Moving sucks. There’s a reason why everyone seems to conveniently have other plans when you call to ask for help packing up a moving truck. For preppers, there are a whole new set of challenges waiting for you when you decide to pack up and permanently move to a new homestead.
In today’s post we’re going to identify some of the key pain points of moving as a prepper and give you some great tips on how you can make your move as smooth and discrete as possible.
Obviously it goes without saying that labeling your boxes as you pack is a good idea. However, as preppers it’s probably not a good idea to have boxes lying around labeled “ammo” or “long-term food storage”. When packing up your preps for the big move, label the boxes with something more discreet like “baby stuff” or “books”
If you are hiring a moving company and don’t have room to take all your preps with you personally (which we’ll discuss below) this will hopefully ensure that prying eyes stay away from your important prep items.
A lot of preppers might think that hiring a moving service is not only wasting money but also a breach of operational security or OpSec. They could be right; it depends on how comfortable you are hiring a service like this and how far you need to move.
That being said, if you do choose to hire a moving service for your next move, take your prep items to your new location first yourself or take them with you on the drive. It doesn’t take much for one of those mislabeled boxes to get opened, either accidently or internationally, and for things to wind up missing. If this isn’t possible, consider using a shipping service (like a POD storage unit) to ensure no one is handling your preps.
Bring BOB along for the drive
If you are moving a good distance, it’s a good idea to keep your bug out bag with you and not packed in a box. You never know when a disaster might strike. Anything from the everyday, mundane emergency to a full-on SHTF scenario could happen when you’re on the road. If the worst should happen when you’re travelling, you may not have time to start unpacking boxes to get what you need.
Out with the old and in with the new
It doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re a human and you’re a prepper two things are inevitably true. You’ve got stuff you know you don’t need, and you’ve got stuff that’s unorganized. There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to keep things as organized as you’d like.
If you’re moving to a new location it’s the perfect time to organize your preps. Consider investing in a canned food rack, see-through plastic totes or a new shelving system to keep things organized.
It’s also a god idea to take a complete inventory of your prep items (or any other household items for that matter) and see if there is anything you don’t need. Not only will this make the move a little easier, but you could sell these items second-hand and either pay all your moving expenses with the proceeds or invest in some new gear.
If a disaster destroys your home and you’re relying on insurance to help rebuild, having photo documentation and serial numbers of the things you’ve lost can go a long way in speeding up your insurance settlement.
If you’re like most people you probably have a couple items you’ve been meaning to document for a while, or maybe (gasp) you haven’t documented anything. Every phone nowadays has a camera. You’re already boxing up everything anyway to move; take pictures of your valuables as you’re packing them, document any serial numbers and save them to a couple flash drives when you get set up in your new home.
Don’t put it off!
Don’t put off packing. If you’ve done it before you know that it takes about 1000 times (approximately) longer than you think it’s going to. Scrambling to get things done at the last minute will ensure that things get broken, misplaced or left behind.
“That’s illegal in THIS state”
This is a quick tip that could literally keep you out of jail. If you’re moving across state lines you need to be extremely careful about the weapons laws in every state you are travelling in. Just because your former state or even the state you’re moving to may have conservative weapons laws, a lot of states don’t. Be sure that it is legal to carry any weapons in your possession across state lines and pay attention to the applicable storage and ammunition laws as well as it applies to moving vehicles.
Say Cheese! Part 2
Before you leave your former abode for the last time, take pictures (with a time stamp) of every part of the home. This will alleviate any issues of the new owners or landlord claiming you left any damage, trash or items behind. This is especially useful for people moving from rental homes with getting back a security deposit.
No groceries for 2 weeks
Moving food items like meat, dairy or produce is a pain when you’re already dealing with moving an entire house. A useful tip is to simply stop buying as many groceries as possible for 2 weeks before your move. This is a good way to practice using your preps, it will ensure that most of your perishable items get used up before the move and prevents you from having to throw away a lot of food when you leave.
Heightened sense of awareness
If you’re moving far enough that you’ll probably need to use a rest stop on the road, be extremely careful. There are criminals out there that specifically target people that stop at rest stops that are obviously moving. A big moving van or even a car filled with boxes is a huge opportunity target for a criminal. Stay very aware of your surroundings; and if at all possible, make sure one or more people stay with the vehicle at all times.