Our First Military Move

Ok… so I’ve had a computer for a few days but I guess part of me has been putting off this post, knowing I have SO MUCH to tell my three readers! I’m going to start writing and see what happens.

I was a busy little bee the weeks leading up to the move. I got the house ready by labeling all doors with room names to make packing easier, cleaned mirrors & bathrooms as well as all outdoor areas. I donated potting dirt (can’t move with it), clothes, food, furniture and other household items we hadn’t used in awhile. I had Rubbermaid bins I packed with out of season clothes, shoes, and other odd & ends clothing items like scarves and hats. I took down all pictures and mirrors and stacked them in the spare bedroom for easy packing, removed curtains & hardware. I then packed the clothes I’d need while our stuff was getting delivered and a Rubbermaid full of shampoo, first aid items, contact solution, soap and other toiletries. I tried to eat all the stuff in my fridge but as you can see, I was not exactly successful. Instead of wasting a bunch of food, I headed to Wal-Mart and got this behemoth of a cooler to handle all the food that I couldn’t eat. Cost me $50 which was less than the food.

The night before I got very little sleep as I got the house ready and I’m really glad I did because our movers needed all the help they could get. I packed the car with my suitcase, toiletries, dog stuff, food, toilet paper, towels, sheets, blankets, house plants, “personal” items I didn’t want the movers to have to pack (ahem).

I wrapped EVERY LAST WIRE IN THE HOUSE using this wonderful invention:

Hands down the best $1.50 I ever spent. Get yourself some of these and wrap up lamps, computer wires, entertainment center connections and anything else you have. Instead of packing the car, you can also stash all your stuff in a closet marked “Personal – Do Not Pack”. I used this to throw in last minute items.

I took down the shower curtain, packed bath mats, vacuumed hardwood floor & rugs (rolled the rugs in the front room so the movers wouldn’t get them dirty since it was pouring all day). I mopped all floors, packed perishables like potatoes, onions, fruit, squash. I emptied the dishwasher, put all dishes away, wiped off counters, cleaned the stove & oven and removed all light bulbs from lamps (movers won’t pack those). I washed our couch’s slipcover and packed it in the plastic packet. The objective here is to get everything in its place so the movers don’t pack an office item in the kitchen stuff. It’ll make unpacking much easier.

I got to bed around midnight and woke up at about 7:30am. I made arrangements for the dogs to be gone all day with their favorite pet sitter so they wouldn’t be underfoot. I fed them and then put their food & dishes away in the closet as not to be packed. I ran to the store and got donuts, coffee and water for the movers. I washed my sheets, stored the comforter and pillows, put the toiletries in the Closet. I moved the truck onto the yard so the moving truck could be positioned in the driveway.

While the movers were doing their thing, I didn’t have much to do. I did check up on them, asking them about items that could or couldn’t be packed, made sure they packed those things that were allowed. I assisted them with getting things out of the attic I wasn’t able to do on my own and tried to keep busy but basically I just sat around while the one mover talked my ear off. I ordered pizza around noon (make sure if you don’t have a phone with internet to write down these numbers beforehand!)

Throughout the day, I had to continue re-packing and re-positioning the items in the car. This thing was packed to the GILLS. I ended up using the doors as leverage and just rolled down the windows and shoved stuff in. That was a great move because I was able to fit in much more than I would’ve been otherwise. These are dark photos but this is basically what it looked like:

The car was so packed, the dogs had to sit up front with me… for 9 hours. I gave them both Benadryl and it actually worked out. They were good boys. 🙂

Our kitchen required 20 boxes… more than the guys had ever packed! Our whole house was 100 boxes- 30 of those were kitchen/food. We have a LOT of food storage.

I learned the hard way about a few things so let me impart on you all the information that I learned so two (or more) of us don’t have to go through the same nonsense.

What the movers will not pack:

candles (did not know about this beforehand and caused major repositioning issues), bleach, open cooking oil, any open bottles from the kitchen, liquid laundry detergent, paint, plants, anything with chemicals or that is possibly flammable (ie: Lysol, Tilex, Comet), soil, fertilizer, seeds, plant food, lime (for the garden), bug killer, weed killer, matches, lighters, campfire starters, grills (anything except charcoal grills), sterno lights (we had a bunch leftover from when Ryan was in catering), anything in an aerosol can, jewlery, photos, coins (basically anything small of value).


Movers won’t use original appliance boxes but we like to have them on hand, especially if we do a DITY move down the road. We had to insist they include them.

They WILL try to get out of packing items and taking apart furniture. I had to follow them around and double check to ensure it was an approved item to pack. Once I got that down, I just asked them to pack it. They didn’t want to take apart our futon even though it required 8 bolts and instead, awkwardly carried it downstairs. The movers on the other end just ended up taking it apart to get it up the stairs. Next time I will insist they disassemble it there.

The movers won’t clean up after themselves and that includes excess paper, plastic, trash, etc.

Have on hand donuts, Gatorade, water, soda and pizza

Clean up as the movers load out. I swept the kitchen, garage, hardwood floor, etc while they were loading the truck.

What can go wrong, WILL go wrong. This can’t just be me, right? (More on these shenanigans in the next post).

It took exactly 30 days from Ryan’s graduation to my moving up there. It could’ve taken longer but it also could’ve gone faster but his ship on base wasn’t exactly forthcoming with help and information. Tell your Sailor to be insistent and annoying to get his Live Ashore packet completed. Ryan was also very insistent on being placed in a house rather than an apartment. Even though it’s just the two of us, we were able to get a 3 bedroom/1.5 bath townhouse with yard, patio & garage. Others in the same situation were only able to get an apartment so I’m thankful for my husband essentially annoying the housing people into giving us what we needed!

The movers will do anything, including lying to get out of unpacking. They told me they would come back to pick up the boxes, even though I’d read everywhere they needed to unpack and take the boxes that day. Stupid Missy. Don’t listen to a word your movers say. Force them to unpack the boxes, even if they just put the stuff everywhere. It’s 10x better than having a house full of huge moving boxes, believe me!

Here are a few pics of us on the road and once we got into the new house. Things still aren’t unpacked, but we’re about 80% there. I have a lot of work ahead of me but I think we’ll be ready for a house tour by next week. So far, I have to say, I really like living on base. I got to eliminate about six bills by moving into military housing which is awesome! So much less stress.

Saturday morning, the movers arrived at 8am. I sat in the living room while they carried stuff in and called out the numbers on each box or piece of furniture. Then I checked it off and gave them specific directions where to place the items.

That’s where we are now. I’ve been trying to unpack and not focus on organizing but it’s been challenging. Especially because I had lots of other things on my plate- get to the vet, find a job, meet with the moving people re: damages incurred during the transition, get a base pass, obtain and fill out paperwork for the partial DITY, get to the thrift store for some lamps, register the dogs, cancel various things relating to our old house (more on ALL those things later). Long story short, I’ve been super busy and not able to focus 100% on the house. Definitely looking forward to showing pictures of the house so stay tuned!

This entry was posted in DH, DITY, Dogs, Family, Home, Navy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Our First Military Move

  1. Kathleen says:

    I’m glad you made it up there and are NOT in an apartment! xoxo

  2. Great tips on what the movers will and won’t do. Good luck in your new home.

  3. Michelle says:

    Whew! You did a LOT. I’ll have to print out that list for our house when we move. You sound so organized! Can’t wait to see house pictures 🙂

  4. Jane Eboch says:

    WOW! You did an amazing job. Thanks for documenting it for everyone! Can’t wait to see the next phase of move-in.

  5. Jess says:

    Wow! I’ve got a lot ahead of me! I love you for taking such great notes… You should write a book!

  6. carrie says:

    LOOOOOOOOOOVE your post and that you are happy and there.

    keep bloggin girlie!


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