First of all, let me just say that every person should have the chance to sit behind the wheel of a giant moving truck. You will get the feeling of immense power and the sense that you are doing something truly important and monumental because it requires the assistance of an apartment sized car. Second, thank you to PLAN at UNH for giving us a fantastic discount on these monstrous beasts. Moving trucks are expensive! Thanks to PLAN, the costs of our trucks were halved (which saved us a LOT of dollars). Also, thanks for the energy bars and water bottles! They were beloved by coordinators and volunteers alike and possibly responsible for the majority of my calorie intake during moveout.
ANYWAYS, collections started during our finals week. Lots of excitement and a tad bit (by which I mean more than a tad) stressful. We were allowed to collect in four buildings on campus: Monroe, Sharp, Paterson, and Wall which were all Freshmen dorms. At first we were a little unhappy about this, since we wanted to collect in eight buildings, but four turned out to be more than enough and now we have room to expand in following years.
Only thanks to all of our fabulous team members and volunteers did all of the stuff make it to the storage unit. The collection sites were filled up about as quickly as we could empty them, and as a result, when one set of rounds was finished, the next went underway almost immediately. People have a lot of stuff. And even with all of the stuff we were collecting, a bunch of it still went into the dumpster! The dorms that we didn't collect in had the option to take their stuff to an even bigger Penske truck on Drill Road, which would be donated to Unity. By the end of the week, their entire truck was filled, but I think that in those dorms, a lot more went to waste, simply because walking across half a quad isn't as convenient as dropping stuff off in the lobby.
Aside from becoming master tetris stackers, we did learn a few lessons about efficiency along the way. I'm putting a list of the lessons I deem most important below, just in case you're doing a similar program and are looking for some tips.
1) UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU TAKE APART THOSE METAL STAND UP RACKS. Yes it may seem like a better way to fit more stuff in a small space, but this is a trick! You will never be able to put them back together and the process will cause tears and heartbreak for all. And way too many screws rolling around the bottom of the truck.
2) Have a group of volunteers organize stuff in the lobby before you load the truck with it - stuff clothes in drawers and label them, put all the pillows in a laundry hamper, find the
3) If possible, try not to unload and reload more than you have to. Here's what we did: unloaded from the lobby into a van then unloaded the van into a truck then drove the truck to the storage space and unloaded it there then we took everything out of the storage unit and reorganized it then put it back. IT WAS PAINSTAKING. Although, it was really hard to fit the moving truck behind all of the dorms, hence the van step, near the end of collections that's what we did and it worked out for the best and saved time.
4) Get a lock for your moving truck that doesn't require a key. Or if you do get a lock that needs a key, don't give it to somebody (such as myself) whose first move will be to drop it on the ground so that TUPD has to come with the lock cutters and hack it off of the truck.
5) Get the BIGGEST, most intimidating parking cones to mark your parking spot that TUPD has. Otherwise, passing vehicles will decide that, hey, that spot with the cute little orange cone in front of it looks like a great place to park, and WILL MOVE IT, resulting in you having to move the parking spot you coned off 50 times and possibly pay a parking ticket when the only available spot is an off limits one.
And that's moveout in a nutshell. This blog post is a bit jumbled and disheveled because, honestly, just thinking about moveout makes me feel jumbled and disheveled. It is CRAZY especially when you are supposed to be studying for your finals but are instead playing around in large piles of people's awesome dorm room decor and toning your biceps while lifting 200 boxes of who knows what.