Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Survivor: Moving Edition

We got our moving estimate today, and it was a little over twice what NewU will contribute. (More money might be available, but it also might not, so I'm not going to count on it.) I was pretty floored. We live modestly, I think, in a 1300 sf two-bedroom house; we're getting rid of our dining room set; we have only one pretty lightweight couch and no entertainment stuff (TV, "entertainment center," etc.); and so on. Now, we do have a Vespa and a small (50 lb.) boat, so those add a little weight--but still. How on earth do we have an estimated 12,000 pounds of stuff?

So we're looking a little bit at other moving companies, but without a great deal of hope. And we're figuring out how to lighten our load.

One of our strategies will be to fill our little car with all the small-but-heavy items: cast-iron skillets, the marble top of a small table, the blender and food processor bases, TM's collection of antique weights for his scale (purchased in Paris, no less. OK, maybe I can start to see how we live heavily...).

The second strategy is to ditch as much of our stuff as we can.

We've already had a yard sale and, between that and a carload to the thrift store and a hefty clothing donation to the foster-care organization a friend works for, we've gotten rid of nearly all of Bonaventure's baby stuff (my pangs of ambivalence about this went away entirely when I learned how much the move will cost), an absurdly heavy and pretty ugly coffee table ($2!), a superfluous desk, a file cabinet, our spare iron, and four boxes of books. But the purging must continue.

I'm working on getting rid of more books; I have old translations of Russian novels that are probably more readable in more recent translations (and they're in dingy paperback form, so there's no real reason to be attached to these copies except that I read them once), and I'm working on getting rid of novels that I probably won't read again and could get at any public library if I decide that I must. So that's a start.

But what about:
  1. sweaters that I don't really wear much, or at all, but that I knit myself?
  2. art books that don't much interest me but were gifts and probably expensive? and that I might be interested in one day? (yeah right)
  3. our second copies of Wheelock's Latin textbook and the JACT Reading Greek series? Isn't it true that TM and I vitally need our own copies of each?
  4. the second pizza paddle, which is a little too small for a proper pizza but might hypothetically come in handy? (and that weighs about 3 ounces?)
  5. all the CDs that I bought in high school? (I got rid of the cases several moves ago.)
  6. the five Harry Potter books that I own, three of them in hardback?
  7. VHS tapes?
  8. audio cassettes?
  9. a speaker set and subwoofer when one of the speakers seems to be broken, and we don't know whether it's fixable? (It's not even our main speaker set.)
  10. leftover fancy paper used to print the final copy of our dissertations (in, let's recall, 2007)?
And this is just what occurs to me right now.  Discuss and vote, please.

In all of this, of course, I am at once inspired and horrified by Notorious Ph.D.'s recent, drastic purging of everything. (Horrified not by her actions, but rather by the thought of doing the same myself. And also inspired by the same thought. It's a dangerous temptation.)


Sisyphus said...

It's too bad you aren't near enough to a school w pad programs and could "pay it forward" to help someone else print their diss --- that is what we did w our extras in our dept.

And having just packed and moved, it's the books. Boooooooooooooks! Not much you can do to lower the weight.... They are heavier than you'd think.

I'd say just move the damn stuff but I am a pack rat and not known to be financially wise. How about getting rid of the vhs tapes?

heu mihi said...

Well, a quick and partial survey suggests that most of the home-recorded VHS tapes a) don't work and b) were taped over with episodes of 90210 (which I swear on my life I DID NOT WATCH, and I doubt that my 14-year-old brother did, either), so most of them are ditched. Saving Wallace & Grommit because Bonaventure loves them, and so do I. I did, however, excise fully half of my audio cassettes this afternoon, which means that I only need one little 3-drawer holder instead of 3. And we managed to cull probably 4-5 boxes of books and two small furniture items. Anxiety/exhilaration is my mood-swing at the moment.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Moving with kids is always more complicated than moving as a couple or a single person. I couldn't get rid of everything the way Notoriuis has. I'm a bit of a pack rat myself. And I can't seem to let go of books more than anything. Ugh I hate moving! But it's awesome that you're going to a new shiny job with new awesome experiences waiting. It will make the moving worth it! Good luck!

Contingent Cassandra said...

Well, you have good reason to hope you won't have to do this again, at least not long-distance, correct? So at least it's a one-time expense. There's still good reason to purge things you definitely won't regret leaving behind, but for things with sentimental value, perhaps not? (Can you tell I fall at the pack-rat , or at least the continuity-preferring, end of the spectrum?)

heu mihi said...

Fie--the kid thing is a new loop! Bonaventure came home before the yard sale was complete, which is how we've ended up with a smallish box of baby toys. In truth, though, I was glad to save them--wooden stacking rings, that sort of thing--because they're really pretty cute.

Contingent C--I do tend to hang on to the sentimental. But I'm trying to be more ruthless with books (while still having dozens of boxes of them, of course); novels that I thought were okay but not amazing can go, for example, or books (like Anna Karenina) that I'd really like to have in a better/less trashed-and-taped-up edition, etc. And "one-time expense" is starting to become a mantra!

Good Enough Woman said...

I say get rid of most of these things except maybe 5, 6, and 8. Your sweaters can be donated, and sometimes it's about the knitting process and not the product--unless one is a milestone project like "first Fair Isle" or something momentous. If your CD and cassettes are as hilarious and nostalgia-inducing as mine, I say keep them. You won't be able to get them again, and, lately, I've noticed how nice it is to sip the Pandora and just put in a CD. If you are a huge Potter fan, I say keep those b/c it won't bee TOO long before Bonaventure will read them, and it might mean something to you if he reads your copies.

What Now? said...

I've never used the moving pods before, but I wonder if that's a cheaper way to move? Good luck with all of this!

heu mihi said...

WN--how prescient! We looked into Pods last week, and decided that they are, indeed, the cheaper option--especially because we'll need to somehow store our stuff for about 3 weeks, and Pods offers a month of free storage. It means moving everything ourselves, but we'll have more than the usual 1-2 days that you get with a U-Haul, and our current house is only one story, so we can do it!

(I'm still getting rid of as much as I can bear, however....)

Belle said...

I'm still unpacking from my cross country move last month, but what I found was a *huge* range in moving company estimates. One told me that the transport piece of the thing alone would be 13K. That didn't include any of the other stuff - and i finally got a not-to-exceed bid of 9K, which included packing! So shopping around moving companies is definitely the way to go. What really surprised me was that the Big Movers were actually significantly cheaper than the intuitive choices. Changing the schedule by a week might be a couple hundred dollars difference, so if you can be flexible, you can save money. Good luck!

penn said...

I know this is now past, but for future reference -- you can mail books to yourself fairly cheaply with media mail rate. My dad did that once or twice when we moved to save the cost of movers having to carry/transport those boxes.

Hope the purging went well. It's such a good thing to do but hard unless forced to.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

We sent books via media mail when we moved from the west coast to the Midwest. I can't remember how much it cost. It was probably about 300 bucks, but it was super convenient. More than 15 heavy boxes, for sure.