The Heat Of Moving

The Heat Of Moving


I have just completed moving my mom from one state to another in the dead heat of summer. No small feat, but made immeasurably easier with the help of many friends in both states. Of which there are way too many to name. You know who you are: life long friends, church friends, co-workers, neighbors. And thank you most of all to my husband, my son and my daughter who have helped either quietly behind the scenes with words of encouragement and logistics or with all the heavy lifting, or both! It takes a community of help to seamlessly move a senior adult. All my love to all who have helped!

Moving By The Numbers

The summertime in the United States is peak time for moving. Usually the three busiest months for moving are in June, July, and August. The full moving season encompasses the months of April through September. This year in particular with a seller's housing market and homes being sold at a rapid pace, moving activity has surged. In the United States it is estimated that close to 40 million people load up a moving van each year and move. The most economical days of the week to move are Monday - Thursday. The weekends, Friday thru Sunday, are the busiest moving days of the week. Holidays are the most costly days to move.

According to a survey, at least 1 in 10 people in the United States have moved this past year. The top reasons cited for moving are for positive reasons like being near family, moving to a dream location, or moving closer to friends. Telecommuting, or working virtual has affected the moving numbers, causing more people to move who were not necessarily able to move prior to working virtual.

Mom’s Moving Story

Mom received a letter from the community that she was living in explaining they were going to tear down the building she was living in. The community planned on building an upgraded facility, meanwhile, displacing over 50 senior adult families. The community had given a 45 day notice and my mom, along with other residents affected by the new building plans, were on the hunt for new living locations. Mom and I pitted two cities against each other, looking at what made the most economical and practical sense.

It was decided that the city I live in would be the best location for mom. She would be closer to me, my family, my dogs (mom is a huge dog lover), and have more medical care options. So I packed up mom’s two bedroom apartment with the help of friends, and LOTS of tea. The long days spent packing, digging up garden plants, hauling heavy boxes, the “too busy to break for lunch/dinner” days, and the “goodbye party” days are behind me. This past Tuesday we were on the highway, in the heat, heading South to her new location.

I had friends waiting to help unpack mom at her new location. The movers unloaded the furniture Tuesday evening, and Wednesday morning was “unpacking day.” Friends and a co-worker alternately came to mom’s new location, from 9:00 - 5:00 on Wednesday, and helped unpack my mom. What was once a mountain of boxes in the garage became unpacked items placed on a shelf in her new home. There is a saying here in the States, “Many hands make a job light.” How this phrase rings true! The help of my friends packing up and then unpacking my mom was immeasurable; I could not have moved my mom without their help!

The Moving Company’s Tips

Mom and I used 2 Men And A Truck moving company. They were the original franchise moving company in America. The company has approximately 380 locations, including Canada. They were courteous, professional and on time. The moving crew stayed late into the evening in order to unpack mom the same day they loaded her up because they knew my friends were scheduled for the next morning to unpack my mom.

The location Operations Manager offered several moving tips. The first tip was to clear a parking spot for the moving truck. They are large and take up several parking spots; so talk to neighbors and make arrangements ahead of time. Another tip was to be sure to have the sidewalks shoveled, or a pathway shoveled in snow for the moving crew. They also stated the washing machine hoses need to be disconnected prior to moving day. According to the company, another thing people often forget to do is clean out the refrigerator prior to moving day. Cleaning it helps to prevent mold from forming on the inside of the refrigerator . Several more suggestions from the Operations Manager were to lock up and secure pets for the day, and use shipping tape rather than duct tape (the glue of shipping tape actually adheres to the boxes in heat, creating a tight seal). The final tip they suggested was try not to stress, and remember to breathe!

I asked the Operations Manager what were some of the more unusual items and unusual ways they have had to move items for their customers. He stated that the most unusual items that they moved were very expensive medical test dummies. The medical test dummies were life size, automated, and very heavy to move. The most unusual way he has had to move furniture was using ropes, and a pulley system to move a couch and other large pieces of furniture to a top floor unit. He explained that if a stairwell is small, narrow, and curved, or if there is no elevator or a small one, then pulling furniture up by ropes through a window is the only way to move a big piece of furniture. I am so glad that my mom’s new location was a ground floor unit and that they didn’t need to hoist her piano up in the air and through a window. I don’t know what tea, if any type, would strengthen my mom’s nerves for that way of moving her piano!

Leslie’s Moving Tips

My tips regarding moving come from lessons that I have learned through years of moving myself and my family. One of my most important tips is to set the bed(s) up right away. At the end of an exhausting day moving, collapsing in one’s own bed can be cathartic. I pack clean sheets and towels in a box, and that box is the last in the car and the first to be unloaded. Another moving tip is to pack soft items (towels, clothing, pillows, stuffed animals) in trash bags and suitcases. In doing this, it frees up the boxes for other items and cuts the cost of purchasing boxes.

Go through food pantries, refrigerators, and bathrooms and throw away expired items (please check with city/state municipalities on proper disposal of medications). Also, taking pictures of groupings of wall photos/pictures, kitchen cabinets, and shelf displays is helpful when duplicating items on display or in cabinets in the new location.

I have color coded the last several moves I have been involved in and it has shaved several hours off the unpacking process. Let me explain…. I have given each room a specific color and have used corresponding colored tape on the boxes to denote the rooms in the new location. I place a piece of colored tape in the upper right corner of the front side of the box, along with the description of what is in the box. I do not place the description and the tape on the top of the box. When people offload boxes from a moving truck, the boxes are often stacked several boxes high and wheeled off the truck using a dollie. If the descriptor and colored tape is on the top of the box, it is impossible to read and locate what room it needs to be placed in. A room color indicator key is created then taped on the main entrance that is used by the movers. The movers can look at the color key and look at the colored tape on the box then know exactly where the box goes.

Moving With Tea

During the heat of the summer is not the optimal time to move delicate items. Tea is a delicate item because it is susceptible to heat, light and moisture. In addition, tea is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs surrounding moisture and prevalent odors. Moving trucks are a hybrid of heat, light, moisture and gas fumes! A suggestion would be, if at all possible, to move tea in a private car, not the moving truck. I packed up my mom’s tea in a box by itself, and it was the last box packed in my car and the first box taken out of my car. Included in the tea box was my mom’s sweetener, several tea cups, a spoon and the tea kettle. As soon as we pulled into my mom’s new location, the tea kettle was plugged in immediately and already boiling water. We had enough time to drink a cup of tea to bolster ourselves up prior to the movers unloading the moving truck.

Moving On….

The Zillow Survey stated that once a move is completed, over 54% of movers have felt happiness and over 53% felt a sense of relief. Overall, 80% of movers felt their move was worth all the effort. I am hoping that mom feels the arduous, fast paced, and stressful move was well worth it! I know the transition has been smoother because she has had access to her favorite tea throughout this exhausting journey!

“Keep Calm And Carry On”,


References: The survey was conducted from March 10-12, 2021, online with the aid of The Harris Poll.

Leslie Sundberg is a World Tea Academy Certified Tea Specialist, a World Tea Academy Apprentice Tea Sommelier, a Specialty Tea Institute Levl IV trained Tea Specialist, and a Tea and Business Etiquette Specialist. On any given day, Leslie can be found teaching, speaking or sharing in the joys of a cup of tea.  No matter what Leslie is doing or where she is, one thing remains constant: 4:00 in the afternoon is tea time!

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