The Book Blogger’s Guide To Moving
Let me be 100% real with you, moving is a giant pain in the ass. Sure, the adventure of relocating and falling in love with a new area is exciting. The process though can be the worst. I mean, it can make you want to pull your hair out when you’re packing boxes on boxes on boxes and never want to see another piece of cardboard again. In my time book blogging, I have made two moves and am about to make my third move in under a month or so. I sort of feel like an expert in moving and am about to spill some of my moving secrets.
Step One: Declutter
So, this seems like the most obvious step, but the first time I moved, I did not declutter at all. I also decluttered minimally the second time, leading to an obnoxious amount of boxes of books. I say obnoxious because it is truly not fun to unpack SO MANY BOOKS that you aren’t enthusiastic about. I am following the guide I made to culling books this time around.
Tips for making decluttering books less painful:
- Read a book about decluttering to get in the mood like The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- Be realistic with yourself about that unread ARC from 2010 and those unsolicited books by authors you really are just not that into
- Research the library catalog of your new city — they may have the books you are only hanging onto because of some lingering unread internally placed obligation on hand
- Figure out where you are donating or giving your books away to ahead of time – for me, I have made friends with a teacher so that’s where I give away all of my middle grade and elementary school aged books. I also have a mental list of places that accept book donations and what kind.
- Note if your book is moldy, tattered and essentially disgusting, it might be best to recycle it. This sounds like a cardinal crime against books, but honestly, if you donate it, that place may end up just disposing of the book anyway and it is not fair to pass the buck on like that.
Step Two: Obtain boxes and pack your heart out
So one thing that people sometimes neglect to mention is that getting boxes can sometimes prove to be a royal pain. I am a frugal person, so the idea of paying for boxes pains me. If you can, ask people at work if they have boxes laying around or even if your office gets those reams of copy paper and the box is empty — ask for it. Also, if you have been to BEA or ALA, hang on to those totebags — they will come in handy for moving your books. As I have some overlap between my move and when I need to be out of my apartment, I am lucky enough to be able to bring my things over to my new location in a piecemeal manner. If you are also able to do this — I recommend taking advantage. I also would recommend that you use rolling suitcases and those plastic tote bins for your books. Also — repeat step one — and cull some more, if you think your emotions can handle it.
Step Three: Upgrade UPS MyChoice Once You Have Your New Address
The majority of publishers I work with tend to ship via UPS. Sometimes UPS packages will go to my old address and it costs $5 per package to reroute to my new address even though my new address is actually on the same UPS route. When I finalize my move, I will upgrade to the premium version of UPS My Choice for $40 which includes unlimited delivery re-routing, so after just 8 packages which is easily one week of packages it will pay for itself.
Step Four: Set Up Change Of Address At The Post Office
You can go to the US Post Office and fill out this card for your change of address. It takes all of five seconds to fill it and from there, they forward your mail to your new address. For packages that aren’t first class, I think, you have to pay a bit extra in postage. Still – it’s worth it to know your mail will be forwarded to you and that whoever moves in won’t get your awesome books. Also, that card usually comes with some dope coupons for Lowe’s. So, side bonus right there.
Step Five: Update Your Information With Your Contacts
Once you have your new address confirmed, update this information with your contacts. What I typically do is re-fill out those blogger forms they have – like The Novl and Penguin Teen – and then email my contact to let them know I’ve updated the form with my new address. I also update my blogger email signature with the new address and will make sure that signature is on my HEY I UPDATED email. If there is not a form, then I just usually email the contact I currently have with a head’s up. I’ve done this already for one publisher and it worked out swimmingly.
If you’ve got some tips — I would love to see them in the comments!