Household Goods Delivery Day: The Agony and the Ecstasy


Whether you’ve been waiting three days or three months, the day your household goods arrive is always an emotional roller coaster.

While the outside world may only see Instagram-worthy images of a moving truck and kids happily reunited with their toys, the truth—as you all know—is far less perfect. Indeed, it often looks a little something like this. 

0800 — You frantically run around your empty, yet somehow messy, house and try to tidy up the suitcase explosions of every family member. Air mattresses are deflated and rolled into corners while the kids start whining for Eggos. You realize you forgot to borrow a toaster from the lending closet. 

0815 — The moving company is running a little late, so you breathe a sigh of relief. A few extra minutes to tame the chaos. Feeling more at ease, you sit on your front porch in a camping chair and wait for the fun to begin.

0855 — OK, this isn’t funny anymore. You start eyeing the doughnuts meant for the crew.

0857 — With a mouthful of chocolate long-john, you grumble to your husband across the room, “What? Don’t judge me!” He tiptoes out the backdoor to call the company and check the status of the movers.

Fun fact: Our movers were so late, this didn’t actually end up being HHG day!

1000 — Husband has called five times with no answer. On the sixth try, a customer service representative insists the truck arrived at 8am. You choke down another doughnut to stop the torrent of expletives threatening to escape. 

1130 — The truck finally pulls up. All the doughnuts are gone.

1135 — The head mover informs you that a small portion of your shipment cannot currently be located, but “it should be fine because most of it is here.” What’s missing? Anybody’s guess!

1200 — Two boxes and a broken mirror have been unloaded. The crew breaks for lunch. You are beginning to feel as though you’ve lived a thousand lives in the span of four hours and that your children have morphed into wild beasts. Husband fervently yells, “Godspeed” as you cart the kids off to somewhere, anywhere, with a playplace. 

1300 — The kids are busy playing in a ball pit and probably contracting every communicable virus known to man, but you don’t care. You’re relaxed enough to venture a hopeful, “how’s it going?” text to your husband.

1305 — He responds: “Great! Look!” followed by a picture of your couch, coffee table, and area rug perfectly in place. 

1315 — Another incoming text arrives. “Babe, the trampoline is being unloaded …” You excitedly relay the information to your kids, who scream through the tube slides with glee.

1316 — And then the follow up text: “…it’s not even in a box. Loose pieces are all over the truck.” You instinctively decide to withhold that information from the kids. In light of all the processed sugar you’ve consumed up to this point, you pat yourself on the back for making such a responsible decision. 

1530 — You’ve spent the afternoon walking through toy stores and bribing the kids with ice cream in a heroic effort to stay away from the chaos at home, but meltdowns are inevitable so you resolve to bring them back for naps. 

1545 — As you pull into the driveway, one kid is sobbing while the other is laughing maniacally. Your husband is huddled over the packing list shaking his head. You decide to not even ask. 

1600 — Crying child has passed out like a limp noodle in the middle of the stairs. Laughing child seems to have disappeared. The head mover informs you that the hardware box is missing. You briefly consider which missing item is more catastrophic. 

1610 — Husband gets an urgent call from work. He leaves you to check off the item numbers. Meanwhile, nap time has ended (10 minutes was honestly more than you had anticipated) and your formerly missing child reappears next to the truck showing off her wiggly tooth. 

1615 — Your heart jumps for joy when the wardrobe boxes appear. 

1620 — The kids’ hearts jump for joy when their bikes appear. They race off with neighbor friends, leaving you a few minutes to survey the progress so far. 

1622 — You open your bedroom door to find a mover unpacking literally everything. Jewelry, coin jars, and junk drawers are dumped unceremoniously in a pile on the floor. 

1624 — Every single mover is made aware that you officially recant your request for an unpack. Just. Put. The. Boxes. Down. Please. 

1700 — Your grandmother’s antique china cabinet emerges unscathed. It’s set in place and you feel giddy upon realizing that all the dishes appear safe, as well. 

1705 — The trash can arrives … all of it. 

1706 — You haul the entire thing outside and resolve to buy a new one in the morning.

1730 — The kids are getting antsy again. You begin to wonder if you’ll have to feed the crew dinner, too. 

1735 — You discover the missing and completely unlabeled hardware box for your household goods hidden amongst playroom toys. Rejoice!

1736 — The crew immediately senses the shift in your mood and resolve to squash it. “No ma’am, we can’t put everything together now. There’s not enough time. Why don’t you choose one or two important items?”

1740 — Despair. The crib? The master bed? The bunkbed? You are too tired and hungry to choose.

1742 — The crew helps with your indecisiveness by informing you the bunkbed is part of what’s missing of your household goods. Of course. 

1800 — Reinforcements arrive! 

1830 — Husband returns with a pizza for the kids and a bottle of wine for you. 

1845 — The crew announces all furniture has been put together and all that’s left is to sign paperwork. You run to your room and see the mattress you’ve missed so dearly. You’re so excited to sleep in your own bed that you don’t know whether to cry or hug the crew. 

1846 — Rationality wins out and, instead, you offer them the pepperoni slices your kids refused to touch. 

1900 — Papers are signed. The household goods crew is gone. The kids are tearing through boxes like Christmas morning, the entire house is a cardboard-colored wonderland. Packing paper litters the floor and, while you’ll definitely have a panic attack over the mess in the morning, tonight you sip your wine and smile. 

You’re home. Finally … for the next year or two, at least. 

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Caitlin Antonides
Caitlin is a wife, mother and sometimes English teacher (thanks PCS schedule!), who is originally from the Chicagoland area. She jumped headfirst into military life after marrying her husband, James, in 2010, and has enjoyed a whirlwind of adventures ever since. Her favorite part of being a military spouse is the frequency with which her family is able to travel and explore new cultures. She enjoys snuggling her two children, cruising Netflix with her husband, and writing with her sister at their joint blog, Loud Is Ladylike. Caitlin is thrilled to be part of the Military Moms Blog team and looks forward to connecting with the many wonderful members of this community.