Moving at household (Step 1) … A GrandpaTale

27 Mar

Oh the process is quite simple you call an internationally known and trusted long distance carrier (they don’t like the term mover).  They come out to your home, walk about your home for 12 or so minutes, sit at your kitchen table and provide you a detailed quote (which is well within you budget). They show up a little early on the scheduled day to pack your belonging “with tender loving care.”  The very next day the truck and crew shows up (looking neat and professional). Quickly, efficiently and with great care the crew moves all your worldly possessions into the truck (with the exception of booze and cleaning supplies).  When the truck is loaded, with a warm smile the driver says he will see you in 2 days at your new home, and to not worry your stuff will be safe with him and his crew.  As promised 2 days later the smiling crew arrives at your new home.  They quickly grasp the plan for the unloading of the truck, and quickly proceed to aptly go about unloading the truck.  Placing furniture exactly where asked, and moving it about as necessary to please the customer (wife), without so much as a single dirty look or grumble. A few hours later the task is complete and with a quick handshake, and friendly good bye, driver and crew are off to their next destination.  That my dear friends is the fantasy version, that is how we were told it would go, gee I wish it had been true.  That would have been a nice story, and without a doubt much shorter than the experience I am going to share.


First I didn’t call one vendor, I ended up having to call 3.  I was quite surprised with the 1st moving company just rejected my business, claiming that we were moving to little stuff to far.  I had been under the impression that moving companies really liked my kinda business but I was set straight.  It seems that for them to make a real profit there has or needs to be a move at the other end coming back, or the need to have 2 households packed in the same truck, or at least a household moving in the return direction to make it profitable for them.  They did give us some usefool tips, that were in fact cost savings.  My wife and I are both readers, and this was before Nooks and Kindles and other devices where you could read electronically.  The mover told us the sheer volume of books we wanted to transport would almost double the close of the move.  This information was further confirmed by both the other vendors I was offering the job too.  The net result was that the public library in Alexandria VA gained over 1,500 books, of which 350 were hardback 1st editions, all with perfect dust covers.  After considerable time spent meeting with 3 different movers, we chose the one that started with a “U” and ended with “nited”. The process was to be quite simple Step 1: on the scheduled day the mover would send a team of “professional” packers to the home and pack for shipment anything that wasn’t nailed down with the exception of food, alcohol or cleaning supplies. These boxes were to be labelled (detailing the contents, the room from which packed i.e. Master bedroom and so on, and box “X” of “X” boxes) so we would have expectations to be able to find things when we arrived at the new home.  Step 2:  The moving truck and professional crew would show up at the allotted time and begin packing. Step 3: on scheduled move in date, the truck would arrive and unpacking and set up would begin and finish.  We had in the contract that pick up would be on X date, and that delivery would be on Y date, with an extra 5 days between X and Y (we did pay extra for having those 5 days).  Gosh this seemed so clear and clean.


Step 1: on the scheduled day the mover would send a team of “professional” packers to the home and pack for shipment anything that wasn’t nailed down or food. alcohol or cleaning supplies. On the day scheduled for the “packers,” Joey called at about 8:15am and stated the team would be there within the hour to begin, he also when on to say that based on the walk thru they should be done by 4pm.  I said no problem Joey and I look forward to seeing them (from the sound of the voice, I had made a terrible assumption, that being that Joey was a guy). At about 9:45am (at least 30 minutes later than promised) “Joey” and 3 other ladies (all 4 women could have been extra’s on any recent women’s prison movie) showed up, and this burly woman, and walked up to me and said “Mr. Hamilton, I’m Josey, we spoke on the phone, sorry we are late.” That was about as polite as Josey was to me the rest of the day, more than once, I was advised that I was in the way, and that I was hampering the work effort. More than once I stated that I would continue to watch because it was my “Stuff” being packed. Josey made a point of advising me that they were the professionals.  I will admit right here right now, that nothing Josey and her team packed was broken.  But when it came time to unpack the boxes (which was my responsibility), Josey had proved to have won the battle of wills.  Of all the packing, her and her team did, only one room was completely correct, that was the dining room.   Half the boxes were miss labelled.  A box marked den might actually have 2nd bedroom stuff in it.  I suspect in total almost half the boxes were miss labelled as to the contents which made unpacking a treasure hunt.  Smiling, I had taken time off for this, and my wife was working (at her new job) so my job was to unpack as much as possible. At one point, I thought the “packing team” had taken several of my wrist watches.  But 4 months after the unpacking began, I found my watches wrapped in paper, in a box marked garage.  It was one of the last boxes I unpacked.  But there they were, my 12 wrist watches.  I withdrew my complaint.  I will say it is amazing how many boxes were used to pack our belonging.  It was close to 100 boxes, many of which only had an item or two in them. My biggest surprise of the day was exactly how much booze and cleaning supplies I had in my home.  Much more than I had planned on having to drive down there myself,

In addition it needs to be noted that I still had my job in Washington DC.  I burned up a lot of comp time and leave flying down on Friday’s and returning Sunday’s or Monday’s.  Thank God SWA had cheap fairs and a great frequent flyer program.  A good portion of my trips were on flights earned.   After we finally got moved in and settled I still could commute back and forth from DC to Tampa, finding ways to spend at least 4 or 5 days at a time about every 3 or 4 weeks.  I did this for 2 years.   

This concludes Step 1, Step 2 will be following shortly, and Step 3 later in the day.  Normally I would have just on typing and typing and typing, but in fairness to you’ll I am breaking it down into smaller posts. With set up and step 1 this post is over 1300 hundred words, had I just continued, it could have become my “War and Peace.” And for those that may have been wondering, music has been ongoing thru out this entire process, trust me my music choices were unique.  I just didn’t want to bore you with the playlist.

If at anytime you have questions or concerns please feel free to ask, for those who have comments those are always appreciated.  As always thank you for your time.  Please take care, Bill 


Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Ramblings


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17 responses to “Moving at household (Step 1) … A GrandpaTale

  1. Helen Devries

    March 27, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Ye gods! and I thought our move from France to Costa Rica was a nightmare!

    • FlaHam

      March 29, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Helen, Your move probably was a nightmare. Mine was a PIA. And I am sure you had 20 times the issues doing an international move like that. I will deal with the rednecks anyday. LOL LOL Have a great weekend. Take care, Bill

  2. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    March 27, 2014 at 11:59 am

    The stress of that must have been…!! Thank goodness it’s history. I’m getting the answer to my question to you. Waiting with bated breath for the rest. As we’re heading into the weekend, wishing you good days and peaceful nights. Many warm cyber hugs to you.

    • FlaHam

      March 29, 2014 at 10:09 am

      Paulette, Smiling the weekend is here, I still have the final step bouncing around in my head. It will be the shortest of the 3 steps. LMBO dealing with “Josey” and the “driver” were less stressful than dealing with my Mom. While I was managing the move, closing, and getting to Florida in time for the unloading. She was managing me. Now that was stressful LOL. So you will have the final step sometime this weekend, and the “How I Feel this Week” before cob Sunday (maybe Monday LOL). Take care, be safe and enjoy your weekend. Bill xoxo

  3. rebecca2000

    March 27, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I dispise moving. We had movers when we moved here. It was great to have them.

    • FlaHam

      March 28, 2014 at 7:31 am

      Rebecca, I don’t know if I despise them, but I too am glad I had them available even considering the stories I am sharing. Because they did a heck of a lot better job in a much shorter time than I could ever have done. But they still left such an impression that 12 years after the fact I have vivid memories to draw from. Take care, be safe, Bill in a message dated 3/27/2014 12:33:06 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,

  4. Marlyn

    March 27, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Will wait impatiently for the next two chapters. Where did you stay in DC for the two years you commuted? You know how nosy this stalker is:)

    • FlaHam

      March 28, 2014 at 7:29 am

      Sweet Stalker, As I am sure your aware Step 2 when out late on the 27th, Step 3 most likely won’t get out until tomorrow the 29th. As for where I stayed the 2 additional years I worked in the DC area. Well, I stayed with a very good friend and his family. I lived in the basement bedroom, with a bath to myself. I came and when as I chose, eating most meals out. Though it got to be that once a week they would invite me to join them for family dinner. They treated me very very good, and the rent I paid them, allowed the to fancy up a vacation or two, it was quite a fair trade. I talk with him on a regular basis, and follow his daughter on facebook. Take care, Bill

  5. benzeknees

    March 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I am very familiar with the “moving” story. Thanks for amusing us Bill!

    • FlaHam

      March 28, 2014 at 7:16 am

      Benze, Your most welcome Benze, I am glad (I think) that you have similar experiences, though I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Please take care, Bill

  6. Wanda

    March 27, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    A good read–I appreciate the contrast between fantasy and reality…

    I think movers’ slogan should be something like “no move is a good move unless you do it yourself,” except, of course, none of has the equipment, the brawn, or the time to fully pack a home. Thirty-two years later I still get upset that the one infant dress of Karen’s that I planned to save went missing, along with a set of pots and pans (go figure), when we moved back from Guam. I expect we have at least one more move ahead of us, but I certainly am not looking forward to the packer/mover piece of that process.

    • FlaHam

      March 28, 2014 at 7:12 am

      Wanda, Actually it was a fun write as well. I cringed several times as I dug information out of the way-back machine. Steph and I knew that we had to have someone help us. With the requirement for her to be in Tampa so early, and with me in the middle of a big project in DC. It was going to be catch as catch can. We spent extra money when we chose the vendor to complete the task, we spent extra to have them come and pack our belonging. But these moves saved us time, but reality was not anywhere near the picture the salesman drew for us. It was a learning experience, and one I won’t need again LOL. I agree with you, and don’t blame you. I wouldn’t want to go thru another major household move, heck I wouldn’t want to go thru any kind of move again. Plus my respect for military families has gone thru the roof just writing this and the understanding they go this every 3 or so years. They don’t make enough to put up with this. Take care, Bill

  7. Brenda

    March 27, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Hi Bill, 12 wristwatches!! Holy smokes! I was lucky because our packers let me label everything. I had a clipboard, and I wrote down what went in the box, and I wrote a code on the box, where it came from/ where it was going. They packed tight and didn’t waste any boxes. We were just doing a local, same-city move, though. Ironic that you had too little stuff, but, by the way, get rid of your books. It’s amazing how free people feel to tell you how to live your life. Still, now you are in great weather! Already blooming, I bet! Take care, Brenda

    • FlaHam

      March 28, 2014 at 6:45 am

      Brenda, Hardy Laugh, I suspect that half the total weight was the paper they used to wrap each individual item. When it was all said and done, it seemed like I had a ton of packing materials in the garage. I pretty much a plan similar to what you did, but Josey and her crew worked a lot faster and I, and I was soon over whelmed. When I asked Josey to slow down a touch, I was met with a gruff retort saying it will be okay let them finish. I pushed back, but still Josey and her crew managed to make unpacking a Christmas in each box. Brenda they would have loved for me to ship my books. They didn’t care, the added weight would have cost me a ton. At least the books were accepted at the local library, hopefully to be enjoyed again and again. Take care, Bill

  8. jmgoyder

    March 28, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Wonderful story Bill. I laughed my head off about Joey!

    • FlaHam

      March 29, 2014 at 9:55 am

      Julie, I am a very yes “sir” or yes “Ma’am” kind of guy. Having been all my life, I gauge my response by what I hear. I was sure I heard “Joey”, and the person on the phone sounded like a “Joey”. When Josey showed up she wasn’t pleased I suspect, hearing all the “Yes Sir” “No Sir” answers. While she didn’t say anything to me, trust me I can recognized “That LOOK”. LOL LOL. And like I said she found a way to even up the score. Take care, Bill


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