So, moving is pretty durn awful. There’s no way around it. We were actually excited to do so anyway, because this move was an upgrade: owning instead of renting, bigger space, better space. This was an in-town move, an upgrade from renting a townhouse to buying a small house with yard. And overall it went about as good as one could imagine it going. We took the whole week off to do the work and settle in, and this is an approach I would strongly recommend. Let’s recap.
Up through Monday March 29: Packing and prepping. One has to play this sort of mental game of chicken with packing. Procrastinating a huge packing job and retaining even moderate mental health are incompatible. But if you start too early, you sit around for days/weeks with a bunch of boxes, living in utter disarray. And needing to get things back out of the boxes. Because this is why you keep things around, to use them. You WANT to need these things. Because you need to justify the fact that you’re going to the trouble of packing them up and lugging them to the next place you live. To anything that you can pack up for a month beforehand without a though, you must ask, “Do I really need this plastic lightsaber? Couldn’t I live without this cracking, yellowed kitchen device of dubious purpose?”
I think the major takeaways of this edition of packing are: I have too much stuff and can never weed enough of it, even the most organized move results in completely losing track of several important items, and I better really be serious about finding a use for all these old computers I’m keeping around.
Monday, March 29: Moving Day. Crew of three movers showed up about 8:30, and my first action was to try to herd the cat into the kitchen to keep him out of the way. Like all cats, his response is to very badly want to do the exact opposite of the thing you really need him to do. Which resulted in his freaking out in my arms and his claws missing some of my vital throat blood vessels by an uncomfortably small margin. I’m glad we only had one pet for this move. The logistics of moving a pet are the domain of some operations management dissertation or a Werner Herzog film.
The movers themselves were machines. Two of the guys were already lugging boxes out to the truck by the time we’d even gone over the paperwork with the boss. I can’t say enough about the decision to pay people to do this labor for you. These are experienced movers, and they can lift a lot of stuff, and bring it up and down stairs. They can also, as I learned, stand still and hold many pieces of furniture in the air while I fumble with attaching soft padding to the underside. This does not faze them. By contrast, I am a librarian. Librarians, as you may know, don’t even push carts and shelve books. We pay students to do that. The point is, I can conceivably lift nearly all the furniture I own with 1-3 other people. This would probably still take days and likely result in the dramatic shortening of my lifespan. The movers had our place cleaned out within a couple of hours, and the whole lifting and moving stuff portion of the job done by 1:30. Amazing. We got the cat moved, unpacked a bit, had some frozen pizza and beer and went to bed freakishly early.
Tuesday/Wednesday: Laborious unpacking. K spent a whole day in the kitchen. I spent a whole day in the basement. K cleaned up a bunch. I mowed the lawn. All was brutal but necessary. I would describe my mood during this period as “crabbily content”.
Thursday-Sunday: Mostly done but still a lot of running around on errands and feeling like you’re just about done until you remember that you’re nowhere close. Also you discover bunch of little quirks in your house that you never noticed before, but you will have to eventually pay to fix. Associated chores can be fun or infuriating. I thoroughly enjoyed a trip to the hardware store then we got totally lost trying to find the new nearest bank.
Anyway, we’re here. This is the place. Disgustingly cute, right?
I already took down the American flag, is all. It was (a) a bit more demonstrably patriotic than exactly suits me and (b) it was really big and blows in your face whenever you go to the door. Still, I took it down in the night when no one could see me because I felt like I was doing something wrong. I am trying to find a good replacement flag, but I think the flag marketplace is pretty poor. There are cheesy dog/flower/nature flags (uh, no). There are flags for places (either not applicable to both of us or simply not interesting). There are nerd flags–I’m sure I could get a Klingon Empire flag, for example, but that’s something you better be sure about before you put it on your house. We’ll probably end up with a windsock.