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Monday, July 16, 2012

Ack! Stress.

There are few things in this world that I hate worse than moving. One of those few is probably moving in the summer, when the temperatures are soaring and everything takes more out of me. Another is planning a big move on short notice.

It should be no surprise, then, that I'm now planning a cross-country move to take place within the next month.

Yes, that's right. I'm packing up everything and moving from Texas to North Carolina. In August. With only about a month to plan and execute the whole thing.

I should probably be committed.

So not only am I trying to finish writing a novella that is due at the end of this month, and a novel I should have finished more than a month ago. No, that would be too easy. I'm also packing up my possessions that need to be moved; sorting through what should be tossed, what should be donated, what should be sold; trying to find an apartment or townhouse that meets my needs and has availability; flying to Raleigh to do some of that; arranging for a moving truck and movers; picking out furniture and planning decorating schemes; and trying to remember how to sleep.

Oh, yeah. And I'm also trying to figure out how I'm going to move my cats. One of those cats, you might remember, is a bit of a problem child. Since I blogged about her two months ago, she sent the vet tech to the hospital. Seriously. She is so scared of the vet and what they do to her, that we now have to tranquilize her and hope for the best.

And I'm going to take her on a two-day drive across the country. Please, send your prayers, well-wishes, and good ju-ju my way.

While I sort through all of this mess, have any of you planned major moves like this in the past? How did you survive without committing a crime? Do you have any packing tips for me?

38 comments:

  1. Catherine, I feel for you! When we moved to NC from FL six years ago, my oldest son was 3 months old and hated being in the car so much that he screamed most of the 12 hour drive. THAT was fun.
    Not.
    We also executed a move in under a month. We had flown up so my husband could interview in person at his company in Cary, and we had never been to NC before! We found out about a week later that he got the job, he gave his 2 weeks notice and we moved into an apartment in Cary less than 3 weeks after first setting foot in the Tarheel state! It was slightly traumatic to leave all of our friends and family behind, but we were excited by the new beginning. It is the best move we've ever made!
    My advice is to CLEARLY label all boxes with fragile items and get moving insurance. And tip the movers well, because that's a freaking cruddy job, lol...
    Can't wait to have you here! Hugs...

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    1. I think moving with a three month old child might be more traumatic than moving with two cats! Goodness. It's good to know you survived. :)

      I already bought color-coded moving labels for everything. I intend to be organized about this. (Cough, cough. Seriously. Me. Organized. I can do it.)

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  2. My packing tips are: 1. be pregnant or 2. Get some else to do it for you.

    Sorry, it's all I got. LOL! Although it seems like I was packing and moving All of The Time in college.

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    1. Marquita ~ LOL! Those have to be the best tips I've ever read!

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    2. Hmmm...be pregnant. I don't know if I can manage that one in time. LOL. I like that advice, though.

      I've already arranged for my brother (a former professional mover) and his friends to handle things on this end, and I'm definitely hiring someone on that end.

      I just wish I could hire someone to do it all. Pack, sort, distribute, that sort of thing.

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  3. MOVING SUCKS! I should know. We moed from Louisiana to California and we moved with Little Miss and Diego the dog. Diego didn't handle the move well. Then just recently we moved from California and Montana. The advise is to do a pre-purge move. Then once you get there is always the after-purge the stuff you go "why did I pack this." that's all my helpful tips.

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    1. I'm already working on the pre-move purge. Because there is NO REASON to pack and move clothes that I haven't worn even once in the five years I've lived where I am now!!! None. Ain't gonna do it.

      I move as rarely as possible. LOL. I don't know how families like yours can get through it. Even though I've been here five years, there are some things that are still in boxes in my closet.

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  4. I'm cringing at all the stress you have to deal with...but at the end of all the craziness, you'll be here! And I'll get to see you! (Like how I turned that around and made it about me?) :-)

    I've only moved twice, if you don't count the yearly treks to college. Both times were early in life, before I had the chance to accumulate a house full of stuff. I can't imagine trying it now, although I have occasional moving fantasies, just for an excuse to unclutter!

    I hope you get through the next 30 days with as little insanity as possible...and with both kitties intact!

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    1. But you're right!!! And I'll get to see you, too. :)

      Moving is a good excuse to purge, for sure...but I sometimes don't know if it is worth the stress.

      And I'm more worried about ME being intact than I am about the kitties. I will have to have their claws trimmed right before we go, just so I bleed as little as possible. LOL. I have moved once with a cat, but it was only 20 miles. And the poor thing was petrified. He lived inside (INSIDE!!!) my recliner for 24 hours, too scared to come out and eat, use the litter box, or anything. After that, he darted under my bed and didn't come out for a week, other than when I was asleep. It took a month before he was brave enough to explore the rest of the house. I really hope this move is not as traumatic for these cats, but I'll just have to wait and see.

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  5. Oh Catharine, I feel for you! When I moved to NC from IN I had a cat, Spencer, who was terrified of the car. The vet gave me some pills to knock him out. Only they didn't. He "cried" the whole 12 hour drive and peed all over the carrier in the backseat. My trip was filled with the sounds and smells of Hell! Lol. I hope your move is much easier. :)

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    1. Oh, no! That doesn't sound pleasant. I've already got an appointment scheduled at the vet for Dakota tomorrow, so I plan to talk to them about whether we can do something similar for them. Since Dakota is already easily stressed, I'm hoping they'll offer some advice at least.

      I'm debating getting a dog-sized carrier that is big enough to put a disposable litter box in it along with my cats. That might at least relieve the possibility of poop and pee messes during the drive.

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  6. Catherine ~ I would love to offer tips, but the truth is - I've mentally blocked out all of my moves. That's how my memory works. If it's unpleasant ditch the memory, leave space for the good stuff.

    Good luck! And you know I'll help however I can. (I'll mentally block the bad stuff later.)

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    1. LOL on your mental blocks. That's a good way to go, I think. I might be mentally blocking this whole experience. But probably not, because I'm sure it is bound to provide ample fodder for telling stories that people will laugh at me over. :)

      Thanks! (And how was the exterminator appointment?)

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    2. The exterminator visit went well. Thanks for reminding me of something I'm trying to mentally block. ;) LOL

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    3. LOLOLOL! yeah that blog post is something I won't be forgetting for a very long time.

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    4. Exactly, Marquita. :) But Ava, I'm glad to hear it went well.

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    5. Sorry for passing my pain to you, Marquita. In my defense... the blog was titled "DON'T READ THIS BLOG..." You can't say you weren't warned. ;)

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  7. The last move we did, I was 8 months pregnant. We moved 3 miles from our old house to the new house. Not very far. But by being pregnant, I didn't have to lift a single box. :) I did have to pack and unpack but no lifting.

    When my husband bought his first house, he ran into the back of the car and did $2000 damage to the front hood and bumper the day after signing. For our current house, we signed the papers and went to the ABC store to get boxes. We witnessed a guy dying in police custody. (The guy was crazy and off medication. He let the police handcuff him and then started to fight. When the officers wrestled him to the ground, he collapsed/died). Hubby saw the whole thing. I was in the car. He took me home and then went to the police station to fill out witness report.

    I dread us buying another home.

    I recommend carrying a full roll of paper towels, several bottles of water, newspaper and maybe disinfectant. The cat my husband adopted hated to travel. He'd throwup and shit himself within the first 30 minutes we were in car. Most of the time he'd be fine after that but sometimes we'd have a second episode. Newspaper for cat to lay on instead of a towel for easy cleanup. Water to rinse cat if needed and for hydration. Papertowels for carrier and cat cleanup.

    Good luck on the move. Stress sucks.

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    1. Oh my goodness!!! Your last move sounds okay (no lifting is great!), but the ones before that would terrify me.

      Good suggestion on the newspaper and whatnot. I'd rather have something I can just throw away if they mess it up.

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  8. Can't wait to have you here! I was actually going to offer to fly to TX and drive here with you, but with Sadie's surgery cost, I couldn't make it happen :( Oh well - see you when you get here!

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    1. Oh my gosh, you wouldn't need to fly out here! LOL. Thanks for thinking of it, but definitely take care of Sadie. My brother *might* come with me. We're talking about it. If he does, then I'll fly him home after.

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  9. I'm totally trolling the comments for tips! LOL! We're about 2 weeks behind you -- moving to FL from NY on August 31. We're also doing the pre-pack purge, but we're having movers pack us. I just can't pack again. LOL! Since Bella and Dr. Snuggle aren't fond of the car, we're putting our stuff in Mayflower Movers' hands and putting our car on a truck too. We'll meet our stuff there after a quick flight :) I just can't wait to be settled, so we can hit the beach!!

    Good luck! It'll be over before you know it and then you can mentally block it like Ava does. LOL!

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    1. I've thought about flying my cats, since it would be shorter. I might have to look into that.

      If I come up with any suggestions for the move, I'll let you know. I expect you to do the same. LOL.

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    2. Totally! I've got your back! :)

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  10. Hi, Catherine.

    I moved from NC to ND with kitty in tow. We had tranquilizers and gave him one every morning when we woke up. By the time we'd showered and were ready to head out, he was dozing. It was a long trip.

    Mover's took care of most everything, thank goodness, but the car was still full of necessities that we needed on arrival - clothes, etc.

    We had a huge crate for the kitty, but he hated it. Bellowed. So he rode on my lap for 99% of the trip across country while my daughter drove.

    You mentioned hating moving in the summer. We moved in the winter. Ice storms. Snow storms. One blizzard. I'd rather do it in the summer.

    And of course I have to say that I'm thrilled you'll be in NC where I hope to be visiting in October.

    Stay safe and sane.

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    1. Lucie, a few people have recommended tranquilizers for the cats. I'll definitely be talking to the vet about them tomorrow. I'll have movers do the loading and unloading, so that will at least be a little easier than it could be.

      And while my cats might not like the carrier/crate, I don't think I'm brave enough to try driving with them crawling around on me. LOL.

      I'll see you in October! Can't wait. :)

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    2. This reminds me...if they are getting stressed out while you're packing and getting ready for the move, Rescue Remedy is great for them. It's made for humans, but works great on pets and kids, too :)

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    3. Good to know! Thanks, Jerrica. So far, Dakota is super-hyper-psychotic, so essentially she is her normal self. LOL. Kiki seems okay so far. But I've just gotten started, and there is a lot left to do.

      I do already have Feliway diffusers going in the house, so they've got plenty of pheromones to help with the anxiety. And I've got some spray that I plan to use in their carriers and whatnot during the move. But I might add Rescue Remedy to the mix as well.

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  11. Well, as I think I mentioned in another blog we moved from CA to NC 8 years ago. I still have boxes I haven't unpacked. Pictures I haven't hung. I hate moving. We had a moving van take all our stuff that I packed, the only problem was, we had to meet the van at the new house. We had 6 days to get across country and they had a head start. We had a 5th wheel, two trucks, three kids, two dogs and 1 cat. I put the cat in a large cage (think for big dogs) thinking he would stay in the back of the truck (I had a camper shell!). It was nice with a bed, a box, food. Only we drove through NV and Utah and by the time we hit Vegas he looked like something out of a horror movie-all teeth and hair. I brought him inside the air conditioned truck (yep - summer) in the carrier. He peed. Put lots of towels in those things!! He spent the rest of the trip loose in the car. But every night I put him back in the big cage. I was terrified I'd lose him in Colorado or Kansas. He's an outside cat, so he was not happy. But he survived. And he still loves me. Two days?! You can do it!! ;)

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    1. Oh my goodness! That's an even longer trip than I'm doing, so I can only imagine how frazzled you felt and your cat looked. LOL. And another one where the cat was loose in the car. I'm afraid that if I let my cats do that, I'll end up bleeding. A lot.

      I'll meet you sometime soon! Can't wait. :)

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  12. Omgoodness Catherine! I did a spontaneous move across the city in less than a month last year and that just about killed me. I can't even imagine making one across country. *hyperventilating for you* Good luck and I will be crossing every finger and toe that everything goes as planned for you.

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    1. Thanks, Suzie! It helps that I've had the idea marinating in my head for months. It's just all the logistics of it that is causing the stress. LOL. But you survived, and I will too.

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  13. Catherine -

    I have the perfect solution for you to relieve the stress of moving!

    6 weeks before my due date for my younger son my docter put me in the hospital because of problems I had developed. Of course the problem probably was caused from stress of packing up our apartment to move into the home we just finished building, being VERY pregnant and also having a 1 1/2 year old to take care of!

    Ah, 4 weeks of peace and quiet and my every need fufilled while my husband was left with the packing, working full-time and then coming home to a rowdy toddler who loved staying up all night! NO STRESS and total bliss!

    Okay so there was a little stress when I went home to a new home with a new baby, a toddler that needed reassuring and all those boxes to be un-packed!

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    1. LOL, Jeanne. Sounds like pregnancy is a great way to get out of the stress of a move. Too bad I'm not already there. But then again, I don't want to deal with a new baby right after the move, when I don't have a hubby to help.

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    2. Catherine -

      I have a 39 year old un-married son whose strong and could help you move! Just let me know and I'll send him down to help you out!

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  14. Catherine,
    Our big move was from Arkansas to Wisconsin when my son was 8 months old. My hubby was already living in Wisconsin, so I had to do all of the packing, sell our house, and work a full time job while taking care of our child. No wonder I have gray hair now!

    If you have anything precious to move, it's totally worth the money to buy the proper packing supplies. I picked up special boxes for my dishes at U-Haul. I should mention that my husband is like a bull in a china shop, and he did the majority of the actual moving himself. He rode down on the Greyhound bus then drove the U-haul back by himself, because I still had to finish working. If he had broken any of our wedding china, I don't think I could have taken it at the time. It was an unexpected move. It also helps to label everything clearly with what room it goes in and what's in the box. And someone already mentioned purging. I've never missed anything I've gotten rid of.

    If you sedate your cat, I would give it a trial run first. I know that sounds awful, but we tried to sedate my husband's cat for the big move. She went wild, broke out of the kennel, and was running around the cab of the U-Haul. I'm glad I missed that part. :D

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    1. LOL, Samantha. I shouldn't laugh, because I'm sure your hubby was not amused about the cat running wild while he was trying to drive, but I find it hilarious. We already have to sedate Dakota to take her to the vet. I know how she responds. I'd have to do a trial run with Kiki, though. Good advice.

      I've already started labeling! I've got color-coded labels...a different color for each room. There's room on each label for contents, and there's a colored list to put on the door to each room, letting the movers know what goes where. I've never done it before, but I figured it was a good idea this time. I want to make this as smooth as possible.

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