You may have read that I was traveling this past weekend. I went sans-kid across country from the East Coast all the way to San Francisco for one reason: to clear out our storage unit and ship everything back East. It’s been over a year since we basically dropped everything and scrambled to get cat and kid onto an airplane, and I’m still not sure I’m ready to move.
See, my husband got a job in Japan and basically he had to leave the country right now to start it. Which was fine, but it left me with a 2 bedroom apartment to pack on my own. While parenting a preschooler. And dealing with my Demon Cat. I… I am not the best mover, you guys. It makes me insanely anxious and I loathe it with a passion. I’m a nester, and I like to have my stuff where it belongs. Kitchen stuff in the kitchen, and bedroom stuff in the bedroom and books everywhere. If my stuff isn’t where it belongs I get uncomfortable. (This is not intended to imply I’m a compulsively tidy person. I am not.)
So there I was, with all this stuff I needed to do before we got on a plane across country (my cat counted as a carry on, and let me tell you, taking her through security was an experience I hope to avoid having ever again. Ever.) I had about two weeks and one 10 x 10 storage unit. The clock was ticking!
I packed like a maniac. I gave a ton of things away to charity. I threw things into boxes. I packed about 600 boxes of books, and another 600 boxes of video games. (Do I really need 45 books about viking knitting patterns? I mean one or two, but… And my husband’s 37 World of Warcraft Collector’s Editions… um.) In the end, I hired a company to come and take everything that was left. They filled a truck and a half and promised that they’d donate what was denotable and toss the rest.
So this past weekend, I opened the storage unit and stared into the leftovers, and prepared for a second cull. I was not prepared to drive all that stuff across the country in a truck, and it turns out that U-Haul has a point-to-point shipping container service that was actually cheaper than renting a truck myself. However, that meant that I had to condense my 10’x10’ storage unit into about 8’x5’. So on Friday morning, bright and early, I started popping open boxes. I got rid of rice bowls and plastic souvenir cups. I got rid of winter coats my son has outgrown and pans I don’t need since the house I live in now has a fully stocked kitchen. I got rid of books you guys. Charity is now sorting through towels and dishes and toys (don’t tell my son!!) and craft supplies.
I opened a box that was literally nothing but garbage I pulled out of the car. I packed trash. Carefully. It was labeled ‘car stuff.’
But! I did it, in the end. With some invaluable help from my friends in Sunnyvale, CA I got through everything. I loaded the last couple of boxes into the shipping box, carefully stacked my spinning wheel on top of the last one, and stared in shock that I had room left over and needed to shove the Complimentary Packing Blankets in as filler.
So now the box is slowly making its way across country to the U-Haul facility nearby where I can have my family help me empty the thing. I got home after some very long flights, and felt sore and stiff in every muscle of my body, weird bruises all over (“We can play connect the dots on your leg!” says my mom.) and I can concentrate on more important things. Like fixing the scene I wrote where my main character drives from SFO down 280 in her rental car now that I’ve had the identical experience and it’s fresh in my mind. And clearing off my bookshelves here to make some room for the boxes on their way. Er…