Did you have the same experience as me in elementary science class? Where the teacher talked about the infiniteness of space, and your tiny elementary school brain attempted to wrap your head around the concept of “infinity”? And then trying to imagine the ends of the universe filled you with such a sense of dread and uncertainty that, to this day, you’re not quite sure if it’s the actual danger of space or the impossible thought of there being no end in space that actually terrifies you of space?
Was that anything like your experience? Or was that just me?
Well anyway, this week Amy and I are moving to the East Coast! (New Hampshire to be precise.) Me being born and raised in Maine, and Amy being born in Massachusetts, this is a bit of a homecoming for the two of us.
And just as thinking about the ends (or lack thereof) of space still makes my brain hurt, so has this entire process of moving both our lives and our business across the country. So, here are some things that no one ever tells you about moving a business across the country (Yes, the Paper Boy is back to his list-making ways).
No matter how early you start, it’s never early enough.
Whether it’s hiring movers, looking at warehouse spaces, hiring registered agents, or even just selling some of your stuff — it’s never too early to start early. Seriously, start at least three months before you think you need to, and even that probably won’t be enough time… But it’ll help.
Your moving company will not understand your specific business jargon. (Do I even understand our business jargon?)
What even is an envelope box??? I've explained to three different people at our moving company what I mean when I say "envelope box," but we still have at least three different boxes in the warehouse that are all referred to as "envelope boxes." The smallest boxes that hold our specialty envelopes, the small-ish boxes that hold bundles of our regular envelopes, the larger boxes that those boxes are shipped in... There's no end to it.
Paper weighs a lot.
There’s a logic game to this somewhere. As a stationery brand, handling small batches of cards at a time, you get lulled into a sense of “paper ain’t heavy.” But, let me tell you: paper is heavy. All those individual cards that you handle on a daily basis that feel like nothing in your hand, when bundled and stacked on top of each other, end up weighing as much as a newborn elephant.
Men’s clothes are made up of a lot of fabric.
Bucket this one under the “personal” side of moving. Whenever Amy and I pack, I bring what I consider to be a sparse stack of clothes (save for the one trip where I brought 12 shirts). It’s no more or no less than the amount that Amy brings into the room, but when we put our piles of clothes together, one single pair of my takes up as much space as literally all of shirts, pants, and toiletries.
It is REALLY difficult to find the right commercial lease.
We started this entire moving process because Amy is obsessed with old mills with huge windows, and wanted to find a space like that to use as our new warehouse. Over the last half year, we went from enthusing over how many amazing converted mills were available, to not ever hearing back from the listing agents, to expanding our search to office buildings with dingy carpets, to not hearing back from those listing agents either, to even, at one point, considering an expensive "retail space" that was mocked up as an ATM vestibule and had bars on the windows. We probably wouldn't have heard back from them, either. Luckily, we stumbled into what truly feels like a perfect next space for the business — and it only took, like, seven or eight tries! Persistence is key.
And finally, along those lines, a last little piece of advice (or maybe just another reminder for myself and Amy) — don’t get tunnel vision.
Sure, that warehouse space you saw might look like the perfect workspace, but outside of that warehouse is there anything about the town you’re moving to that excites you? Have there been zero beheadings in the last decade in said town? If the answer is no, then you might want to take a step back and ask yourself if this is the move you want to make.
It may have taken us a few pivots, but we are officially on our way. See you in a few weeks!