Monday, August 11, 2008

The Big (Albeit Temporary) Move

Spoiler warning: You may get sick and tired of seeing messy rooms and looking at pictures of boxes before this post is over.

This is our master bedroom in our old military quarters. No, it did not usually look like this. We were trying to pack boxes and get things organized. Yes, organized. Doesn't look a bit like it though. We had just participated in a yard sale with a good friend and sold our chest of drawers and dresser, so we were using the recently emptied toy drawers to hold our clothes, clothes which were not yet in the drawers, thus part of the mess. The second picture is really blurry, but I had to include it to fully illustrate the mess.

This picture is the improved master bedroom with my scrapbooking supplies and some other things packed up. The bookshelves were next. These are only a portion of the books in our home. We are avid readers. We use the library too.
This is the girls' room in the old house. It was absolutely tiny! We had to buy bunk beds for them just for this house. We sold them at the yard sale too. This is the room in some form of chaos. It actually got worse. Hubby and I are in disagreement on that though. Prior to the movers coming (they took 11 boxes and the heaviest furniture - altogether an estimate of about 3,500 lbs.) the areas had to be cleared of boxes and "stuff" for them to get to the things they needed to take. Hubby's version of cleared out and mine were a little different, and his version of how to go about it and mine were very clearly different. He got the kids out of bed (air mattresses) military style at about 6 a.m. and had them running through the house clearing things out of every room and literally throwing it in the girls' room, where the movers would not need to go. Do you know how long it took me to pack the stuff in that room after that? Hubby still thinks it was a smart move.

Remember that this room is chaotic but still prior to the "throw stuff in the room" chaos.

Here we are lining the walls with boxes in that room as it got better.

Here's the boys' room full of boxes. I was standing at the very top of the bunk bed ladder. See the two sports balls in the bottom right corner? They are two of four different globes to a sports lamp that we don't have anymore. I had to make choices at the end on what to get rid of...but more on that in a minute.

Here is the living room during some part of the boxing process:

Here is the truck when Hubby started filling it. It looked like it was plenty big enough at this point and might have some extra room.

My only request during this whole DITY (do-it-yourself move) was that we move our boxes and our washer and dryer. Somewhere about this point of filling the truck Hubby said something about moving our bookshelves. I kept asking about having enough space; he kept saying we had plenty. This was the weekend also, so the movers were still yet to come on Monday, so we had time to decide what we did and didn't want them to take. But once we decided what we didn't want them to take and they drove off, that was it.

Now several days after this I find out that when Hubby said bookshelves what he meant were what really qualify as entertainment unit - three large pieces that house my doll collection (glass doors and shelves), the tv, stereo, scrapbooks, games, movies, and dvds. No books really involved. I assumed he meant bookshelves in our house, of which we have many. And that turned into everything that remotely belonged to the bookshelf family - wire shelving, cubbies, etc. I talked him out of taking the three large pieces (still unaware that these were the only three he meant to take) because of how large and heavy they are, since he would have to move them by himself into our new house and probably up stairs alone.

Somewhere around the time Hubby realized he was running out of room for things, he decided to be funny. This is his version of a shower cap for my dryer. He called me in from another room where I was packing boxes just to see it. He was so proud of himself.

Now this is the 26' Super Mover by U-Haul. It's supposed to move a 4+ bedroom house. Ha! In who's dreams?
Tuesday night the 29th Hubby and I pulled an all-nighter packing, and still weren't done. And for some reason it just didn't look like there was any progress being made. Wednesday morning was when I was made fully aware that we would not have enough room in this truck that was supposed to move a 4+ bedroom house, of which ours was three, and we weren't even moving much furniture. Go figure. I called the smaller U-Haul place right off post and amazingly they had a 6' x 12' trailer available.
Now as nice and new as the truck was (only 5,000 miles and very clean) this trailer was as old as the hills. When I started up my vehicle on Thursday morning to keep the cat air-conditioned when we had to get it out of the house to clear quarters, the battery was dead. The wiring had drained the battery, so every time we stopped on the trip, I had to pull the plug. To top it off, there was a short, so I'd have to jiggle it to make sure the lights were working after I plugged it back in.

Thursday morning, after three and a half hours of sleep, we called and postponed our clearing inspection by two hours just to get the stuff out of the house. From Wednesday morning until we left we also had two good friends that came by to help us, so there were four of us and we just made it. One of these two people was the lady who drove our van, while I drove the other vehicle pulling a trailer (which I was not happy about), and Hubby drove the big truck.

When we cleared quarters our sidewalk was still full of stuff. Since I couldn't find my cameras at this point, as well as most anything important other than my purse, I have no pictures. But I had to start choosing what was most important to me. Hubby's orders. There was not room for everything. After we went and got a 6 x 12 trailer! After I asked him if there was room for bookcases! Which supposedly he didn't really want to take anyway, just those three heavy things which really aren't bookcases, but I think I'm belaboring the point. So my neighbor got two floor lamps and some really nice Sterilite boxes, and the closest donation place got some good stuff too, including my three little Charlie Brown Christmas trees, which I'm still missing. They were under $20 at Wal-Mart a few years ago and I am so hoping they have them again this year. I will really be sad about those if they don't. They are probably the one thing I will really miss.

On the trip the trailer I was pulling was ornery. The brake lines on the front two tires broke. We stayed in a hotel that first night, and so the next morning Hubby used masking tape to tie up the stuff hanging down on one side. A little while later he called me on the phone and had me pull over at the next service area in Pennsylvania because something was hanging down on the other side. Turns out it was just the other side of the same brake line, so he used one of our bungee cords and tied it up. We finally pulled into our apartment close to 10 p.m. It seemed to take a lot longer than it should have.

I don't have pictures of the storage units where our stuff is stored until our house is finished. We get one free month with a one-way truck rental, and then we just pay by the month until we get it out, which will hopefully be two months or less. I don't have pictures because at the time the cameras were still AWOL. But I found a camera and took pictures in the one-car garage that comes with our apartment before we started opening these boxes. All of these boxes won't be opened, but many of them are clothes and school things, or just things we didn't want to put in the storage unit.

This is in the back of the garage on a little ledge.

I had mentioned in a previous post about the large quantity of baseball cards members of my family have. Well, these may look like a lot, but these are only some of them. These don't include any of the books (of which there are at least 20, and I'm being conservative) or any of the individual team boxes, which would completely fill up at least two of those shelves. And these aren't all the boxes like this. But my family members that collect these cards love them and love to look at them and enjoy them. They don't just sit around and collect dust, and they only collect people they love. Buddy even learned to alphabetize and put things in numerical order with baseball cards so when it came to that in homeschooling, I really didn't even have to teach him since I'd already shown him. And where the kids are concerned, they've always picked good people so we've never had to draw the line and tell them they couldn't collect a certain player's cards, because we would if we felt like we should.

Altogether in the three vehicles we moved just shy of 14,000 lbs. That added to the mover guy's estimate of 3,500 lbs. that they took is our weight limit: 17,500 lbs. If we go over, we just don't get reimbursed for all of the weight we had with us, but it would be pretty close because we've never gone over by more than about 500 lbs. Doing most of this move ourselves is what is helping us buy new furniture for our new house. It was a lot of work, and it's not actually over until all our stuff is out of storage and in our new house.

At least there are a couple of months in between.


Mari said...

Wow - that looks like a lot of work! It's amazing how much stuff is accumulated over the years we are married! You'll be happy you did it when that new furniture arrives!

Lora said...

Oh, that makes me tired just looking at those pics! I'm not a fan at all of the process of moving. And you're so right--they totally underestimate what a normal household has in the way of STUFF. The last time we moved, the movers had to go rent another small U-Haul--and that still didn't get it all. We had several cars crammed full:) I hope your time in storage is short. I know from experience that's not so much fun, but it'll be great when you get to move into your new home! Can't wait to see pics of that!

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