DOs and DON’Ts For Moving During a Texas Summer

Since I got divorced three years ago — hey, no hands to chest; it was for the best and my ex and I are good friends — and became a tumbling tumbleweed, I have moved three times. As it happens, all three moves have occurred during the summer. Why? Because even though I’m a lapsed Catholic, I still like to deny myself of things — comfort, dry clothes, proper hydration, the will to live, and so on. Mostly it’s just because you sign one lease in the summer, you’re pretty much on that treadmill forever. I thought it would be helpful to guide those of who going through a similar situation. Not a divorce. No way I’m giving you advice on that, and no way should you take it. I’m the night foreman at the mistake factory. Anyway.

First, DON’T move in summer.

Seriously, sweet merciful heavens, DON’T. Oh, you really have to? OK, then …

DO start first thing in the morning. You may panic the night before, looking ahead to a day spent machete-chopping your way through a jungle of humidity, and decide you need a few cocktails to steel yourself. Well …

DON’T drink the night before. For one thing, you’ll almost certainly get a slow start in the morning, and that just means more time giving the sun a full-body, deep-eye-contact hug. For another, you’ll start off the day dehydrated. Don’t rush it. You’ll be plenty dehydrated soon enough.

DO pack everything you possibly can in the truck. The key is making the fewest amount of trips possible. Obviously, that’s smart advice for any move. But more trips during a summer move means more time in the truck in traffic, which means more chances to get hot/want to drive straight into an embankment. This shouldn’t be too difficult. If you’re moving yourself, that means an apartment most likely. If you just bought a house, you can probably budget a little extra to have someone come over and completely emasculate you (or your boyfriend or husband, if applicable) by how much they can carry. And, honestly, if you can’t fit all your stuff in a large moving truck, you probably have too much. So …

DO use this opportunity to get rid of as much stuff as possible. I sort of break this rule as I have a ton of books. Mostly for show. And even less smart, I have them stored on a fairly handsome but unbelievably cumbersome modern-ish bookshelf I built myself. It’s crazy heavy. Also, I built it inside my first place, never measuring the doorway, and so getting it in and out is like trying to move an extremely sleepy Yao Ming. But next time I move — yes, most likely during the summer, given the constraints of my lease — that thing will be staying there.

DON’T drink anything other than water, and drink lots of it. If you’re like me, you pick the biggest,most unwieldy boxes possible, then you cram everything you can into each one, so you’re going to be pretty sweaty just loading up a dolly.

DON’T invite me to come over and help you break down boxes. I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it — I mean, we’re friends, right? — but I am terrible with knives. Anything sharp, really. My hands look like I tried to face off against Liam Neeson at the end of The Grey. That’s not summer-centric. Just good policy.

DO make sure the electricity stays on at your old place an extra day. I thought I had done it the easy way, and just let my power company know about the move and transferring the account to the new address. But they shut the electricity down at, like, 8 a.m. So I had to pack up everything with no A/C. By the time the truck was filled, I looked like I had just taken a three-hour CrossFit class at the bottom of the ocean.

And, again, most important DON’T.