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A Moving Experience

July 7th, 2017

Boxing Day 2017

Reality is sinking in, and for once in my life, that’s a good thing. I am really leaving Miami. I need to start packing!

I’ve been stupid enough to be present at maybe 15 moves in the last seven or eight years, so I have learned a lot. Here are some rules I plan to observe:

1. Small boxes. You have to be an idiot to put more than 30 pounds in one armload. I have seen people take boxes big enough for large microwave ovens and toss books into them until they were full. Guess what a box like that weighs? Maybe eighty pounds. No.

2. Computerized inventory. Number the boxes, list what’s in them (fairly well), and put the list in a computer file. Do not use a legal pad. Trust me on this.

3. Remove the contents of all drawers and box them up. I have seen people tape their drawers shut and ship their furniture full of heavy junk.

4. Throw out, sell, or give away everything you don’t love. My dad doesn’t know it, but the Salvation Army is coming for about half of his furniture next week. It’s too crappy to move. They will also receive his golf clubs. At 85, he is not going to be hitting the links any time soon, unless it’s the sausage links at Bob Evans.

5. No Hefty bags. Come on.

6. Buy and bring every conceivable moving aid. I have a couple of handtrucks, plus those weird arm strap things, which really work.

7. Loose items are not acceptable. It may seem like it’s smart to jam your loose stuff between your big items as padding, but it will just get smashed and covered with moving grime, and people will step on it while you’re moving.

8. Never lift or move anything heavy. This is what movers are for. If you’re poor and desperate, you do what you have to, but if you can afford help, LEAVE THE PIANO ALONE.

9. If you have to move anything in an uncovered vehicle, wrap it securely, because it WILL rain. I don’t care if you’re moving in the Gobi Desert. And anything that can move will fly off into the road.

10. Pack the fragile stuff yourself, and try to move it yourself. Movers do not care about your crystal. They just want to get paid. Let them handle the books and furniture, and even then, stand and stare at them while they move it. Have a conspicuous pistol bulge in your pocket, and try to look mentally unstable. From time to time, look up at the ceiling, laugh maniacally, and yell, “YEAH, THAT’S A GOOD ONE, ROY!” Don’t explain.

When I left Texas, I got royally dinged on the price of boxes. I needed 22 small boxes for books, and it wasn’t like I could go into HEB (the grocery store) and find empty soup boxes just the right size, waiting to be taken. I bought boxes at U-Haul because I was desperate. I forget what they charged. Probably fifty dollars each. Maybe I’m exaggerating. Home Depot sells little boxes for 82 cents. I can swing that. I could drive all over town trying to save fifty dollars, but…I won’t. I have no wife and no kids, and my friends will be very little help. I am not going to suffer more than I have to.

Today I plan to pack books. I’m going to get Home Depot boxes and tape. I’ll identify the books I can live without for the next two months, and in the boxes they will go. I wonder what they weigh. A lot. That’s for sure. I will also try to pack my CD’s, which I have not used in maybe two years. MP3’s changed my life.

Some of my friends are offering to help as I write this. Maybe I underestimate them. I hope so.

I will be back before long, probably with a photo of a ziggurat constructed of boxes of books.

6 Responses to “A Moving Experience”

  1. Stephen McAteer Says:

    I binned all my books a few years ago (Except photography books and I’m thinking about thinning them too.) Haven’t missed them. I just get Kindle downloads now, which I can also read on the iPad & my PC.

  2. Steve H. Says:

    You’re giving me ideas.

    I’ve been boxing books all day. My dad’s books will take about 8 boxes, all told. Mine took 22 when I left Texas, and that was 20 years ago. I foresee a long weekend.

  3. Juan Paxety Says:

    Don’t throw any books away. I thinned my books when I moved three years ago, and have had to rebuy several. I regret not having many more.

  4. Og Says:

    I have also gotten rid of or given away many books.

    The post office has fixed-rate boxes they give away. Not that I’d ever suggest you take advantage of the post office’s generosity with all our money to get free boxes. They’re pretty nice free boxes. Maybe you could just fill them full of books and mail them to yourself.

    Moving has a theme song, written by Loudon Wainwright III., It makes me giggle. Because I have forgotten how painful it is.


  5. Steve_in_CA Says:

    Are you selling the house in Coral Gables or renting it.
    What about your garage? Professionally moving your machinery?

  6. Steve H. Says:

    Regarding what to sell and what to keep, I have learned way more about taxes than I ever wanted to, and I had to come up with a strategy to avoid capital gains tax, not to mention reducing other taxes. I consulted an expensive accountant, and then I came up with the plan myself, which makes me wonder what she is charging for. She would never have suggested it. Anyway, things will be sold when it hurts Uncle Sam the most.

    The machinery will have to be moved by a rigger.