates, we see many of our friends moving out of state or considering buying a bigger home. I thought it appropriate to give some tips for moving without ruining your marriage… Since we are kind of experts in the matter.
As with every other area of our marriage, communication is a crucial tip for moving without ruining your marriage. On our first few moves, I spent a considerable amount of time being frustrated with my husband. We pack VERY DIFFERENTLY, and we had no plan. I would meticulously wrap items and get rid of things that I hadn’t used in a while. I see packing as the perfect time to declutter.
My husband, on the other hand, is all about speed and Tetris. He wants to fit as much as possible in each box while doing this task as quickly as possible. He has no care for what room the items belong to. In his mind, it is fine to put something from the kitchen in with office stuff if there is a perfect space in a box for it. I have to appreciate his mad Tetris skills, but this drove me bonkers!
I had to communicate my frustrations with him… otherwise, he would keep proudly showing me how he fit things… and I might lose my mind. We came up with a plan to use his mad Tetris skills, but the boxes remained in the appropriate room and wouldn’t weigh 600 lbs. (I couldn’t lift most of his boxes)
Use the Right boxes and Label Everything
Boxes are important if you want your marriage to survive a move. Do not… I repeat… do not use gigantic boxes. If you do, give clear instructions that only lampshades are allowed. We made the mistake of using boxes that we found behind the grocery store. Free is good, but you need to know how to properly pack so that you don’t need a forklift to lift it and you can identify what is inside.
We prefer file boxes for most things. My kitchen drawers’ contents fit nicely in them, and you can fill a file box with books and still lift it. My husband has thousands of books. I’m not exaggerating. His office is the main reason I never want to move again. Keep your boxes to a manageable size, and be aware of how much a box weighs before you tape that sucker up!
Sell or give away stuff you don’t need
We have boxes that have been in our attic for 10 years. I have no idea what is in them, and I obviously haven’t missed them. This goes back to my “declutter as you go” technique. I would bet money that my husband packed those boxes in the attic because I always know what I put in mine.
Packing up to move is the perfect time to give away or even sell some of the items you haven’t used in a while. With Facebook, there are neighborhood groups, selling groups, or you can post “Hey, does anyone want this?” and you are sure to make someone’s day. As a couple, we love to be able to bless people. It makes us happy. We often give away things that we no longer need and get excited about it going to a new loving home.
If it is important to you, pack it yourself
I don’t ever want to micromanage my husband. We are different, and that is okay. He has his way of doing things, and as long as the boxes wind up in the correct room and I know what is in them, I’m okay with that. However, when it comes to the things that are of extra importance to me, I pack them myself.
If we take care of our own personal valuables, we only have ourselves to blame if something goes awry. This is key. I want it to be on me and not him. I take full responsibility for my things.
We are chronic fun havers. Moving is not fun, so we are always trying to find ways to make light of the heavy lifting. Sometimes that means labeling the box in a funny way (as long as it is still clear what is in it and where it goes) or putting something silly in with other things, like putting a rubber ducky in with the silverware. I know, we’re hilarious. Bottom line, find a way to do something fun. Whether it’s speed packing a closet or taking odds on how much change you’ll find in the furniture, you’ve got to find some levity.
Hire a Professional
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your marriage is to hire someone to do the work for you.
For our first cross country move, we “hired” the Jr. High boys from our church’s youth group. They were lovely boys. However, their skills as movers lacked considerably. A vanity mirror broke because one of our “workers” decided to try to smash a Cicada bug with a tennis racquet and accidentally rammed it right into the mirror… “oops”! The husband in this situation could appreciate the fun being had; the wife was not as impressed. (In case you haven’t guessed, I am that wife… and I was not amused)
At this point in our marriage, we didn’t have many valuables to our name. But, I loved the things we had acquired in our first year of marriage. We paid the boys in pizza and I will tell you that you absolutely get what you pay for.
I am thankful for the extra hands, but I think a better idea for keeping your marriage strong while moving is to hire professionals. If you are in the Ogden, Utah area, try out Muscle Men Movers. Unlike the boys in our youth group, these are trained professionals.
This moving company offers other services as well, so even if you only need help to move a piano in the Ogden, Utah area, they’ve got your back. Literally… trying to move a piano on your own would do a number on your back. Their trained, professional staff understand how delicate, expensive, and sometimes sentimental these instruments can be. They are ready for the challenge so you can save your back and your marriage.
To Sum It Up
Moving can put stress on a marriage. To make it through and come out strong on the other side, follow these tips.
- Use the right boxes and remember to label them
- Give away or sell stuff you don’t need
- Have fun
- Hire a professional