Thoughts from a tree

nanowrimo – day 4

typed – 2582/11896
written (not typed yet) – 0
nanowrimo avg words needed – 1667/6667 – MET
personal goal – 2500/10000 – MET ~ that’s 20% completed! 🙂

I actually spent most of the day yesterday unpacking the trailer; I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to get the writing done, but I also felt the need to get other stuff accomplished. Turns out its a good thing I did, because the trailer apparently has a small leak and (since its been raining a lot) was on the verge of ruining some of our books. I got them out in the nick of time; only two seemed a little damp. Because of that, I ended up unpacking everything, instead of just some. Now the only things that are left are two treadmills and a REALLY large cat tree (made by our good friend Jim). Then I had to unpack a lot of the boxes, either because they were wet or because I didn’t want the cats sitting on things marked “fragile.” I have now unpacked *every* fragile box, and the only casualties were two wine glasses (they were in a box marked “very fragile” that was put underneath about ten other heavy boxes at one point – don’t ask), and they are no great loss. I also broke one D & B shot glass while unpacking, mostly because I was being careless. I have quite a lot of very breakable figurines, so I consider it impressive that they all made it through OK. Since I’m thinking about it, here’s some unsolicited advice on packing:

When packing fragile things, use clothes you won’t need right away, extra towels, and those plastic shopping bags that you always forget to put in the recycling bins at the store, rather than paying for bubble wrap, styrofoam, or special wrapping paper. Newspaper can also work, but adds more weight than bags or clothes (which you would have had to pack anyways). For the really fragile, extra special stuff, I packed each one into a small box and then packed those into hard plastic boxes (better than cardboard because they won’t bend in under pressure). Plastic or Rubbermaid boxes are also particularly good if you have an open-bed truck you will be using, since they are waterproof.

The boxes they say are for books are too big for books, unless you’re hiring someone to move them and don’t care if their back gets broken. Try to find smaller boxes if you can (I used a lot of priority mail boxes); the filing boxes that have handles work pretty well also, usually found anywhere that has office supplies, including sam’s. If you can’t, try packing the top half of the box with something lighter, like dvd’s. Most of the “special” boxes moving companies sell are a rip-off, particularly things like garment boxes, unless you have both money and space to burn. One thing that *is* probably worth getting is a mattress cover, if you are moving a bed (keeps it clean). If you don’t have enough friends with spare boxes, you can go to grocery stores or other places and ask them for their empty boxes (grocery stores go through inventory the fastest, so are most likely to have them at any time). Use your older blankets and sheets for wrapping around things like furniture and mirrors. Keep a pile of “soft” stuff (such as clothes or stuffed animals, in plastic bags) out until the last minute, for filling in holes around things, to prevent shifting while traveling.

Pack things in priority order (pack the stuff you need least first) and when you get to the things you can’t go a day, a week, or a month without, label them as such; I used a * for things I wanted right away, followed by 1-4 for things which I would probably want to find quickly, but wouldn’t need immediately. This saves you from having to unpack everything to find that one thing you need later. Don’t limit this to only things you need, but include those you might *want,* like your favorite books, movies, CDs, or games. When packing the moving vehicle, put the priority items in near the front (assuming that the entire vehicle will be getting unpacked at once), so they won’t get buried when unpacking the vehicle. You can get away without prioritizing if its a one-shot move, but if you have to put things in storage and/or move piecemeal (like we did), it will really save your sanity if you can easily tell what boxes are important. Also, It takes most people several months to fully unpack.

There is such a thing as too much help; too many people moving too quickly might not put things where you want (causing you to expend a lot of extra effort later) or might not pay as much attention to your labels (such as “very fragile”). We learned this one the hard way; fortunately it worked out OK, and I did really appreciate that so many people were trying to be helpful, but I think it would have been better with fewer people at that time. I’m a bit OCD about organization, so having things getting moved around too fast was particularly problematic for me.

When unpacking, don’t forget to recycle the cardboard (unless you have room to store it for the next person)!


Comments on: "nanowrimo – day 4" (2)

  1. Outstanding post!!!

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