The results of one of the most recent of 26 moves since 1992. (John K. White/Castlegar News)

John White: It’s your fourth move? How quaint

My wife and I figure we have moved 26 times since 1992. That is not a typo.

They say moving is more stressful than losing a family member to death.

My wife and I figure we have moved 26 times since 1992. That is not a typo. Some of these were internal moves — within the same city between apartments and houses, etc. But, we’ve relocated no less than seven times.

How do we know we’ve moved way too many times?

* We know how much our stuff weighs.

* We have a favourite moving company.

* We use the word “usually” when discussing moving plans.

* After being told how often we’ve moved, military families say, “That is ludicrous.”

The following are some hard-earned tips for the novice movers in your life:

Always keep a pile of plastic bags to the end, because there’s always “one more bag of stuff” to collect and pack. A pile of plastic bags also work well as filler for fragile items in boxes.

Never utter the phrases, “I think we’re almost done” or “I think this time its going to be easy.” The moving gods love proving your positivity was ill-advised.

Clear plastic tote bins are perfect for the items like photos and legal docs. It keeps them dry and free of bugs and dust. It’s also easy to see the contents when they are stacked in a storage room without opening the lid. Invariably, the one you need will be at the bottom of the stack. It’s similar to how it always takes three tries to successfully insert a USB plug.

If you have to lug boxes down several sets of stairs in an apartment building, buy a pair of 2x4s for each set of stairs and use them as rails to slide the boxes to the landing. Get enough friends to help so all they have to do is grab the box and drop it on the next set of rails. You’re welcome.

If you’re booking a self-serve moving vehicle, be sure to check if it is manual or automatic transmission. My cousin can attest to this tip, as I was called on to pilot the stick-shifting beast of a truck to his new digs.

Now some real, true and legit facts:

You will experience a moment of horror when you realize you have 12 hours left of packing and cleaning and only eight hours to finish.

Your house will never look better than the week before you put it on the market. You do all of those touch-ups and staging, and everything is just so. You will almost always leave these touch-ups to the last minute, ensuring a blind panic in the hours before the first open house. The ingenious move would be to do those touch-ups when you moved in so at least you could enjoy the ideal version of your home before the inevitable next move. That has yet to happen for us.

There is at least one box in your basement-storage area that you haven’t opened in 12 years.

The movers will likely be very early — say 7 a.m. when it was supposed to be 9 — or the day after you thought you had them booked. They will also be very grumpy because they just drove all night, were late because of a previous client, or because it’s 38 C and they have to carry all of your heavy stuff up three flights of stairs.

The movers will whack your giant dresser into that freshly touched-up wall on the stairs. Twice.

If the movers lose a box, it will be the one with all of the appliance manuals, the remotes for the electronics, and the extra keys for your car.

No one I know truly enjoys cleaning their house/apartment before moving out. Even the one per cent who say they “love cleaning” hate having to clean a house they are vacating.

The elevator in your building is actually not reserved for you. Someone goofed and thought that was next week.

The feeling when your movers have finished, and the door closes, is pure elation mixed with complete mental, emotional and physical exhaustion.

Despite the fact that all of your crap randomly fills every room in the house and you can’t actually walk into the dining room, you are home.

Oh, and a final tip: Never say, “We’re never moving again.”



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