Packing It In

November 15, 2015 - 4:41pm -- swingbug

One of the rudest things about moving is that life doesn't stop while you do it. You still have to make the thing for the school bake sale and halloween costumes actually can't be put off until next month. You get to what you think is the end of packing the kitchen and then realize that the dishwasher is full of clean dishes because people around here still insist on eating, and the plates and cups pile up accordingly. What to do with dirty laundry the day before moving day? Wash it now and stay up late folding it into boxes? Chuck it dirty into its own box labeled "Eew"? The washer doesn't get delivered to the new place until Wednesday. Will there be enough clean socks to get us there?

Then there's box organization. I take a certain amount of obsessive-compulsive, popping-the-bubble-wrap kind of pleasure from filling all the nooks and crannies in a box. It's like Tetris, searching around the house for that one L-shaped piece that's going to fill the gap perfectly, clearing 3 lines and giving you a mess of points. The downside is that unpacking gets more difficult as you go tearing open all the boxes piled in the new kitchen looking for the cheese grater which is naturally wedged snuggly between a stack of books and a satchel of yarn in a box waiting in the living room, to be found sometime next month.

It's not just prepping the stuff, but the mammals. The cat thought this whole introduction-of-many-cardboard-boxes-into-the-house thing was quite fun at first, like that weird thing the people do when they bring a tree into the house for a month in the winter, cover it in cat toys, and make a new water bowl for him at the base. But then we started putting all the stuff he likes to sleep on into the cardboard boxes and taping them shut. Less cool. Wait until the big mover guys show up and start hauling the boxes off.

The kid will get up one morning, put his shoes and socks on in one house full of boxes, go off to school, and come home to kick off his shoes and socks on the floor of an entirely different house full of boxes in the afternoon.

I had to move a couple of times when I was a kid. The most prominent move was the year I was in fifth grade. As you would expect, I was very charming and accepting of the whole process. Not. Ask my parents. I think they still have nightmares. I got a guinea pig, two kittens, and a tree house out of that deal and I was still sullen and shuffling around the house I refused to call home for months on end.

When I was a kid I thought that it had been so long since my parents had been children that couldn't possibly really remember what it was like. Not true, of course, as here I stand in the larger pair of shoes. So, I'm trying to be understanding and sympathetic to the kid's point of view. Fortunately for him, we're moving across town, not across the state. School and friends and hobbies and access to family will be unaffected. But still, it's a whole lot of new going on.

I enjoy talking with him about what it is that he regrets losing in the old place and what he looks forward to in the new house. The old house has a really good place for when playing hide and seek; this is a sad thing to lose. On the other hand, in the new house we can put breakfast cereal in a cupboard that the kiddo can reach. That, he concedes, is a point in it's favor.

And there will be new grand places for hide and seek to discover in the new house, for cats, and people, and cheese graters alike. But all of that is for tomorrow. Now we're packing our way through the eleventh hour.

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Submitted by Amy on

I love this. We are contemplating a move and some in our house (yes, I am one of them) isn't sure it's a good idea but you make it sound like an adventure - I like that! Thanks for the new perspective!

Submitted by swingbug on

It's definitely an adventure. It's also a lot of work, but it's adventurous work. :-)