If you have done a permanent change of station move, chances are you’ve wondered what the movers will pack, or won’t pack. The answer to these questions always seems to depend on where you are moving, and what moving company you get. The luck of the draw could mean the difference between laughter and tears as you unpack.
You can always expect surprises when unpacking. You know, the “why on earth would they pack that?!” kind of surprises. Most of us have said this at least once. The more times you move, the more surprises you have unpacked. But as in all things, we eventually focus on weird and funny surprises.
What the Movers Will Pack – The Milspouse Version
Things They Shouldn’t
Peanut butter: An empty jar wrapped in about twenty sheets of packing paper. I am not even sure where they even found this. Needless to say, this one had us scratching our heads. Of course, it was also good for a laugh. This was not even packed in a box of kitchen items. It was the most random collection of things and paper in a box ever.
RELATED: PCS Horror Stories
Pickles: A sealed jar of pickles from the refrigerator—nothing else from the refrigerator was packed. As we all know, or learn early on, perishables are on the do not pack list. They must have thought this was an important jar of pickles. That it was something we just could not live without. After it sat in a box in a hot container for months experiencing a Guam-to-Hawaii move, they were the perfect unpacking snack. (Just kidding.)
Liquor: Opened bottles of liquor are usually on the do not pack list. It is unclear if this was laziness or if it was intentional. They were on the bottom shelf of the bar, not in a box, not wrapped in paper. How they made it from Hawaii to Maine without breaking is a mystery. Especially because we all know that perfectly wrapped porcelain gets broken on a local move. What is even funnier is, they refused to pack a sealed case of wine. This was of course for our benefit because they would hate to see all of that wine turn and go to waste.
Things That Are Gross
Trash Can: No, not a clean, empty trash can, but one with the trash still in it. This one is actually pretty common. It is baffling that anyone in their right mind would look at a full trash can and decide to pack it. I have to wonder if the movers do this on purpose. Packing gets boring, so maybe its for sheer entertainment that they do weird things. Fortunately for our family, it was only paper and packaging. However, others have not fared as well. Can you imagine having to unpack trash that is more than a month old?
Coffee Maker: Full of water with the used grounds still in it. Of course, the one time you expect the movers to be late, they show up an hour early. It also goes without fail, whatever you point out as do not pack this yet, is the first thing to go in a box and get packed away. That had to have been the fastest box they filled and sealed that whole day. I may or may not have shed a tear at the thought of unpacking it months later full of mold.
Things That Make No Sense
Paycheck: This was less weird and more of a giant inconvenience. My last paycheck arrived just as the movers did, so of course, I thought to put it somewhere safe. Under my wallet and keys in the last room the movers were to touch. As it happens with most things like this, we got busy with various things. Oddly enough my wallet and keys were still there. The movers had to pick up both of those in order to get my check. They could not remember which box they put it in, or where that box went. Clearly, this was my fault.
Pantry: Never assume that a mover will know what can be packed when it comes to food! Not a huge deal under normal circumstances. But really, when was the last time you moved under “normal circumstances?” They packed the food and snacks we had saved for our two-year-old. Do not mess with a toddler’s snacks! Luckily, we were able to catch this one and force them to find and then unpack that box. The movers were stunned as to why this was a problem for us. When it happened a second time, we gave up all hope of a “good” move. Sadly this was the first day of the pack-out.
Headphones: The mover’s headphones, not ours. On day three of our pack-out, getting down to the end of a very long day. Patience for everyone was running out. The manager of the crew announced that he was missing his headphones. He had set them on a table. The table with my wallet, keys, and that paycheck. Now we are not talking about special headphones, just average earbuds. He made the crew open a crate and boxes at 10 pm for headphones! He threatened to make them open every box.
The more you tell the movers what not to pack, the more likely they are to pack it. You could tape off a room, say no in 20 different languages and they would still pack that room. Not only would they pack the room, but they would also pack the tape you used to block off the area… in its own box… along with thirty-five pounds of paper.
Guessing what the movers will pack is all part of the “fun” of PCSing. Which, in turn, is part of the joys of military life. At least with these, we can have a good laugh!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out The Scariest Part of PCSing: Friend Dating
Photo Credit: Eastern Sky Photography NC