I Think You Have The Wrong Lazy-Ass

In Comments to my Moving Day 1 post came all this helpful advice:

“Do the smart thing. Spend the money it takes to rent a truck and get everything in one load instead of trying to move it piecemeal with your car/friends cars. It saves time, money, and your back.”


But go one step further: palletize everything. A standard pallet (in the US) is 48″ X 40″ wide, what’s generically referred to as a GMA pallet (Grocery Mfg’s Assoc) and excellent quality used ones are available for – usually – $5. Lowe’s, Home Despot, Menard’s, Staples, Walmart, Orifice Depot, et al sell a variety of boxes, especially ones 16″W X 16″ W X 18″ tall. GMA pallets are 6.5″ high, most garage doors (and storage unit roll-ups) are 84″-86″ high. A little math shows 4 layers of 6 boxes + the pallet = 79″ (approx), so individual loose boxes can be stacked on top of a pallet once it’s “parked” so now you’re moving & loading 24 (heavy) boxes at a time with wheels, not your back, plus even a pallet-load of the light ones that get stacked on top of full pallets.
Cheap pallet trucks (<$200) are available from places like Northern Tool, Harbor Freight, etc. Pallet stretch wrap film at Amazon in 1500 ft rolls is a package of 4 <$50. “Going the extra mile” is defined as spending <$175 on a 7K ft roll of 1/2″ strapping, a tensioner, crimping tool and a 1K box of strap crimps (using strapping “buckles” to tension strapping allows omitting the crimps and crimp tool). Depending on what’s in your area, it may be possible to rent everything above except the single-use strapping, crimps and stretch film. If you have to buy it, I’m betting you can sell the reusable parts of “Kim’s compleat moving kit” when you’re done for 50-65% of your original cost. And, if you think about it, unless you live in an apartment up three flights of stairs, a 4,000 lb capacity pallet truck can often be a handy thing to have around, especially if one has things like large tool boxes, work benches, safes, etc.
In a lot of cases, even moving-blanket-wrapped furniture can be palletized. Takes up more space in the truck, but it’s now wheeled freight movable by one person, not “back testers” requiring 4 willing (or drunk) friends.

Forget all that shit. With the help of the Son&Heir & Canucki Girlfriend, I packed all my stuff into a couple dozen storage tubs, a few suitcases and some boxes, and called a local moving company ($250 total cost, plus $20 tip).  It was the PACKING and UNPACKING that exhausted me.  I had no idea how easily I can accumulate trash.  Won’t happen again — the apartment is too small to accumulate possessions, and I refuse to rent a storage unit because Plano-Expensive (#CheapBastard).

As for the pictures I used?  That’s called visual hyperbole.  The only things I actually moved myself were the guns and some clothing.


  1. I’m already planning for what I’m calling “the final move” – what I’m doing when I eventually retire.

    Lots of easy to move (or sell) shelves, lots of containers (currently sitting on those shelves), and other things that will be easy to organize at the last minute.

    It’s still a long way off, but I’m trying to develop the habit of being ready for it – and if a SHTF situation shows up, I can grab a dozen obvious boxes and bags and be ready to go in five to fifteen minutes, without leaving all of my life behind.

  2. Did anyone seriously believe you’d violate OPSEC and post real pictures?
    Or that you’d pack and overload a pickup that haphazardly?


  3. The refusal to accumulate possessions thing you wrote interests me. When I hit 60 I started going through the house and looking at precious possessions, ie old junk, with a jaundiced eye. A few years later I started throwing them out.

    I stopped doing office work when I was about 55 but still had suits from 20 years before that. Odd tables, spare chairs, boxes of my parents photos of people unknown to me from when the parents were children in Germany, glass knick knacks, spare lamp shades, 20 year old tax and invoice file boxes, weird, weird odds and ends. All gone.

    Wife and I now have a formal 2 year rule: If we have not used it in 2 years, out it goes. We give it to the kids, try to sell it or give it away first, but if no takers, then we chuck it.

    I use Kijiji, an Ebay version of Craig’s list, and it now has sections for “free stuff” or pricing at zero. We also have a custom in our city that unwanted but still useful stuff, mostly furniture, is put in the back alley or in the front yard with a “free” sign on it and I see more and more of those lately. I used it to get rid of some 15 year old bundles of asphalt roofing shingles which had been annoying me in my garage for 14 of those 15 years, but I was too weak to get rid of them until lately.

    Apparently the “too much junk” problem is common.

    I am enforcing on family and friends a consumables only rule on gifts. It’s all I give or will accept. A bottle of cheap plonk, or good scotch, a chocolate bar or a cake, a meal out, whatever, but no more damned stuff.

    1. Fred,
      Agreed on the consumable gift thing. I have a similar one, except unlike most, I also accept (most gratefully) gift cards from places like Lowe’s or Home Depot, because they sell stuff like light bulbs and cleaning supplies.
      Some people think that gift cards are impersonal. Well, they could be except to a guy who really has everything he needs.
      And when someone gives me 1,000 rounds of rimfire or handgun ammo (“I thought you might be running low”) for my birthday, then I am a happy man indeed.

      1. Quite right, I forgot gift cards. I don’t take cash, especially not from my family, but charitable donations are good, especially if they give me the tax receipt.

        I sometimes give cash, the ultimate consumable. Nobody has ever refused it or appeared the slightest bit insulted.

  4. Nevi,
    Absolutely no offense was taken or, for that matter, intended — especially for one of my most Loyal Readers.

  5. Nevi, if not an engineer you may have missed your calling. In the meantime, don’t go gourmet and complicate making a cheese sandwich. It’s just bread & cheese. Looking toward “someday”, I also hope for a simple move. But even the Shadow he dunna know what lurks in our basement and assorted in-betweens.

  6. Frequent international moves has definitely caused me to have less stuff, and focus on a minimum of important items.
    (Yeah, but don’t you have over a dozen bass guitars, amps, and effects pedals in two different countries? Yes- important items.)

    1. Joe,
      Those ARE important items. If I could have brought my Rickenbacker 4000S bass and Roland RB-120 amp double-stack with me when I moved here in 1986, I would have.

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