Boxes Boxes Boxes

Around our little corner of the blogosphere in the past few weeks, there has been a LOT of moving talk. People forced to move, people thrilled to move, people contemplating moving. So, today, let’s join in al the talk.

Guys, for the first time in the past 3 years, I’m not moving. HOORAY!! But MAAAAAAAN do I have some stories from past moves … you see, I’ve moved a grand total of 11 times in my life … and no, I’m not a military brat. Lots of stress? Yes. But it makes for good story-telling.

Take, for example, the fact that it wasn’t until 2 moves ago that I learned moving is a great time to purge the general collection of nonsense that you tend to accumulate. I was more of the mentality “I’m moving from a 1 bedroom apartment into a rented room? I’ll make it fit, dammit!” Ugh. Too. Many. Boxes.

But here are some of the highlights … if only to make you all feel better about your moves…

1. Moving from one rented bedroom to another in the same house.

Somehow, though I had 2 weeks to shuttle all my stuff, oh, 20 feet down the hall (I was taking over the master bedroom in an effort to rid myself of a shared (with 3 guys) bathroom) I managed to be sitting, in the middle of my bedframe (the mattress having already been moved) surrounded by little bits of randomness, at 10:30pm the night I HAD to be out of the room (the new guy was showing up at 6am to move his stuff in). A friend came over to help (read: brought booze), and ended up making a game out of how much he could carry the 20 feet without dropping it … you know … as you do with a load of laundry when your basket is nowhere to be found. Stray socks anyone?

At one point (while sitting in the middle of the floor) my best friend called to break up with me. I shit you not. I sat there on the phone, slightly drunk, while she went on about how she needed to “reevaluate our friendship” because the guy she liked liked me instead. (Said boy was the one who was currently moving my belongings down the hall.) I remember going “well, ok then”, hanging up, and continuing along with the booze-and-moving-games routine.

This would be the same move where I electrocuted myself by being a GENIUS and not turning off my  power before installing a new light switch. Note to all the geniuses out there … bare live wires are not for touching. ::nods::

2. Moving out of my apartment a week before heading across the country.

The movers came to take away all the large pieces of furniture, and (of course) I was not ready. Things were not packed. (Do we sense a theme here?) So as they took my furniture, I was running around, throwing things in boxes, to be trucked across the country. Somehow, that got done.

Or almost. They left, and I realized I had 4 large boxes hiding in my closet. Well, crap. Enter the shiny new fiance who’s come over to help me load the car for our trip. 6 hours later he says it’s not going to fit. I’m adamant it will. He can’t get everything to fit. I tell him he’s doing it wrong.

Fighting ensues. 20 minutes later he looks at me and says all weepy-like “Happy Anniversary.”


3. The cross-country move.

A week of family vacation after the above mentioned anniversary debacle, we repacked the car to head out to DC. This time my dad and I did the arranging. EVERYTHING FIT. ** Barely, but it fit.

Barely, in this instance, means that when I bought a bag of chips at the first gas station, I had to hold it on my lap, because I had no other room. Oh, and whoever was in the passenger seat had to sit with their legs up. For a 2,600 mile road trip. Hrm.

Told you … the tea/bags? The box wouldn’t fit, so I had to start shoving little things everywhere.

The overexposed bit? That was the blanket covering my knees, since I had to keep my feet up.

We were such healthy eaters.

The drive itself was … exhausting. 5 days in close quarters with your shiny new fiance can go really well, or really poorly. In our case, we fought. A LOT. BUT … we came out on the other side feeling like we’d accomplished something big together. So all in all … win.

Then the truck didn’t show up for 3 week and we had to sleep on the floor, waiting for the bed.

You win some, you lose some.

4. The most recent move – 2 miles.

Moving 2 miles sucks. It’s close enough that hiring movers is stupid, but still far enough that you need to have a friend with a truck. Luckily, I had a friend with a truck. =)

We got the keys to our new apartment 1 week before I left for California for our wedding. I spent the first few days painting the walls, and then moving things over bit by bit (dishes, clothing, etc.). The furniture and final boxes, however, had to wait for the truck.

So, we started out bright and early, on a clear, warm day, 3 days before I left for Cali. We determine it’s going to take two trips, but no big deal. We get the first done, no problem. (Though it did involve a friend hanging out the back window of the pickup truck, holding up the bookshelf that was too tall to lay down in the truckbed. I was following along behind, FREAKING OUT.)

The second trip is lighter, and takes much less time to get everything packed into the truck. The bedroom furniture, all the lamps, and various boxes. Easy easy. Jason (the truck owner) and I decide to head up to the old apartment one last time to see if we missed anything. I head up first.

Suddenly, the power goes out … and now Jason is stuck in the elevator. NO GOOD! It comes back on a minute later, only to shut off again right away. This happens for about 2 minutes.  Finally he makes it out of the elevator and we do our last sweep. At one point I go to look out the window, for a final look at the view.

It was pouring.

We raced downstairs (not ABOUT to trust that elevator again) to find the 2 other friends who were helping wildly tearing everything they could out of the truck bed … which had by then (5 minutes tops) collected almost 2 inches of water. We all set to work, and get almost everything out before we realize it’s just too late. The mattress, luckily, hadn’t yet been loaded, so it was dry. But the dresser, nightstands, and several boxes? Drenched.

These amazing people helped me load everything into the smaller cars, and take it over to the new apartment … where they also helped me unload … even though we all looked like we’d jumped into a swimming pool. The dresser was beyond help (I’d had it since college, and it was cheap Ikea pressboard. The thing just cracked up the side), and the nightstands had some nasty water damage. Only one box was beyond help … and of course, that was the one with all our tax records. ::sighs::

It was not a good day.


So yes, I’ve had my share of nightmarish (even if they make me laugh later) moves. Which is why, when faced with the idea of moving into the city this year, we spent a whole 24 hours thinking about it and looking at renters websites … and decided to extend our lease.

Thank goodness for home.


* This is definitely not the first, or last time I’d been particularly vicious on a happy occasion. For example … I gave him HELL about not saying he was ‘in a relationship” on FB while he was at school on the opposite coast (What? You know you’ve been there.). ROYAL HELL. On the day that he’d decided to do it … to surprise me. ::sighs:: This apparently runs in my family, as my sister gave her fiance hell about not feeling like he was committed to their relationship … the day AFTER he bought a ring he’d yet to give her. At least we’re idiots together.

** My dad and I ROCK at the packing-a-car game. I think it has something to do with the hours upon hours of Tetris matches we played when I was younger. Spatial awareness FTW!

12 Comments to “Boxes Boxes Boxes”

  1. When we moved into our new place, I turned to Jason and said, “Let’s just stay here for as long as we’re in California, okay?” Because omg so done with moving. I always have at least a half dozen crying breakdowns during the process.

    (We should get you, your dad, and Jason’s old roommate [the Tetrising boxes into a car CHAMP] to pack a car together. I bet it would be EPIC. :))

    • YES. When we were looking last year I told him I wanted to find a place I could stay at LEAST 2-3 years. We flirted with the idea of a new place, but no, we stayed. THANK GOD.

      And … you’re on. Next time one of us moves. Hopefully that won’t be for YEARS.

  2. Oh man, this all feels so totally familiar, only you tell it in a totally hilarious and heartwarming way!

  3. Ahhhh I’m moving again in a few weeks (the 2 mile-variety) and again after we get married in June. Just thinking about it makes me want to roll down the stairs or something equally dramatic. Loved your moving stories!

  4. All of our moves have sucked, and we moved about every 9 months while we were in college (which totaled 8 moves). We typically get no help when we move (especially for those 8).

    Horrible highlights include:

    -Packing all the small kitchen stuff in the back of my car and leaving it all day while we moved the big stuff in a friends truck. Opened my car to realize June in Texas is not the time to leave bottles of chemicals in your car. All of the cleaning supplies had exploded in their box and seeped out all over the inside of my car. Only saving grace was the box was sitting on top of our leather coats so they were ruined instead of the upholstery (but that was nearly $1000 worth of leather jackets ruined and my car never stopped smelling like ammonia).

    -Same move I slipped in the dirt driveway and fell off the curb while carrying a kitchen chair. I landed hard and wrong and herniated a disc in my back (I never had to carry anything in a move again)

    -We moved mostly out of an apartment a month before our roomates did. When we went over the day before we officially had to be out and to pick up the two or three things we had left there, and help with any final cleaning, we discovered our roomates had already left, and had left the apartment full of trash and absolutely filthy. We spent 10 hours hauling trash and scrubbing down the apartment so we wouldn’t get charged cleaning fees.

    I am so happy we bought a house and haven’t moved in 5 years now. I know eventually we plan to move again, but I swear that will be the last time, and I swear I am paying someone to do it for me.

    • Oh no oh no oh no! Man … I don’t think I’ve ever injured myself during moves beyond smashing toes and fingers. And cars that smell like ammonia.

      NO. GOOD.

  5. Bahaha, I hear you!

    I have moved every year at least once since I was 17, and we moved a ton as a child so I got really good at it. I’ve lived without books because I can’t really move much, and with most of my belongings in totes for all of those years. I’m so happy to finally unpack! But now I have to learn how to decorate…

  6. I’ve moved 13 times in 11 years and the short move was by far the WORST. We were poor and in Brooklyn and literally moving 3 blocks. So we decided we didn’t need a truck – we could carry everything (from a 4 floor walk-up to a 2 floor walk-up).
    And then on moving day, it rained. All of our items, in countless trips back and forth, in the rain.
    We were stellar planners.
    Congrats on extending your lease! My man and I have pinky-sworn we’re not moving for 2 years no matter what. And as silly as that may sound to some people, it’s the most lovely, cozy, comfortable feeling ever. I painted a room!

  7. I’m catching up backwards. 🙂 So yea, I was totally right about #12—can’t believe you moved 3 days before your left for the wedding. Just about daily, I remind myself how lucky I am to not be doing anything like that!

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