Anyway, now that we're all safely tucked into our hotel, I can honestly say that I've learned a great deal from this whole "first packout" dealio. I'm sure everyone's experience is different, and that's cool. But I know you're just dying to find out what useful information I gained from the whole ordeal, so here goes.
1. If you're an environmentally conscience person, check it at the door. I pride myself on being pretty Earth friendly--I take public transit or walk most places, I recycle, I don't let the water run while I brush my teeth we use energy conservative light bulbs in our home etc., so seeing the sheer amount of PAPER used to wrap even the smallest item in our house was a bit mind numbing. I mean, a candle holder with a 2 inch circumference required at least two sheets of 3ft x 3ft paper. I had to physically restrain myself from saying, "Ya know what, just toss that in the box. No worries about wrapping it." But I couldn't. Because who knows when I will see that stuff again, and who knows what it goes through between leaving our house and getting to our next, still unknown destination. Maybe I'll be glad when the box arrives and my
2. NEVER, and I mean never, underestimate the value of a Ziploc bag. (Again, your earth-friendly nature has been checked at the door, remember?) All the little Lego pieces and nails and screws and whatever that doesn't have a true home ends up in a Ziploc baggie and packed away. Trust me. Invest in at least three different sizes before you move. We started by just packing small toys in them and ultimately used them for everything. Pens and markers? Ziploc. Spices? Ziploc. And if you own a gadget that requires several small pieces, just throw those pieces in a Ziploc, tape it to the gadget and toss it in the box. Don't forget to wrap it in 15 sheets of paper before you do, though.
3. Lysol disinfectant wipes (or whatever brand you like best--pick your poison) are your best friend. S and I wiped down EVERYTHING before it was packed away. Disposable rags and cleanliness goes a long way when you're packing things rapid-fire.
4. If you have pets (we have a dog and a cat) no matter how often you mop, vacuum, or sweep your home, moving will reveal that you have done a miserably, horrible job. The fur balls will come out to both haunt and embarrass you, I promise. One of our poor movers actually started having some sort of allergy attack midway through the move. I have no advice on what to do here. It's just a warning. It wasn't pretty, I tell you. It wasn't pretty.
5. And finally, have a catch-all bag set aside to collect any stray things around your home that you don't want to see go in HHE, but is too late to put in UAB. In our case, we had a large Ikea bag (which, hello? How useful are Ikea bags? I love them. They're my best friend.) We had our piles separated, so the movers packed our UAB shipment first. Once that was done, they moved on to HHE. Except, wait! E's night light! I forgot to grab it. Our UAB boxes were sitting in the truck laughing at me, but I was one step ahead of them. Into the Ikea bag it went. Along with those bottles of aspirin, E's favorite blanket and stuffed animal, a few phone chargers, a box of blank checks (don't know where the heck those came from) and, well, you get the idea. Have a bag handy.
So that's that. Right now the little guy is tucked into his pack and play, the pets are sniffing around the hotel room like there's food hidden somewhere (there's not), and S and I are detoxing from the day's events. Time to sit back and enjoy this glass of wine. Until tomorrow...