Monday, January 21, 2013

Self Contained

The house is under contract. The closing date is tentatively set. Ample notice and a departure date have been given at work and one of my bosses and I are disproportionately stressed about one or two projects. But basically, bit by bit, the details are being worked out. My mom and Butch are coming to help load up my stuff, and their travel dates are set. Their decision to drive instead of fly down helped resolve my debate of shipping container versus truck. Good thing.

On a vacation day scheduled to handle house repairs needed as a result of the inspection, I had time to sit and focus on the container/truck issue. I had already checked UHaul and PODS and spazzed out over the costs ($900 to $2500, depending). On this day, I found another company and got an estimate online.

After some trouble on the container company’s website when I tried to change their seemingly random assigned moving date, which was, unfortunately, a week later than I need the stuff gone from the house, I cast aside my long-standing neurotic issues with phones (another story for another day) and called them. Drew, my customer service rep, said there wasn’t much availability for February, which explains why the web page kept defaulting to March 5. We got things lined up. If I need to store the cube on the other end, it’s in Worcester, a town I have lived in twice and would be happy to live in again. The other container storage companies also had storage  -- but in towns I never heard of or in a neighboring state. I like to think my stuff is nearby, so I think the Worcester storage site sealed the deal for me with this company.

As promised by Drew, follow-up emails arrived within a few minutes. One email had checklists and the “Do Not Ship” list was quite helpful. Enlightening. Sure, I knew it wasn’t acceptable to ship/store my paint, gasoline, ammunition or fireworks arsenals, but I hadn’t really considered nail polish and nail polish remover. Anybody want 38 bottles of nail polish? Yes, 38. I counted. Well, maybe I can keep 10 or 12 in the stuff packed into the car. But seriously, at least half will have to find new homes.

The overall plan is to sell as much stuff as I can and have a super light move.  To have a clean start. To finally be free of secondhand clunky furniture and the need to find a living space based on the volume of my stuff. Heck, with the exception of four white leather dining chairs I bought new for the house in Tennessee, most of my stuff has been castoffs from family and friends, a couple yard sale finds, or the pressboard stuff that comes in a box and is assembled at home. My major new furniture purchases were in the last century for the house in Massachusetts (1986), and I walked away from most of that stuff in the divorce, telling myself it was a small price to pay to get out of there alive.

Worse than the secondhand stuff (or “Shabby Chic” as the trend was called 15 or 20 years ago when it was cool -- and still never a deliberate decor scheme on my part), some of my boxed stuff has enjoyed five or six moves and never seen the light of day. Time to go.

I still, however, have a couple issues with the “Do Not Ship” list, specifically, their category called Miscellaneous:
 - Antiques
 - Automobiles
 - Contraband
 - One of a kind artwork
 - Pets
 - Photos-photo albums

After I liberate myself from the replaceable furniture and stuff I am tired of looking at and schlepping around,  I’ll have a few antiques (mostly family furniture), a bunch of one of a kind artwork (most done by my Tennessee art friends), and my own gazillion photos /photo albums. Dang. Maybe I just need to get a tow hitch and drag my stuff behind me.

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