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  1. Moving tips from Retro-Reporter

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

    As I was packing up some boxes the other day, I realized that this is my seventh(!) move in the last four and a half years. In case you don't believe me:
    1. From the farm in Saskatchewan to college residence in Edmonton (moved in August 2008)
    2. From the farm in Saskatchewan to my Oliver apartment in Edmonton (August 2009)
    3. From Edmonton to Wetaskiwin (June 2010)
    4. From Wetaskiwin to Camrose townhouse (August 2010)
    5. From Camrose townhouse to Camrose apartment  (January 2011)
    6. From Camrose apartment to El Mirador (March 2012)
    7. From El Mirador to Ian's house (November 2012)
    That's a lot. By now, you'd think that I'm either a minimalist or a pro, but I'm neither. I have SO MUCH STUFF (I need to work on my culling skills) that I am slowly moving into Ian's or looking to get rid of. I'm also fine-tuning my moving and packing skills. 
    Here's some things that I've learned over the years.

    Totes vs boxes: The first thing I did when I moved away from home for the first time was buy some Rubbermaid totes instead of getting cardboard boxes. While boxes are free (usually. Maybe you don't frequent liquor stores as often as me), Rubbermaid totes last FOREVER and can also be used for water-resistent storage after the fact. I've used mine for the last almost five years and only now are they starting to show their wear. They've more than paid for themselves.

    Prioritize: This is probably common sense, but as soon as you know you're moving, start packing! Begin with non-essentials, like books, off-season clothes, etc. Pack a last-out/first-in box with cleaning supplies, scissors, toilet paper, sheets etc so you have the essentials on hand and clearly marked. Get rid of stuff you don't plan on keeping sooner rather than later. You don't want to run to Goodwill or be waiting on Kijiji buyers on move-out day.

    One room at a time: Packing can be overwhelming. Everytime I go back to my apartment I feel like I still have so much to move. After you've packed up the non-essentials, pack and clean one room at a time. I cleaned out my bathroom completely today, and only have a few sewing-related things left in my living room - but still the majority of my kitchen and bedroom to do. The fact that I'm not staying at my apartment is making it much easier to clear out rooms completely and clean them (and keep them clean).

    Move slow: If you're like me and consolidating households or get possession of your new place while you're still in the old one, move stuff over in small increments whenever you can in your own vehicle. Not only does that mean that you're also unpacking slowly and won't run into a bunch of daunting boxes as soon as you get into your home, it also means that you'll only have to move furniture on the official moving day, which can saving on renting a moving truck as well as time on unpacking. 

    Move mid-week and mid-month: If you can, book a day or two off in the middle of the week to move, and maximize that by moving before the end of the month. Since I'm moving in with Ian, I can technically move in whenever (see move slow above) and his days off usually happen in the middle of the week, thanks to shift work (as if I was going to move furniture without his help!). I foresee it to be much easier to get a moving truck on a Wednesday in the middle of November rather than on the last weekend of the month like everyone else.

    Redirect your mail: I haven't done this in the past but I did this time. In Canada, it'll cost you $45 to redirect your mail for 6 months. While you should still change all your addresses, it buys you a little bit of time, and will forward any bills you didn't change in time and will make you less of a pain in the ass for previous tenants. I hate when I still get mail for people who have previously lived in my apartments.
    Addresses you should change ASAP (links relevant to Canadian/Albertan residents):

    • tax information 
    • employee records
    • health card
    • utility bills (or cancel them if applicable)
    • cell phone
    • banking information
    • insurance information (and update tenant insurance)
    • drivers license
    • former landlords, employers 
    Keep track of costs: In Canada, you can claim moving expenses on your tax return if you're moving for a new job and are moving more than 40 km away, or if you're moving for university. I haven't claimed moving expenses before simply because I didn't keep track of them. Damn! What a wasted opportunity. Keep track of moving expenses with a Dropbox or Google Drive electronically as well as with paper copies.

    Did I miss anything? What are some of your tips for moving?

    xo Laurie

  2. Retro Reporter mini-hiatus

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Hello all! I apologize for the big 'ole absence from blogging, but I also want to warn you that it will continue. I have several reasons behind this:

    Bye bye El Mirador :(
    • Moving: Yes, I'm moving. After a glorious two months of living on my own, I'm shacking up with Ian. Aside from the fact that I'm crazy about him, it's also better for the both of us financially. I've really been struggling these last two months with paying the bills and whatnot (let alone groceries) so I'm looking forward to settling in, paying off my debt and getting back on track. In the meantime, I'm halfway moved, but there's still a lot of stuff at my old apartment. I'm trying to spend as much time as I can moving things, but I've needed to take a break lately because of my next point.
    A typical day in the life of Laurie: Nosebleeds galore
    • Stress & possible health issues: Yup, having a negative number in your bank account can really get you down, and I've felt really low and depressed these last few weeks and have barely wanted to get out of bed, let alone blog. I'm tired all the time (I slept for almost 12 hours last night and am still exhausted) and just feel worse than dirt. In addition to my less-than-stellar mental health, I've also been having worse back aches (I used to wake up with my lower back killing me on weekends after sleeping in, but now it hurts every morning) as well as nose bleeds. I'm hoping it's just stress related and will go away once everything's under control.
    Follow #memadechristmas on Instagram!
    • Me Made Christmas:  In a spin-off of my pre-Christmas no spender bender, I'm also trying to make the majority of my Christmas presents. So far I have one down and four to go, but it's hard to knit when you live with the recipient and you're not living with your sewing machine! I've been trying to do as much knitting and sewing in my spare time as I can, thus no time for blogging!
    I'm sorry if this blog post was a major downer and for seeming whiny - I just wanted to let you know where I had disappeared off to!

    xo Laurie

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