Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

6 Kislev 5766 - December 7, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family

Moving Day

introducing: Deena Neuman

It's a day I was eagerly anticipating . . . and dreading: the excitement of moving to a new apartment, and all the changes and adjustments that come along with it. In our case, we were buying an apartment in Eretz Yisroel for the first (and hopefully last) time, which made the whole experience all the more thrilling. But that doesn't mean that it was all smooth sailing.

Friends kept reminding me that we are privileged to live in Eretz Yisroel, only through yisurim. Considering what people have gone through, it was really a piece of cake . . .

It all began when we sent a message to our landlord that we wished to leave our rented apartment before the lease was up, due to the fact that we had bought an apartment. We didn't anticipate any problem, since we were renting in a nice area and vacating at a good time — better for the landlord than had we remained to the end of our lease — so finding new tenants should have not presented any problem. But it was a problem.

It reached the point where we were very close to our intended moving day, and still there was no tenant to take our place and allow us to dissolve our lease. We were actually considering renting out our new apartment, and staying in the old one for six more months, as we were responsible for the rent. When we offered this choice to our landlord, it seemed to help him make a decision. Our new apartment was to become available on a Tuesday, and eight days before our BIG day, an agent called to tell us that the owner had accepted a new tenant . . . could we be out by Thursday?

We went into high gear to complete our packing, throwing things randomly into boxes, and trying to just get everything packed. The mover arrived bright and early on Friday, assuring us that we would be done by 1:00. Perhaps he would have been, had we handled things differently . . . Not only was he done quite a bit later, but due to pressure of time, things were all over the place, and the following week we spent an inordinate amount of time reorganizing before we could unpack.

So here are some tips to avoid all the problems we experienced.

1. It's obvious, but the more you organize before the move, the easier it will be. At a minimum, color code boxes according to which room they will go in (not which room they came out of). Writing 'bedroom #2' in small letters will probably not be noticed. Also many workers are foreigners and cannot read your notations. Heavily marker, color, or tape/glue a large colored swatch on each box. You may even want to do more than one side — if you have little kids, this is a great job for them! Then put a matching color patch on the door or entrance of the intended room, and you will greatly increase your chances of getting things in the right area.

2. If you are moving in Israel, ask the mover to put your closets in last, on the first truck, if there is more than one. That way, they will be the first thing unloaded. If your carpenter is ready and waiting for them, he may be able to put one or more of them together before the room gets crowded. Hint: generally speaking, closets get assembled on the floor, and are then stood up against the wall. They need the floor space. You may similarly want to plan dressers, and other storage units to be among the first unloaded items. Don't expect the mover to figure out what you need! If you are moving perishable food, your refrigerator and freezer should also be among the first items unloaded

3. Using suitcases or specially marked boxes, pack clothing and other essentials needed for the first few days. It may be more hectic than you anticipated, and you may not be able to unpack everyone's things immediately.

4. For the most part, the less time the actual move takes, the better off you will be. Ask your mover how many workers he intends to bring, and request that he bring an additional one. Ideally there should be four. If he charges you more, it's worth paying for. Don't forget, the longer they work, the more he may charge you, and certainly the bigger a tip they will expect. You may also want to offer them a set amount as a tip, for finishing in a reasonable, but shorter than projected amount of time. It most probably won't cost you extra, and you'll be done with the move that much sooner.

5. Speaking of the movers, have cold drinks, cups and some snacks available. They really do work hard and appreciate your kindness.

6. If you can prepare some meals ahead of time, try to. It takes a few days or even weeks until you can start cooking again. We subsisted on microwave baked potatoes for quite a while! As well as cereal and milk, sandwiches and fresh fruits and vegetables. Perhaps if you pack up your kitchen in an extremely organized way, you will avoid this. But don't forget, life is always full of surprises!

Your editor wants to add another tip, a recent newcomer to the gemach list: a clothing rack (rail, to you English folk) gemach. Jerusalem has three. Check your local listings. This is a lifesaver, as it can be dismantled, or moved from room to room on wheels, if necessary.


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