In about three weeks or so I will be packing all of my belongings into a truck and drive a few states to the left to set up house in a new town.  To that I can only say, “Holy freaking crap, when did three months become three weeks?  I have to pack!”

I’ve moved house a few times in my adult life and I would like to offer what I’ve learned in the past as advice for myself and others who will move in the near future:

  • Start packing early.  It usually takes about five times longer to pack than you expect it will.
  • Make friends with boys.  Big, strong, manly boys. They will often help you move heavy things if you offer them pizza and beer.
  • Make friends with your local liquor store.  They are the best source of sturdy cardboard boxes, and most of the time they are more than happy to let you have them.
  • That said, some liquor stores are stingy about giving away boxes on weekends. Especially when there is a holiday approaching, they are sure that any minute they will have to accommodate massive orders of booze that can only be carried out in large boxes.  In that case, look elsewhere.
  • Flying Fish Brewing Co. boxes are the best for packing sheet music.  They are the perfect size to fit the music snugly, are just large enough to fit in a substantial amount of music, but not so big that you can’t lift them when they are full.  I’ll have to try their beer one of these days.
  • LPs, when packed in boxes, weigh a ton and a half.

boxes - day 1

I’ve spent the better part of today squeezing as many empty boxes into my tiny little compact car as physically possible, and after bringing them home, filling them with all my worldly possessions.  I am proud to say that I have packed each and every VHS, DVD, LP and CD in this apartment into twenty-one boxes, appropriately labelled and neatly stacked in front of the now empty bookcases. By doing so, I have effectively packed one half of my living room (with the obvious exception of the furniture itself).  When I realized this, a feeling of elated accomplishment swept over me.

Then I turned around and faced the rest of the apartment.

Sure, it’s wonderful knowing you have emptied the shelves of three bookcases. But it is really quite crushing to know that in the grand scheme of things, I’ve barely made a dent.  Today I only tackled the media section of my little home library. I’ve barely even touched the books or sheet music yet.

I can’t imagine how many more boxes I will need to finish just the books.  Sure, when I lived by myself packing my own books was a manageable task.  But there’s another monstrosity of a bookcase looming in the den with the remnants of Mike’s doctoral studies.  For crying out loud, the man was a literature major!  The bookcase spans the entire length of the wall and stretches from floor to ceiling. On its shelves sit hundreds, maybe thousands of books piled several high and two or three deep.

Since I’ve discovered a couple liquor stores in my area that seem to be willing to provide me with supplies for my quest (both liquid and cardboard), I’m not quite as worried as I was a week ago.  At least I know that I will have containers in which to place my belongings.

What does worry me is knowing how much space packed boxes take up.  The contents of my media collection are now taking up a substantial portion of my living room floor, rather than the six inches of space along the edge of the wall.  I have a feeling that I will be living in a fort of boxes of books before the week is over.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. reveriemuse
    Jun 27, 2009 @ 23:32:06

    Hey, I know how crazy it can get moving states, I’ve done it myself!
    Good luck, keep us posted on how it goes!!


  2. Joy
    Jun 28, 2009 @ 13:07:08

    It’s an exciting yet scary time for you. Just think, a brand new life. That sounds so exciting. Will you hire a moving company to take it there for you? Moving sucks. I just hated it but have only moved once in my adult life. To think of it now puts me in a tizzy. I know you’ll do fine and I’ve also very happy for you.

    The key to getting those liquor store boxes is to find out what day they have their orders coming in. I worked in one once and on those days those boxes really pile up and they have to start crushing them to make room. Our big orders came on on Tues so if you could find this out, it would help them a lot for you to take them before they have to do that and they would LOVE you.


    • megan
      Jun 28, 2009 @ 13:10:36

      I think, too, that the the other key is making sure you go during the shift of the nice employee. I went to our grocery store’s liquor store yesterday, and the guy working let me fill up my car until I could fit no more. Today I went back, and they had even more boxes piled up than they did yesterday, but a different guy was working. He only let me take a few. The big meanie.

      We’re not hiring a moving company, but we are renting a U-Haul or some other moving truck. I will have to hire piano movers to get the piano out of the apartment and loaded into the truck, though. That should be big fun for my wallet.


  3. curlywurlygurly
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 12:01:44

    funnn! i want to move too! as for ‘where did the time go’? maybe you spent it making stop-motion mini-films. lol. i’m just sayin’.


  4. bluesuit12
    Jul 16, 2009 @ 20:33:29

    It seems like a lot of people are moving right now. I’m headed out next week and have been packing a little here and there. I move a lot and you would think I’d get used to it but it still sucks. Unfortunately this time around I didn’t make friends with big, strong, manly boys but am in a frantic search to find some and convince them they want to help me. I have 8 days – let the hunt begin.


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