In case you ever find yourself in the position of doing a cross country do-it-yourself move with 2 kids, a dog, and a house full of stuff here are some lessons I learned:

  1. Beware of the last-minute basement clean-out.  Not only does sorting through it take twice as long as you thought it would, but it uncovers all sorts of stuff you forgot you had and now need to get rid of  immediately (see lesson #2).
  2. If you post a curb alert on Craigslist on Easter Sunday saying, “Free baby & kids’ stuff at the curb by 8PM tonight” expect an enormous turnout because people will show up for free stuff no matter the holiday or how late it is.   More importantly, these people will show up with their entire family and all of them will be equipped with  industrial strength flashlights.  They’ll yell loudly to each other saying things like, “Ma! Look these crazy people are throwing out a talking potty chair and some perfectly good Darth Vader lip balm!” and annoy the hell out of your neighbors who are already pissed off at you because of all the crap on your lawn.
  3. When you’re driving a 27 ft truck with a car in tow it’s really hard to find good parking (don’t even think about going in reverse) and you can’t really go faster than 55 mph on the highway.  Oh, another important fact – the truck engine is REALLY LOUD so you won’t hear your cell phone ringing when your wife is calling to tell that you’re driving the wrong way down a one-way street.
  4. Traveling south with small children? Chick-fil-a is your friend.  The indoor play areas are awesome for helping kids get some energy out and all the kid meals come with ice cream.   While the children are away playing, you can eat their ice cream.
  5. Call the bank before you leave town and tell them that you’ll be using your debit card in all sorts of strange places for odd amounts that are out of your typical spending pattern.  Knowing this will prevent you from standing bleary-eyed and confused at a gas station in Tifton, GA at 2:30am repeatedly swiping your card and wondering why it isn’t working and thinking your identity must have been stolen by the shifty clerk at the roadside inn you stayed at last night.

I hope these tips will save you some heartache in the future.  

In the meantime, let me just say this: I am NEVER moving again.  Seriously, they’re gonna have to remove my skeletal remains from this house because once I’m unpacked, I’m here for good.

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