Getting ready to move
Things to think about
MercyMovers is a mission group of Circle of Mercy Congregation, assisting members (and, occasionally, others) when they need to relocate.
We’re happy to help you move. Attached are a series of recommendations—things you should think about—based on our collective experience (of about 2 moves per year since 2002.)
Most importantly, though, be aware of these limitations:
- We’re helpers, not professionals—though we have a good deal of experience. We will do our utmost to handle everything with care.
- We can’t offer unlimited time and people. Generally speaking, a crew can offer 2-4 hours to load and sufficient time to unload. (Unloading takes about half the time as loading.)
- It’s important that you be fully boxed up and ready to load when our crew arrives.
- Do a realistic assessment of how much time it will take to be load-ready; then double that estimate. This is going to take longer than you think.
Read through the following suggestions, some of which will apply to you, and some of which you might not have thought about.
Welcome and introduction
If you are activating MercyMovers, several things are immediately apparent. You are moving. You need help. You know you have one of the most generous, giving, active, and responsive communities surrounding you. You know that you are loved and beloved. And you know that asking others to help can be difficult but also a way to offer a gift. It’s a gift for those in your community to be able to offer their time, energy, supplies, and expertise to help you. We are here to help you, with limits, but more on that later.
Before the move
- At the earliest opportunity, please let the organizer know of the date and time for your move. If possible, have 2-3 ranked date/time options available so the organizer can recruit help based on the best time. We cannot stress this enough that we are notified at the earliest possible time.
- When planning the move keep in mind the Sehested Rule: After careful planning and calculation of your packing time, add at least 50%. When calculating the number of boxes you might need, add 50%. Stuff happens. Build in a cushion to avoid being unprepared. For a potential free source of boxes, check the sanitation department shed off of Hominy Creek Rd. Ingles often has boxes set out in the morning. Check liquor stores. The big box hardware stores have boxes for sale. As will the company you rent a truck from—if you’re doing that.
- It is your responsibility to provide the primary mode of transportation. Please do not rely on the Mover’s vehicles to make the bulk of the move. While some members have pickups, you are not guaranteed that those members or their vehicles will be available for your move.
- If you want/need specific recommendations on rental trucks including size and company please ask around or ask the organizer.
- Also, should you not feel comfortable driving/backing the moving truck the organizer and/or several members are willing to assist.
- MercyMovers has acquired some moving supplies that can be used for the duration of packing, moving, and unpacking. These supplies include both reusable and limited-use items. For a complete list see the organizer and let the organizer know if these would be of help for your move. Once limited-use items are used up they will not be replaced except by donation.
- We have a limited supply of old blankets for use in padding items with hard edges (wood, metal, plastic) to prevent scratching. You can also rent those from the company where you’re renting a truck. We also have tie-down straps to keep the load from shifting while in transit.
- If there is a clothes washer to be moved, an appliance dolly should be rented from the truck company (see organizer for other options.)
- The goal is to make one trip for your move. We will load at the old location and unload at the new one (if the move is local). You will need to take care of additional trips Some moves are made in one day, some are spread out over 2 days (e.g., loading a truck one evening, unloading the next day). The particular situation will dictate the best use of our time. Your input will be very important in the decision making process.
- Please consider hiring movers for your large pieces of furniture, appliances and exercise equipment. We are a strong, robust, and eager group, but alas we also are not as nimble and physically capable as we once were. If you have outside volunteer help to assist with these items we will gladly work with and around those persons.
- Let the organizer know of any parking challenges associated with either location. If it’s necessary to carpool, please consider a location to recommend.
- We also strongly encourage you to assess the nature of both the new and old location’s driveways in terms of backing a moving truck into the most advantageous spot for loading and unloading. If the movee has any questions, the organizer and/or an experienced mover should take a look at both sites prior to the move.
- Once the MercyMover coordinator enlists the group of volunteers, please do not change the date/time except for unavoidable life events. If circumstances require the cancellation of your move please let the organizer know ASAP. We will work to reschedule and try again.
- Inclement weather happens. We will plan on moving unless traveling conditions make it too dangerous. If raining, we will do our best to minimize tracking mud into either location, but if possible, consider laying down some drop cloths or other material to minimize the tracking-in of mud.
- Please have all items that can be boxed – packed, labeled, and taped. This includes but is not limited to; books, dishes/kitchenware, clothes, toys, crafts, decorations, bedding, towels, small appliances, more books, footwear, sporting goods, knick-knacks, pictures, tools, oddities, linen closet contents, souvenirs, pantry items, mementos, under the sink contents, and the rest of your books.
- Please remember to check your attic, crawl space, basement, garage and shed(s) for additional items. Remembering these on the day of the move is less than optimal.
- Items that are awkward, fragile, delicate, or particularly valuable can be set aside to travel in autos. These include artwork, lamps, TVs and audio-video equipment, and computers. Items that are only awkward but otherwise not particularly fragile i.e.. garden tools, bikes, yard decorations, grill, lawn mower, string trimmer, tent, camping chairs, lawn furniture, can be set aside to pack into the truck as they fit.
- It will save you a good deal of work and time to label your boxes regarding where they should be put the in your new place as we unload. Also, as we unload, your primary job will be to direct traffic, instructing the volunteers as to which room each item should be placed.
- We encourage you to use a damp rag to wipe down all your furniture, particularly the sides and back (and bottoms, if possible) which are not visible. Dust accumulates. Moving will kick up the dust. And you don’t want to transport any of that to your new location.
- If you have items you do NOT want moved please consider storing them in a separate room we can easily marked “do not move.” Otherwise, with many hands doing the loading, we might end up loading things you do not want to move.
During the move
- Furniture with drawers: To cut down on the weight of a single item, we will remove the drawers, load the furniture, then put the drawers back in their place—and then reverse that in the unloading.
- You will not likely be loading or unloading the truck/autos. It is more important during the loading that you are available floating around answering questions. This is also the time that you will be facilitating the loading of the items listed in point 17 of “Before the move” – see above.
- If you have a pet(s) or a small child, we strongly encourage you to have them cared for elsewhere. The day will already be stressful—the presence of pets and/or small children will compound that stress. Also, remember that we will need to prop doors open to make the move more quickly.
- Please consider having water available at both sites. Many movers may bring their own containers, but need a source and access to fill up bottles during the move. It is customary but not required to have a few snacks at the new site. We often gather in fellowship after the unloading and break bread with each other. In order not to incur the wrath of COM’s photo archivist, a group photo must be taken before too many movers leave.
- Let the coordinator know if you want to be in charge of packing the truck. If not, several of us have experience doing that in ways that economize the available space, spreading the load of heavy items across the truck bed, and special handling for more fragile items. The packer will also manage which items should be loaded first (the heaviest) and so forth.
- Having some snacks available once we finish would be a nice touch. We will also offer a word of blessing for you and yours as you occupy this new home.
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FOR THE VOLUNTEERS
- You are the heart and soul, the kernel, the essence, and the core of MercyMovers. Without you, none of this is possible. Be aware that this labor is a significant form of pastoral care.
- When the call goes out, please let the organizer know ASAP if you are willing to help. Even if that means you might be available for all or only part of the move. The organizer has a big picture view of the move and may be able to steer volunteers based on that information.
- If you have a particular set of skills that you are offering to the move please let the organizer know. We will attempt to put your skills to use.
- Dress for all types of weather – because it can change. Also, consider bringing gloves, a hat, sunscreen, and water.
- Know your limitations. We value you and your service, but don’t push beyond your boundaries. Rest as needed. Limit the weight you can reasonably carry. (This isn’t a competition.) Stay hydrated. We are a team and others will fill in where you may not be able to.
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