Ours was a 'princess move' - where the packing and unpacking is done for you. Usually I pack and unpack the CDs and some of the books to maintain control over things, but due to customs regulations, they preferred to pack it all themselves.
Thursday dawned bright and sunny with no sign of a moving van . . . When they arrived mid-morning, there were only two of them, neither of them particularly strong. The third person didn't show up until late the next day when the heavy work was done. They struggled with the boxes and big lumps of furniture, leaving nearly all of it on the lower level to the extent that we could hardly move.
|The corridor to the bathroom|
They left and said they'd be back the next day to unwrap and set up the furniture and unpack. Thank goodness for the Murphy bed, or we would have had to sleep on the balcony. I started in on the kitchen boxes, a process made tedious by the reams and reams of paper to unwrap. Six sheets of paper to wrap one plastic chopstick seems a bit excessive. Some of D's colleagues were building a maze for Hallowe'en so he wanted to collect as many boxes as we could empty that afternoon and take them down to work. But it was slow going.
D. was eager to start assembling the furniture, especially our computer desk units and bookshelves before the unpacking began in earnest. Thanks to a couple of borrowed screwdrivers he started to make some progress, but was stymied by the critical parts missing from the 'parts' box. Inaccurate box labels did not help. A kitchenware box held a scanner and other electronic gizmos. A box marked tools contained shoes (ok, a spirit level was in there). The screws and a screwdriver turned up eventually in another box marked kitchenware. We still couldn't find the rest of D.'s tools. Then he realized he no longer owns a drill (different voltage, we gave it away). He went out to buy one in order to anchor the shelving units to the walls. After he returned we unwrapped the sofa, ordered a pizza and collapsed in front of the TV for the exciting 6th game of the World Series (I must confess I slept through part of it). We had to dig out the Murphy bed so we could crawl into it.
|Kitchenware boxes more than half full of paper|
Friday we were up early, I finished unpacking the kitchen before the mover (yes, one!) arrived to help unpack and move furniture. She didn't have any tools; the others were bringing them. We have lots and lots of flat pack shelving, and a four-poster bed that completely disassembles. This was not good. We also don't have any dressers (the last place had lots of built in furniture). So I said, "hold off on the books till the shelves are up, and don't unpack the clothes because we don't have anywhere to put them". I was busy unpacking glassware and cutlery in the main room, D. was valiantly trying to put up shelving by himself and the mover was off somewhere in the front room . . . Like a toddler when things get very quiet, you know trouble is afoot. She was unpacking everything and piling it on the floor, because their remit is to unpack and put it on surfaces (floors, tables, etc., but not shelves). When it's stacked up knee deep in a confined space, you can't even get to the shelves. Late in the afternoon the other two arrive, and like a demented tornado, start moving furniture around and emptying the rest of the boxes. I became extremely stressed out at the increasingly terrifying, chaotic mountains of stuff everywhere I looked.
|A librarian's worst nightmare|
D wisely took over the CD unpacking and sent me out for some fresh air before I could commit murder (only averted because I couldn't find any of the knives). When I returned they were gone, having run out of floor space on which to dump the contents of the remaining boxes. Exhausted, wet (it was raining) bruised, scratched and filthy from the day's work, I decided a nice hot bath would be the ticket. Except the bathtub needed cleaning and I was too tired. Ok, a shower then. But I couldn't even find my underwear. Gentle readers, this was the last straw. D. found me, reduced to a sobbing sniveling heap on the closet floor surrounded by jumbled mounds of clothing. He carefully shifted the teetering stacks of books so I could find the clothes I'd brought with me in August. Miraculously, we located linens and bedding and managed to sleep in our own bed for the first time in three months.
|Mostly off the floor|
After a weekend of picking things up off the floors, I am able to get dressed in the morning, prepare food, and sit at my desk and type this. I dare not look closely at the shelves, cupboards and closets, as their randomized contents only make me depressed. I cringe each time I see the damaged furniture and smashed picture glass, and I have yet to muster the courage to inspect the musical instruments. I'm not sure I could face a shattered fiddle right now. This has been one of the most difficult moves we've had. But with patience and a lot of hard work we'll get our place set up properly. . . Until the shipment arrives from storage in Connecticut. I just have to remind myself of our friends who lost all their possessions when the ship with their container on it sank. Though lately, I catch myself envying them.