Thursday, May 31, 2012

Movers and Shakers

I was reading shutterbean's high straightenence post the other day about her sudden and semi-chaotic packing ordeal. It reminded me of my own, most recent re-location. Funny story...well not soo funny. Being a highly organized and slightly (alright, alright more than slightly) obsessive-compulsive I tackled packing up my 12 year old apartment with tactical precision. Two months before the move I started researching movers and came across a wonderful website dedicated to personal stories, recommendations and warnings about movers, moving companies and moving scams! Yikes - that'll take the "happy" edge off, eh? I settled on one company that was unanimously raved about and had them come for an estimate. The price was reasonable so I also contracted them to pack some for me - just the kitchen. Ha! "Just" - such a simple, small, straight-forward word! Anyway the next step was planning the packing....what would I pack first, how would I maximize space, what would I need to buy, what size boxes would work best, how long would it take, what would I put on the truck and what would I take in my car, what would I need to UNpack first etc etc. Now you might think I've made this rambling list for effect - but that would indicate you do not count an OCD sufferer amongst your loved ones. This is in fact just the beginning of the actual lists I wrote, re-wrote, edited, evaluated and researched. Finally I had my plan mapped out - I got a great deal on boxes and wrapping paper from Overstock - never mind that they were delivered on a day it was pouring rain and the Fed Ex guy left everything outside! Ever try putting something in a cardboard box that was once soaking wet? No good. So, several complaints later, the order was re-delivered and I was in business. The next step was labelling the boxes. I created a color-coordinated system - a different color label for every room in the new condo - and printed out bunches as well as a coordinating sign to tape to each room's door. I was cooking now. I started packing box after box of books, knick-knacks, collectibles, clothes, linens and on and on. Then moving day came. My 3 big guys and 1 medium truck showed up at 7am. Two men started strapping big pieces of furniture to their backs while one began packing the kitchen. I finished up some odds and ends and then tried to stay out of the way. 11 hours later - 11 HOURS!!!! - they were still packing. This was a one bedroom apartment! These poor guys never stopped - through room after room, box after box in 98 degree heat. Finally around 9 pm they were winding down. There was not one additional slip of paper that could be squeezed into that truck. Some potted plants I had asked them to take -  that were too heavy for me to move - got kicked off! My couch had to be strapped to the back of the truck! But finally we were ready to hit the road. We arrived in Chester around 11 and began to unpack. The first items off the truck were, as planned, directed to their new home. Furniture was placed, moved, arranged, adjusted. But the boxes never stopped - they kept coming and there was no more room. Really. My new 2 bedroom, 2-level condo could not hold it all. And this was after I had sold off a bunch of stuff! Boy, that apartment in Old Brookville was magical! Well to make a long story less long: around 2 in the morning, chaos ensued. Forget the signs and labels and plans - whatever was left on the truck or sidewalk got crammed into the garage. A TWO CAR GARAGE was filled to the brim with only 2 skinny aisles left between the stacks. Talk about mixed emotions! These guys did a great - GREAT - job, they were as nice as could be despite the extreme overwork and the job probably should have cost twice what I paid. But I was angry, frustrated and overwhelmed! Cah-razee! Now, these few years later, it's just a good story to tell. If you should be so lucky/unfortunate and want to make your life easier/ are welcome to download my room signs and box labels. Have fun!

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