Some new friends are leaving Seattle this week to move back to sunnier, warmer, friendlier Florida. We’re sad to see them go but know that they are returning to family and loving friends who can’t wait to have them back. That’s good.
They have done a great job of getting rid of nearly all of their stuff through Craigslist, word of mouth, and Goodwill. Congratulations, Nathan and Beth, not only for meeting the rigorous standards of a Smooth Move, but for doing so with a kid who’s less than a year old. This is a rare achievement, and you have done it with grace and style.
And just what is a Smooth Move, you ask… It is the gold standard for moving one’s household, and in all modesty, Susan and I set that standard the last time we moved.
We knew several months ahead of time that we’d be moving and we did not yet have kids, so we took full advantage of the lead time to go through all of our stuff. Every evening we would focus on one thing in the house – a bookcase, a drawer or two, a shelf in the garage – and determine what to keep, what to give away, what to toss. We made it our goal to pack two or three boxes every day if we could. We clearly marked on each box what it contained, and after the deal on the house closed, we then wrote where each box should go in the new place.
30 friends helped with the actual move. We invited them to join us for a leisurely breakfast at about 10:00 on a drizzly Seattle Saturday morning. Three guys were in charge of packing the U-Haul truck; that team was led by a man whose workshop was meticulously organized, and who could load more dishes into a dishwasher than anyone we know. The rest of the crew was carrying boxes and furniture out of the house to the truck. Everything was packed, identified, and ready to go. Susan and I didn’t move any stuff ourselves; we were busy answering questions and directing traffic.
Everything was moved out of the old house and into the new one in about four hours. At the new house, Susan and I again answered questions and directed traffic. By late afternoon our clothes were hanging in the closets, the beds were all made, the stereo was hooked up, towels were hung in the bathrooms, and the kitchen was unpacked and operational. We had a wonderful home-cooked meal with the crew (I remember the stew that my Mom made) and felt like we were mostly settled in the new place that first night. What a great gift from friends and family. We presented the crew with commemorative T-shirts we’d made up as one expression of our appreciation for all of the help.
This was a sweet, clean, painless move for us and for those who helped us – they’d even tell you it was fun. Started out with good food and coffee, then got right to work actually moving stuff. No sorting. No wondering. No running for boxes. No packing. This, my friends, is a Smooth Move. If you have to move, and even moreso if you are helping others to do so, I hope it’s a Smooth Move. Amen.