Wednesday, June 21, 2017

One Piece of Advice

     I remember the first real move I made, not counting moving around in college. My new wife and I had been living in a one-bedroom apartment in a high-rise in the city, and we were moving to the suburbs, renting the first floor of a house located right across from a fire station.

     I rented a U-Haul trailer that attached to the back of my car. My wife and I and a friend of ours did all the packing, the loading, the moving, the unloading. One problem: I got a traffic ticket because I unknowingly drove the U-Haul on a parkway that didn't allow any trailers or commercial vehicles. But it was still a lot cheaper than hiring a moving company. And a lot more work.

     These days I wouldn't dream of trying to do it myself. We have far more stuff, for one thing, despite all our downsizing. And I am older, not as strong, and more prone to injury than I was 40 years ago.

     Anyway, we are all packed up now -- or almost -- and the movers are scheduled to show up tomorrow morning. They will arrive at our new place on Friday, and then we start the next phase of the process:  unpacking and figuring out where everything goes.

     B drew out a plan of our new place and arranged our furniture on paper. But we have a lot of stuff in storage, and we neglected to measure all that furniture. Plus, we've lost track of what is in our mountain of boxes -- yes, we labeled them, but we keep asking, "Beach pictures? What beach pictures? And what's in that box marked Garage?"

     And we still cannot believe we have so many boxes! We bought boxes at U-Haul. We got others at Home Depot. Our movers gave us some boxes. You just don't realize how much stuff you have until you try to put it all in boxes. So we're doing a lot of guessing, and probably quite a bit of rearranging at some point after we move.

     By the way, if you ever take any advice, take this one piece of advice from me. If you're moving at our age, don't try to do it yourself. The packing itself is enough to produce back pain (we both lie on the floor every night now, doing some back stretching), strain the ankles and knees, raise a few bruises on the arms and shins, and amp up stress levels to megawatt proportions.

     But we can see the finish line. We are exhausted, but also excited. Please, wish us well. Oh, and one more thing. If you want to sleep at night, never move into an apartment located right across the street from a fire station.

15 comments:

DJan said...

Congratulations for being close to the finish line, Tom. We got rid of so much when we moved here almost a decade ago. We decided to stay light, but we haven't moved but once since then. I hope it was the last one for awhile. :-)

Stephen Hayes said...

I once new someone who lived across the street from a fire station. When the sirens went off I nearly jumped out of my skin. My friend didn't even notice it.

Cindi said...

When the time comes for us to sell our main residence in New York, we are selling it with all the furniture. If the new buyer doesn't want it, everything will either go on Craig's List, estate sale, Goodwill or the garbage. NOT taking a single thing with us to our new home in Florida. Different life. Different strife. Whatever we need is portable and packed in cases with handles for easy movement.
After all, when you get right down to it, it's just stuff. And we don't need any more stuff. Florida is all set to go with brand new stuff. Why would we take the old stuff with us?
As a side note, it feels so good throwing all this stuff away in the garbage! Makes one think about how little we really needed to live a good life.
Just sayin'
Good luck. Stay safe and healthy.

Barbara - said...

Yea, we lived across a sports park from the fire station - and owned to beagles. Don't ask. Seriously, it wasn't too bad until 9/11 when that park became a an emergency helipad. But seriously. Smartest thing I did was hiring someone to loadthe truck,unload the truck, and pack the heavy stuff.

Celia said...

Last time I moved I sold much of my furniture first. House to small condo. My two sons and families moved me. God forbid moving again but I'll will pay someone else. Now I live under the helicopter flight path to the hospital 7 blocks away. Not the same decibel as a fire alarm thank goodness. But sometimes I wake at night and think "oh-oh."

gigihawaii said...

Good luck with the moving. Hope your back ache disappears.

Jeanette Lewis said...

It was 1 year ago yesterday that the moving van arrived with our furniture and too many boxes of stuff at our 'new' house. Settling into a new house is just about as arduous as moving out of a much-loved house. I hope you'll be kind to yourselves and take the time you need to put the new house in order. We've still got some pictures to hang but the boxes were finally unpacked in November when we decided that the garage was for cars and not for boxes!!! I hope you enjoy your new place. I look forward to hearing about the journey of unpacking and making your new house a home!

Linda Myers said...

I envy you, Tom. I'm ready to downsize but my husband is not. I told him that three years from now I want to be living in a smaller, simpler place. And that I hope he will be living there with me.

Carole said...

Wishing you well on this next adventure! We moved into our current home 12 years ago. We still have boxes in our basement that have not been opened! I'm in the process now of going through them and find that I am throwing out/donating a good portion.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to PA, as life long resident, I think you will like it. We lived through Agnes in l972, 45 years ago, and Three Mile Island. I hope we don't have any more scary times with "you know who" as president.

Jane said...

I moved last year and said I was at the age when I told friends I was moving, they said "oh". Packing was more than enough work. I did one thing that worked well, I marked boxes by room and 1,2,3, in priority of opening

Janette said...

My husband has moved us three times since he retired (the first time). We load boxes, he puts them into trucks and drives them across country. The fist move was five trips. The last one (2 years ago) was three. One trip was entirely his work room. We, probably, have two more moves in our lives. The next one we will get rid of most everything we own- the art and hand tools will go with. The last will be into such a small place, nothing we own will fit!
"Ages and stages". We say that all the time in this house!

gideon sockpuppet said...

Tom, you are ahead of us by a month or two. We have bought a new house and have been in limbo waiting for our current house to sell. We have decided to to hire a moving company and they will pack the fragile items; we'll pack the rest. In the meantime, we are about to set off for the coast to go take possession of our new house, and we're bringing a pickup load of shop tools, books and other heavy stuff with us. Moving certainly is a huge upheaval.

Jude

Jono said...

Lived a block from a fire station once. I couldn't get my African Grey parrot to talk, but he mimicked the sound of a fire siren with great accuracy.

joared said...

My daughter and granddaughter just finished moving this weekend, having downsized from a two story house to a smaller apartment. Last I heard she had lots of boxes as you describe. Know you'll be pleased to have them all unpacked -- eventually -- as will she.