What Kind of Move Hell are We in Now?
You know the saying “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side” and the question “is your glass half empty or half full?” We do this to keep things in perspective, and I try to do this on a daily basis. There are people in worse conditions than me. There are people who don’t have the support system I have currently. At this moment, it doesn’t lessen the sting when things don’t go as planned. I can’t get back the money I had to pay to get my car towed in Death Valley, CA where it stopped on the first trip. I can’t get back the time lost when road construction occurred and every car had to squeeze into one lane on the second trip. I can’t undue possessions dropped and lost, much of it sentimental on the third trip. They are now either broken and gone forever. I can’t get back the money I had to spend when I locked my roommate’s keys in his car on the fourth trip. The bottom line is this move from California to Nevada is the worst move I’ve ever done, and hopefully, the last move I will ever do. Yes, I carried heavy boxes and bulky furniture up a flight of steep stairs in 100 to 110 temperatures. Yes, my feet, knees, shoulders, and neck are still stiff and sore. Yes, I’m retracing my steps, hoping I can pinpoint when the exact moment the tool bag with all the futon parts was lost and worst of all my roommate’s tools. I’m definitely not in California anymore, which may sound stupid to the average person but minus the traffic I really loved the Los Angeles area.
There’s something about me if you haven’t noticed it already and it is that I like routine because it creates stability and familiarity. Moving anywhere especially across state lines gives you the opposite. I knew it was going to be hard and would test my patience with everything put before me including interactions with my roommate. I used to be a glass empty kind of girl, not seeing much hope for anything, but as people get older they change their mindset. I’m now more of a good thing the glass is half empty so I can fill the rest with something delicious I wouldn’t mind drinking, and better yet from someone generous enough to share. There’s another part of me that is open to change because it creates new opportunities and perspective. When I moved from Minnesota to California in the latter part of 2006, I thought I’d finally found the state I’ve live the rest of my life and then die. If this move has taught me anything, it’s that I continue to be resilient and gained more respect for my roommate who had some initial concerns. He bucked up and went with it as best he could. I also learned as much as I hate the heat I keep moving to places hotter and hotter. Don’t ask me why. Please don’t. I will now give you some pointers along the way so when it is your time to move, you don’t repeat the same mistakes I did throughout this month-long process.
- Don’t rent too big of a truck, in my case a 17 foot truck, because you probably won’t be able to fill it all the way and use all the space in a span of a day’s time. You are going to need a lot of hours to fill that sucker up. It was relatively easy moving things on a dolly into the truck, but it takes time getting them onto the dolly and unloading them into the truck. There was empty space more boxes could’ve fit, but by night-time we both said “fuck it, it is what it is.”
- Don’t rent too small of a truck, in my case a 15 foot truck, because you improperly eyeballed the size of the truck. I have a lot of stuff. My roommate has a lot of stuff. It all could easily fit into a small house, but we don’t want to buy a house even if we could. You probably have more than you realize. This time we had the opposite problem of not having enough space. There also is the problem of do you rent a big ass truck and do it all in one or do it in spurts. I would say splitting it up is a good thing.
- Don’t over stuff your boxes. I hate when grocery store workers put all the cans into one bag. It makes one bag really heavy and the other one really light. I think someone needs to go back to packing groceries school. I made it a point to pack light stuff with heavy stuff so it evened out a little bit. My roommate on the other hand loaded all of his vinyl into boxes that were pretty heavy. I won’t tell you how many boxes of vinyl he had. One took a spill off the ramp into the truck. His doing, not mine.
- If you have to do many trips back and forth like I clearly did, remember your legs and arms get fatigued over time. My saving grace was the 4.5 hour drive each way to give my muscles a rest and the week-long stretch of time since I basically moved one weekend once and then the next weekend twice. I’m also grateful for my roommate driving, which he hated but did it anyway.
- Have lots of water in several places especially in the heat. Each time I returned to CA, it felt like an air-conditioned room. Less water was needed. Each time I returned to NV, it felt like an oven. More water was needed. Basically drink water and take breaks so your heart doesn’t feel like it’s going to burst out of your chest.
- Tie things down properly when you move with rope. The first trip back and forth was priceless. My roommate made sure the boxes were secure and when we opened the door, everything was in order. Nothing had moved except for a few boxes. Not bad, not bad at all. The second time everything was not alright. Boxes fell on top of each other and furniture shifted and damaged a few things. I remember it being bumpier than usual on this trip. This was the trip where I left something in the back I shouldn’t have and only realized my error during the third trip. I bought dinner for my roommate since he did most of the unpacking while I was frantic about the whole thing for a good hour.
- Leave enough time to pack everything because the third trip back and forth, I was dumping things into boxes without closing them. This was the trip where time was of the essence. It wasn’t really our fault. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. We couldn’t move until the 15th into the new place and had to be out by the 30thin the current place. By the end, we were done and out on the 26th. Again, we both had so much stuff that we packed the truck to the last inch on this trip.
- The fourth trip was packing leftovers, which was still too many items and then there was cleaning. I wanted to get as much of the deposit back, but that was foiled when removing the refrigerator. This apartment you had to provide your own. Luckily someone took it shortly after it was posted on Craigslist. Sometimes free items go quickly. The unfortunate part was accidentally ripping up some the linoleum. Moral of the story is look under the refrigerator to make sure nothing is dangling under it.
- LA has a problem of people not picking up after their dogs shit. I’ve had to throw doormats out because of this. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to me, but it was because I was trying to clean the tub. No wonder why I kept seeing light brown shoe marks as I was scrubbing. So check your shoes before hopping into a tub. What a mess trying to soggy shit from the bottom of both shoes.
- The last but not least, but in my case the last, purge your stuff before moving. I simply didn’t have the time nor wanted to make the time. I should’ve done this because it would’ve saved a lot of headache. Am I really going to fit into jeans I wore over ten years ago? Probably not. For reasons I’m not sure, I tried a pair on. Jeez, I need to hit a gym soon, which I plan and will do. Do I really need my boat sized TV, long before flat screens came into the market? Probably not. Do I really need that many books or movies? Probably not. The bottom line is I’ve become way too attached to my belongings. Maybe, I need to learn to let things go. Obviously, but not so easy. I’m trying with some success.
There you have it, the longer version of my move from California to Nevada. There are differences between the two as with any neighboring states. I’m looking forward to reading about the competition between the two, if there is any, and already brought a book about the mob in Vegas. I’m hoping this is the last move I make and if the time comes where I move again, let it be with some professional movers or where I have very little to move (to fit into one damn truck). If you are in the process of moving, I wish you the best of luck because you’re going need to it.