Even when you have planned on moving for months, DO NOT under any circumstance make any preparations. This includes, but is not limited to, the following.

DO NOT:

  • Pack anything
  • Sort 10 years worth of legal documents
  • Throw anything out
  • Sell or give away any large unused pieces of furniture
  • Procure any boxes, packing containers or any implements used in packing (e.g. tape)
  • Inform your son (who will be used as slave labor) of his obligation to pack and move the entire contents of his parents' estate more than 72 hours prior to the new occupants moving in

When your slave son arrives, prevent him from starting to pack anything. Set aside time to "run through" the tight deadline you are working under. When the packing process begins, decide to sort through items and place them in "keep" or "throw" piles. NOTE: Make sure to keep all textbooks purchased during the 1980's featuring outdated techniques and ideas from your failed attempt at an undergraduate degree. Who knows the next time you'll need a refresher on how to properly catalog the punch cards used to write a program on a computer the size of a two-story house. 

When your slave son attempts to place items in a box, stop him immediately. Take the time to tell him about the item, its origin, how you came to be in its possession, its sentimental value, and if you do not plan on keeping it, the intended recipient. Make sure to include a short biography and an interesting story about the person. This will help the move go faster and strengthen the bond you share with your slave son. Any item you plan to keep must be set aside with instructions to be packed in a box labeled "special treasures."

Guide to different types of boxes
It's not what's IN the box that counts, it's whether you've used the RIGHT box.

Yell at your slave son for moving the dog's giant caravan of beds from the middle of the living room floor. Lecture him on canine displacement theory even though you just made it up and it doesn't exist. Inform him that the dog's toys must not be packed because the 43 bones and 27 assorted toys and stuffed animals are "all she has in the world." Ensure that he places all dog related documents and materials in a box marked accordingly.

Arrange for people to come by and look at furniture you want to sell. After spending 30 minutes haggling over the price, wait until they return with the cash to tell them you have changed your mind and are not interested in selling anymore.

When considering getting rid of kitchen appliances, stand your ground. Everyone might tell you that no one needs seven crock pots, but you do. Remember: If the world comes to an end because of a nuclear holocaust, your house will be the only structure not destroyed due to the clay-based paint you made your slave son paint the entire house with last year after finding out latex paint off-gases for six weeks causing adverse health effects, even though you lived there for the past ten years and the house was painted several years before you moved in. Nevertheless you will be the curator of the only evidence left of mankind's dominion over Earth, so those eight copies of the Canadian Tire Spring 2007 catalog will serve as an educational direct source artifact. Do not let these hypothetical future historical documents be discarded.

Once progress has been made, bring any momentum to a complete stop with breaks, even though you have only been standing for 23 minutes, accomplished nothing in that short time, and hindered any attempts at productivity.

Any time you find a single item you with to donate to the Salvation Army, insist on dropping it off immediately. Explain that people need a clock radio with a missing hour hand desperately. Forty separate trips might be heavy on the gas tank, but you'll sleep easy knowing that you are saving lives. If you manage to sort belongings you plan to give away in individual bags intended for friends and family, make sure, when someone comes over, to take time and explain who each bag is for and pull out each item. Otherwise they might not believe you are going to give Bill a silver picture frame and a copy of Terminator 2 on VHS recorded from TV.

When considering getting rid of kitchen appliances, stand your ground. Everyone might tell you that no one needs seven crock pots, but you do. Each size pot is for a different application, and while others may not see that now, the laugh will be on them when they are cooking chili, making rice, preparing a roast, reducing a stock, and want to have a fondue party featuring two types of cheese and chocolate for dessert.

Plan excursions to break up the day and sprinkle in a little fun. Send your slave son on a two-hour round trip (assuming there is no heavy traffic) to drive your friend and her dog to another city. It will be fun for him to drive your car because the day before it took him three hours to arrive at your house by bus, even though he lives 40 minutes away. Add to his pleasure by having nothing accomplished by the time he gets back. Field trips like these should be a surprise. For best results, wait until 1:45am (after he has been packing and moving since 10am) to tell him he will be required to get up at 7:30am and hit the open road. Wish him goodnight by saying, "Get some sleep, WE have an early day tomorrow." Try and be awake by 11am because he should be home by then.


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