I’ve been a little lax on entries lately because I’m in full-gear right now coordinating my move. This certainly won’t be an award-winning entry, but here’s a quick update on what I’ve been up to…
For starters, I never really got fully unpacked from my move a year ago into the place I currently live in Tucson. I had to finish un-packing to figure out what I wanted to take with me. So I have a bunch of packing materials that aren’t reusable and just general junk it’s unlikely I’m going to be able to find a home for.
I’ve got more garbage than my regular bin can handle. Especially since my garbage man is a highly-sensitive old coot who refuses to touch my can if anything has remotely upset its fung shui. I’m lucky if he’ll empty thing one week in two and that’s when I’m minding my manners and not overloading it.
So I did a little research and discovered I can rent a larger trash receptacle from local Waste Management. What I’m renting is not big enough to be referred to as a “roll-off”. It’s more like an aspiring roll-off, but it’s the same general concept.
I now have a lot more room to toss stuff with impunity. Well, other than feeling guilty that it’s going to end up in a landfill, that is. Which is why I’m trying to give away whatever I’m not taking with me, first.
The Albuquerque Run
This is the part where I pulled a Captain Kirk and cheated on the downsizing. Thanks to my boyfriend Charlie’s incredibly generous nature–and 3,000+ square foot home, much of which is empty–I am going to be storing my camping and historical reenactment gear with him. I’m am enough of a geek that this constitutes a little under half of all the worldly possessions I intend to keep.
I rented a 10 foot U-Haul for this part of the move and it was roughly 2/3rds full with my lackadaisical packing skills. (It got more efficient the closer I got to the door because I got worried about whether I’d run out of room.)
Last weekend, I drove this stuff out and got it situated at Charlie’s. I was a little nervous at first about driving a vehicle that big. Especially without a rear-view mirror. However, the U-Haul actually has a better turn radius than my PT Cruiser and a quite a cushy interior. Equipped with my iPod loaded with books I’ve been wanting to get to, it really wasn’t bad. Well, other than sticker-shock when I filled up at the pump, anyway.
Rumi came with me so that Charlie could cat-sit him for the next two weeks. The kitty was getting too stressed-out with all the packing and I didn’t want to risk him being underfoot with student movers. (Not that the U-Haul ride did his nerves any good in the short run.)
As Charlie is the ultimate bachelor with one lone beer and a bunch of dead plants around his house, I make him put Rumi on the webcam every morning so I can confirm my child is still alive and well.
So far it’s Charlie who’s the worse for wear not the cat. Rumi seems to be amusing himself by doing his “Where the Wild Things Are” celebratory dance on Charlie’s stomach at 3 AM every morning.
The Great Giveaway
I have a lot of stuff that’s not going with me to either Portland or Albuquerque. I’m probably going to place the higher-priced furniture I don’t manage to sell on my own in a consignment shop. However, I’ve also come up with my own version of Freecyling in bulk–I’ve invited a bunch of local friends and college students to come by my place on three evenings and take whatever they want from the stuff that’s not coming with me.
In other words, I’m having a garage sale where everything is free. All people “pay” is the effort to come take the stuff away. I’ve got a bunch of craft supplies, camping gear, and old $20 bookshelves I’m hoping to get rid of through this tactic.
The first night of The Great Giveaway is tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes.
The Portland Run
Here’s the piece of the move that has my mother writing “WORRY!!!” in big red letters on multiple days of her calendar. (That is what she does whenever my brother or I choose to do something she considers woefully imprudent with the bodies she never hesitates to remind us she spent nine months growing. You know–things like shark diving, eating fugu at a questionable establishment, or driving across country as a single woman in a U-Haul.)
Tomorrow, I start driving a 17 foot U-Haul up to Portland with my worldly possessions that will be remaining with me in the floating home.
With all my past moves after the age of 20 I always hired someone to do the packing and transporting. This time, I really needed to do the packing myself because it was my chance to examine every item and decide what to eliminate. I got rid of a lot, but I have a feeling I’m still going to want to go through the same operation again on the other end when I’m unpacking. (Which is not to say I won’t also be buying some new smaller-scale furniture when I get there.)
Anyway, I’ve spent the last week packing up all my stuff in preparation for heading to Portland. That in itself was an adventure. See my notes on packing tape below.
Today, Aaron Brothers’ Moving is helping me load everything into the U-Haul. It turns out that the Aaron Brothers are, in fact, actually brothers. Young, polite, well-educated brothers who can intelligently discuss things like Mahler and Strad violins. Oh, and one of them was insightful enough to compliment my choice in hair color. I like these guys. They’re definitely a step up from Daryl and his John Deere moving cap who moved me a year ago and begrudged me one small chicken in the backyard. They even handled the crazy lady who wanted to photograph her loaded U-Haul with tact and grace.
Tomorrow morning I hit the road to Portland. It’s roughly 1500 miles between Tucson and Portland, so I’m breaking the trip into 500 miles a day. If everything stays on schedule, I’ll be unloading the truck Sunday. (Hopefully, I’ll get as lucky with the student movers on that end.) Everything is going into a storage unit until construction is done on the house. I meet with my contractor Sunday afternoon, drop off the truck, stay at one of the airport hotels, and fly home Monday. If need be, I can also push back my flight. I hate Southwest’s cattle-call loading but I love their flexibility on flights.
I have next week to finish cleaning up the place in Tucson and deal with my remaining possessions.
That should pretty much bring you up-to-date on things as they currently stand. Wish me luck.
And Now for a Brief Word from Your Sponsor on the Evils of Packing Tape…
Let me just say, that whatever gene it is that enables one to handle packing tape with any degree of deftness I don’t have it. Wherever this gene might be located on the chromosome, I suspect it’s next-door neighbors to the gene which allows people to unfurl cellophane and successfully cover food without trouble because I don’t have that one either.
Several of the articles of packing tips I read recommended not skimping when it comes to selecting your packing tape. None of these articles, however, mention how to assess the quality of said packing tape.
I ended up ordering all my packing supplies from an outfitter online. As all the other packing materials seemed fine, I was hoping the tape was, too. No such luck. The stuff was evil. It kept shredding and sticking to the roll. And when I did manage to tape a box, the tape would peel up by the next morning.
Finally, with much creative verbal expression, I pitched all the tape from the online outfitter, went to OfficeMax and picked up a box of the most expensive stuff on the shelf, gambling that the price-point might mean it was, in fact, better.
The new tape is indeed stronger and far more sticky. This, however, presents its own unique set of problems. I have managed to repeatedly tape myself to boxes. And, in one particularly sleepy moment, I managed to tape my hands TOGETHER. I had a brief instant of panic in which all I could see was the Tucson Star headline: “Women starves to death in central Tucson due to unfortunate packing tape accident” before I managed to wrest myself free.
And you don’t even want me to try to describe the catastrophe with the wardrobe boxes. I’m just grateful it happened in the privacy of my own home.
Long story short? Hire movers if there’s any way you can swing it.