Monday, December 13, 2010

Adventures in Packing Part Three: Moving Mountains

I knew I was in trouble when the nice (yet somehow a little too nice so as to border on annoying) salesman for the moving company walked through my house with me and said on at least three occasions, "You have a lot of stuff."  Therefore, it should have come as no shock to me when I opened his estimate last Monday morning.  But, it was.  Nearly $8,000!  I nearly fell out of my chair and let out a yelp, like a dog who had been stepped on by a giant.  Holy cow - I could practically start over with all new stuff for that.  Problem is, as I explained to the gentleman, Greg as the oldest son and only one with sufficient space, and me as the only child became the keepers of much of our family heirlooms.  Our dining room set was built by Greg's great-great grandfather.  The china you see through its glass doors was my grandmother's.  The silver set was Mother's - Dad had it custom made for her when on leave in Japan during the Korean Conflict.  At this point, I've got enough china, crystal, silver and linen to host the entire Pittsburgh Steelers and their families, and maybe the Penguins too.  Some of it is probably worth something, but truth be told, most of it's probably only worth its weight in memories, but that makes it priceless.  All of that has to come with us.

Then there are my books.  The salesman warned me right off the bat, looking just at the books on the built-in shelves downstairs that I needed to think about getting rid of everything but the most valuable ones because they are concentrated weight.  Greg and I looked at one another and both said at nearly the same time, "Oh, just wait."  The man had yet to see the fourth bedroom that I have always used as a study, three walls lined with books on 6' high shelves.  Have I read them all?  Hell no, but I'm working on it.  I've read a lot of them, so maybe you could argue I should dump those and only take the ones I haven't made it to yet.  But, what if I want to re-read them?  Like I will The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, so I can brush up before I go see the movie.  Like I probably will at least glance through The Stand again in places - it's my favorite book of all time.  Or, how I may pluck one of Anne Rice's books off the shelf to scour for a quote when I'm in a dark mood - her early works are perfect for a brooding parent enveloped in grief.  Or maybe how I'll pull down one of my books about Barack Obama and flip through it to remind myself that he's larger than the problems he's currently mired in.  No, I need them all.  Or so I think anyway.  I did pull out a miserly selection before the fall garage sale, and after the horrendous bid, I tried to make myself take another look.  I pulled out two coffee table books, one of which I've had since high school, and put them in the giveaway pile.  The one I've had for so long however keeps haunting me, and it's taking a strong sense of control to not pluck it back out of the pile.  But, luckily for me, Greg supports me keeping my books.  He's willing to pay the heavy price to cart them from here to there.  As much grief as I give him, I love him for that.  What he'd really like me to do, however, is get rid of the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings collectibles (by the way, for me and my limited discretionary spending, "collectible" means toys, I have very few actually valuable collectibles - important to keep in mind as you read how I agonize over crap I bought in the toy aisle at Target).

I know he's right, but I am finding it so hard to do.  As I glance over them, the rational part of me thinks, "You don't need a Yoda Pez dispenser, a stuffed Yoda and a talking Yoda.  Pick one, get rid of the rest."  So, I determine to keep Talking Yoda because it's just cool.  But, Francine gave me stuffed Yoda, and I like the Pez dispenser.  As of this moment, all of them are sealed in a box upstairs (along with a lot of other stuff, like Death Star Pez dispenser).  As I explained to a friend at work, I packed up that stuff first so it's out of sight and hopefully out of mind, marked innocuously for the 3rd bedroom where the bookshelves will go.  That way it's just not part of the conversation about what to toss out.  Genius.  However, I have recently found a worthy recipient of what Star Wars crap things I can manage to rend myself away from.  Therefore, knowing they will be loved, I will spend some time this weekend choosing some items to bequeath to a young friend to help her on way to extreme nerdiness like me.  Passing down the legacy, that's a good thing, right?

But, it's clear that sacrifices have to be made.  So, I have to look at everything else and ask myself, "Do you really want to pay to move this?"  I already set out a large stack of random stuff for the Texas Paralyzed Veterans, on top of what I pried loose for the garage sale.  All of that was gone before I heard, "You have a lot of stuff."  I clearly have a lot of work yet to do.

In the meantime, I'm getting other moving bids!


  1. oh, we can soooo make it cheaper. that's what I'ma work on all during break, anyway. I bet I can get rid of 10 pounds of my own stuff!!

  2. Um. Cheryl. Have you watched "Hoarders - Buried Alive"? It may be time for an intervention (this said from the woman with the frog prince collection and Stephen King paperbacks from the 80's). :P