10 Tips To Help You Enjoy Moving Revisited

A little less than once year ago I wrote 10 Tips To Help You Enjoy Moving for my good friends Laura and Dan. Now they are just about to finish their first year of homeownership and we have just closed on our first house! To celebrate what both of our families have accomplished I thought I would revisit this old post, and edit it a little in honour of Laura and Dan.

So you are moving. Congratulations on; buying a new house, getting a new job, having a baby,finally moving out from your parents basement, finding a place that is cheaper/bigger/nicer/less drug lord infested! I am so excited for you. Well I am mostly excited for you. I am also somewhat sorry for you. Because now you have to move.

Lets face it moving sucks.  There is the packing, the lifting, the carrying, the cleaning, and the unpacking. All I can say is “bleck”!

I lived in my childhood home from age 6 to 20 so for years I was sheltered from the dread of moving. But that has ended. In the last eleven years I have moved 8 times with number 9 only weeks away. I also have helped members of my family move an additional 9 times. Each of these moves reinforced what I knew all too well, I HATE MOVING.

In that light here are

10 tips to help you enjoy your moving experience

1. Don’t Actually Move!- Oh sure you, your partner, your dog, your cat and the new twins don’t fit very well in your university studio apartment. But think of all the good times you have had there, and all of the money you will save compared to that four bedroom bungalow.

2. Try To Convince 5-10 Burly Men They Are Auditioning For A New Reality Show- You have heard of Canada’s Top Model? Well here comes the newest reality show tom sweep the nation, Canada’s Top Mover. Contestants compete to see which of them has the best packing, lugging, cleaning, and unpacking skills in Canada! What is the prize you may ask? Pride of course.

3. Don’t Label Your Boxes- Half of the fun of Christmas and birthdays is being surprised by the boxes you open. Why not transfer some of that holiday joy to your move?

New Homeowner

This is the most expensive key I have ever bought

4. Leave Gifts Behind- Actually the biggest joy at Christmas is to give isn’t it? Why not send some abundant joy toward the person who is moving in. I am sure they will love your sectional sofa from 1971 that is just too heavy and too awkward to get out the front door.

5. Start Fresh- You are moving to a new home – do you really want to fill it with old things? Haven’t you gotten tired of your bedroom set, kitchen set, living room future, grandma’s antique clock, and your wedding pictures? I say embrace change stop being so shackled to the past!

6. Use Non Standard Moving Vehicles- Anyone can move with a 26 ft U-Haul truck but it takes skill to move an entire family using nothing but a skateboard, hatchback and pack mule.

7. Don’t Order The Pizza- Everyone knows the reason your friends and family have taken a day out of their lives to help you move is to get free pizza. It is also true that their rate of productively drops to zero once that pizza arrives. Don’t give in to those pizza leeches. If they start to question why the pizza hasn’t arrived call a restaurant at random and say; “I am so angry at your poor service I demand you cancel my order immediately”. I bet you can pull this off 4+ times before anyone catches on.

8. Pretend To Be Thor – You are going to break dishes when you move. You might as well have fun doing it.Smash glasses like Thor!

Packing the House

10 Boxes Down 900 to Go

9. Pack Decoy Boxes- Pick up twice as many boxes as you need and leave half of them empty. Take those empty boxes and tape them up just like your real boxes. Then label the decoys with heavy sounding contents like books, bricks, or anvils. Tell your helpers while they get all the furniture into the moving truck you will pack all the boxes into the van/car.

10. Pretend To Be A Fledgling Moving Company Looking to Hire- For a few weeks leading up to your move, post on job websites that you are starting ABC Moving and are looking for employees.  Collect resumes, hold over the phone interviews, whittle your selection down to a top 20. Then let the those remaining know the final part of the interview will require them to move a ‘mock family’ for an hour. After their hour is up tell them you will contact them within two weeks if you have a place for them in your company.

Bonus Tip I Learned From Dan– If moving just seems to daunting consider promoting yourself into supervisory status by ‘throwing your back out’ a few days before the big move. You get to have all the say of where boxes go, with peskiness of having to move the boxes yourself.

Bonus Tip I Learned From Laura– Moving isn’t just tiring it can be downright boring. Why not make a few people squirm by not packing your…umm…fancy undergarments. Enjoy a good quiet chuckle as you leave them hanging proudly in your closet for ‘someone’  to find as you have not only enlist help moving boxes but packing a few as well.

First House

Our New And First Home

Normally moving is no fun. But I hope this list has shown you that with a little creativity you can have a lot of fun on moving day. Happy moving!

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Parenting Five Years In

Holy snap crackle and pop I have a five year old now! I mean look at him he is all five and stuff.

Simeon 5

Pokemon ears at his pokemon birthday party.

I am not sure where the time has gone but as of Sunday February 23rd I have been a parent for five years. The past five years have been a whirlwind of changes, adjustments and lessons learned. There are times when I am not sure how we made it this far. And there are times that I can’t imagine any other outcome.

I have grown a lot in the last five years. I have had to. It would have been catastrophic had I refused to change or acknowledge the changes around me. If I could go back in time I would give myself some advice. I would tell myself;

It Gets Better‘Listen I know you were not expecting to be a dad this quickly. I know all you can think about right now is how difficult it will be to finish school, and that you never really got a chance to just learn to be a married couple. Those feelings are fair, and real and true, but there is nothing you can do about them other than talk them through with people. Talk them through with people. Don’t just hold on to them because you feel like they make you a bad person, tell someone. Let yourself get past this so you can enjoy what is coming up. It is going to get so much better.’

It Gets Worse- ‘I am not going to lie to you this is going to be hard. You will feel a sense of tiredness and stress like you have never known. Coffee won’t cut it, and naps will just put you behind causing more stress. The times where you really just need him to sleep he won’t. Hiding at your office or at school might make you feel better for a bit, but it will drain Meghan more and you will pay for that when you get home. You won’t believe me now but eventually you will adjust and things will go much smoother. It will just take some time, and some tears to get there.’ 

He Will Become Like You‘You know that feeling you had when you first held him. A surreal feeling of holding yourself. It was more right than you realize. This little boy is some strange combination of sponge and mirror. He is listening to you and watching you. He hears the things you say, and the things you don’t say. He hears the tone you use. He sees what you do, and what you do not do. He’ll notice the shows you like, and the things that make you laugh. He will discover your buttons in a way that you didn’t even know. And one day he will start to say the things he heard you say. He will use the tones that you spoke in. He will start to act the way you do. He will pick up hobbies and interests that mirror your own. For better or worse you are his model of adulthood. And he will follow you.’

Simeon and me 1

Here we are trying to figure each other out

Actually You’re Cranky ‘I know you honestly believe that the whole world is currently conspiring against you. No one can drive right. No drive through moves fast enough. That everyone has become demanding. That everyone has become loud. That everyone has become has decided to laugh as annoyingly as possible. That everyone has become has suddenly decided to constantly say stupid things. On and on I could go. The truth is the world has not gotten slower, dumber, or more annoying. You are just really cranky. Find a few minutes, centre yourself, have a coffee, and calm the frick down.’

You’re Going To Be Good At This- ‘You’re not going to win any awards. No one is going to give you a standing ovation. But you are going to get the hang of being around babies and toddlers. You are going to help this little boy become a smart, funny, and happy kid. I mean let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 5 is not the end of the journey. You’ve barely scratched school. In the near future we will have to deal with bullies, broken hearts, sex, the internet, and a whole list of other things. But you will manage to put down a good framework to work from. You feel like you are going to drowned but you won’t, you are going to learn to swim.’

February 23rd was my oldest son’s fifth birthday and my fifth anniversary of becoming a dad. I couldn’t be happier.

Why 31 is Way Better Than 21

Today is my 31st birthday and I am pretty stoked. 30 has been an exciting year and I am looking forward to seeing what 31 has in store. Because I am so excited for my 31st year of life I thought I would share with you all why I think 31 is WAY better than 21*;

1. 31 isn’t 29 or 30– At 21 30 seemed so far away, and so old. But before I knew it I was my mid 20’s, than my late 20’s. When I turned 29 I was so sad that I was in my last ’20’ year. The final few months was like slowly ripping off a bandaid. Each day that ticket away I felt myself age. And the turning 30 jokes were relentless. But now that is all over. I am not 21 looking at 30 with fear and dread in my eyes. I am not 29 mourning the closing of a decade. And even better I am not 30 being teased for I guess not dying at 29. I am free, I am 31!

2. My Hair–  It is all pretty much still here!!!!! If you don’t have a bald uncle then you don’t know the stress of potential hair loss. Since I was 21 I have be constantly checking my hair, scouring for thinness, and bald spots. When I was 25 and getting ready for my wedding I was pretty much obsessed with my hairline and hair thickness. I was so paranoid I bought special shampoos, creams, and sprays all promising flowing locks forever. I was so afraid I would be bald by 30, and guess what I’M NOT!!! Also I think the touch of grey developing around my temples adds a touch of distinction.

3. Staying In–  I was not a big partier at 21. I went out a few times each month mostly to say that I did. I much prefered getting together with a handful of friends to enjoy a good conversation and maybe a little to drink. As a 21 year old single university student that was the definition of being lame. As a 31 year old married dad that’s pretty much the definition of a party with friends.

4. Going To Bed Early– At 21 I stayed up late. Most of the time I wanted too, but a lot of the time I felt I had too. ‘Who goes to bed before 1am?’ I would think to myself no matter how tired I felt. It didn’t matter to me if staying up late meant I was mostly useless the next day, I HAD TO STAY UP. Over the past few weeks I have gone to bed by 9:30pm five times and I felt great doing it each time.

5. Cartoons- Did you know that people really frown on 21 year old males watching a lot of cartoons? It makes people uncomfortable. Trying to see kids movies in the theater raised some eyebrows. BUT now I have kids who are the right age so no one questions my presence at the latest Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks movies anymore.

6. Exercise– I joined and quit the gym so many times from 21-29. I hated the gym. I wanted to build an attractive build to impress girls quickly and that never happened. Ever. Now at 31 I am concerned with my long term health and fitness. I don’t need to see major results in four weeks. I just need to get some exercise. As it turns out as a motivator that works much better for me.

7. Vegetables, Coffee, Wine– At 21 I could only eat vegetables hidden in stews, drink coffee slathered in cream and sugar, and drink white wine mixed with 7-Up. My taste buds have changed in such a way that I can none enjoy steamed vegetables, black coffee, and dry red wine. I feel so grown up.

8. Working With Teens– When I first started working with teens at 23 I was only 8 years older than most of my youth group. That is close enough in age that you kind of want to pretend you still a teenager, but too old to fool them. At 31 why pretend at all? I am a married guy with kids and grey hair, I am not fooling anyone. And yet I have connected way better with the teens in my youth group over the past year that I did with the last group over the entire 5 years I was with them. I am not trying to be ‘one of them’ I am trying to be a helpful adult in their life. I am better at that.

That is just a small sample of a much longer list. In short life didn’t end at 30, if anything it has kept getting better. So much better that I can now proudly say 31 is way better than 21.

birthday

Aren’t I Adorable

*Ok so the whole 21 thing is really for the US. In my Province at 19 I could buy lotto tickets, alcohol, cigarettes, go to bars etc. Nothing significantly changed for me when I turned 21.