Moving notes


Been a bit radio silent this last week. The move has been in progress since Tuesday, and the time since then has been a blur. Each day was at least 12 hours of shifting boxes, packing, loading the van, unloading, and finally unpacking.

There is no graceful way to move. If you have beaucoup bucks, you can pay someone to do all the hard stuff (packing, loading, moving, unloading, unpacking) but there is always some effort and pain involved.

Since we aren’t rolling in the dough, we did a lot of the work ourselves.

Since we moved from Phoenix to the bay area, and have lived in an apartment for most of a year, a LOT of our belongings were in storage. But a ridiculous amount was also crammed into 1100 sqft of our apartment, complicatind somewhat our move.

The early move era

In early March, I spent a sweaty weekend moving boxes from our storage unit. I thought for certain that I had thrown out my back, and the following week, I had a flare up of “The Gout

But over the next couple of weeks, I unpacked most of my garage goods, and organized them into the work area, and the cabinets. I felt proud of myself for accomplishing that small victory.

In the interim, a shedload of work was done to “ready” the house:

  • Tented for termites – 1 week
  • Painted (strip, textured, primed, and painted all inside rooms) – 2 weeks
  • Plumbing repairs – should have been easy, but got messy and complicated – 1 week
  • Yard cleanup, irrigation fixing, and general nice-ifying – in parallel
  • Electrical work – add a bunch of recessed lights, a proper ground, move the 240V to the garage, and install/wire ceiling fans. two weekends + some hours
  • miscellaneous odds and ends (handyman, cleaning, window washing, floor/carpet cleaning) – few days

… and we were ready to move in. Phew.

The start

Tuesday, March 24th, through Monday March 30th, I took off of work for the move. Tuesday morning I had a doctor’s appointment, and picked up the van from my stepfather (to assist with the move.)

We had been packing like crazy so a lot was in boxes in the apartment. But a lot still needed to be done.

Tuesday and Wednesday were a blur, with a lot of packing, and moving of boxes. I must have run 8 or 9 van loads both days of boxes and odd items. Finally Barbara realized that she didn’t need everything packed, but had to make all our furniture accessible for the Clutter Boys who were coming on Thursday morning.

Some boxesThursday came, what a day. 7:30 drop the boys at daycare, at 8:00 Angel and his crew arrived. In four and a half hours, they moved every piece of furniture, and emptied out our storage unit (saving us a sweet $261 a month), and had loaded up about half a truck load of stuff we were going to donate to Goodwill (a piano, furniture, and other items that were not going to fit). Worth every penny. The rest of the day was again a blur moving boxes and placing them in the house.

sidenote: Barbara’s Office had a cube of 1.5 cubic foot book boxes 4x4x4, and that was only about 2/3 of what needed to go into her office. No wonder why I never see her desktop…

Loading up Barb's office. There's more where that came from!
Loading up Barb’s office. There’s more where that came from!

Friday morning I take the van to the apartment and begin the emptying. For some reason, Barbara loaded up the walk in closet in her office upstairs to the gills. I much have packed 15 boxes with that stuff. And hauled them down stairs. And loaded them into the van.

I thought I would just put everything downstairs and then sort out the keepers, and the donators, and the trash. Sigh, the pile was huge. But by mid day, I had a van full, a sweat soaked tee shirt, and every muscle in my body being sore.

That afternoon, I organized my kitchen, and emptied more boxes than I could count. I swear we recycled so many boxes (refilled them and moved them again) that I lost track.

About 6 PM I was toast. Fried, wasted, kaput. We ordered some chinese takeout, pigged out, and I fell into bed about 7:30.

Of course, about 10:30, Tate was freaking out. Barb tried to keep the door to the room closed so I could sleep, and Tate was having none of that. Understandable, as this was the 4th move in the 4 years we have had him. So I came out to the living room and slept on the couch with him.

Simple omelettes for breakfast
Simple omelettes for breakfast

Saturday Not much for breakfast yet, so I made simple omelettes. The new stove cooks great. Back to the apartment. Again, pack and load the van. I took over a bunch of recycling and trash (hey, we are still residents there). Got about 90 percent of the stuff out of there. Again, a full van, but the end is in sight.

Back at the house, we noticed that the morning sun streams in the back windows, so I installed the blinds we bought for the windows to allow us to quench the glare. Huge help.

I got the cable hooked up, and the internet working, and made sure the new television (Panasonic 55″ Brava LED LCD panel) was operational. (It is a super sweet set too, look for a blog post on that soon)

More organizing of the kitchen. There are always a few iterations. Started a list for the second stocking grocery run.

The Dishwasher was set to be installed, and the team came, and told us that they couldn’t install it because of corrosion on the hot water valve under the sink. Sigh, another call to the plumbers will be needed.

Barbara has been steadily working on her office, making a huge dent in the pile of boxes. (little does she know that an equally large cube of boxes marked “Barbara’s Office” are still in the garage… )

Since there was no dishwasher, we decided to go out to Castillo’s Mexican Restaurant for dinner. A couple of Pacificos and a taco salad, and I was done for the night.

Sunday getting close. One last trip to the apartment. First to take a shit-ton of empty packing boxes to the recycling, and to dump in their recycling the removes shower doors from the master bath (long story, but they were lousy). Pick up a load of remaining stuff. The apartment is not almost totally empty. Yay.

Back at the house, I got the van re-situated to return (seats back in, and all sorted out), before swapping it back for the Stewie.

Home around noon, Barbara’s brother dropped in and took us to lunch. Indian buffet, that was yummy. Barbara then went to the apartment to finish, and to clean up. I think she secretly wanted to say goodbye to the neighbors and all the kids. I went shopping, and started working on miscellaneous boxes. Made some progress, before making a large salad for dinner.

To bed about 8:00PM.

Monday – last day off from work. My office has had no attention yet, so I will get cracking on it. I also need to call and cancel the utilities at the apartment, and make the final shutoff of cable there.

I will power on my work laptop, and log into the VPN. I am scared of what I will find in email, but I am certain I will be buried for the rest of the week.

moving-6 moving-7The boys are settling in well. This morning, Tate and I went for a walk to the end of Lean avenue, and along the foothills for a bit.

Every day, we will make it more like “home” and it is amazing how much more peaceful the neighborhood is than the apartments.

I am drained, but happy. It has been a LONG week. Thanks for reading!

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By geoffand


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