The biggest move Alan and I have ever undertaken together was when we packed up our apartment in Pittsburgh in 2002, put everything in storage, and drove across country with Dakota in our Honda Accord for Oakland, CA. Neither of us had jobs lined up, nor did we have a place to live. We stayed with Alan’s parents for a couple of months – during which time his mom literally asked me every day if I’d applied for any jobs – and then moved into a tiny apartment in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, probably my favorite location we’ve ever lived together. When we had our home picked out, our friends met the moving company at our storage locker, made sure everything made it on to the moving truck, and then we waited for most of our major belongings to arrive. I think we must have slept on an air mattress until that happened, but I can’t quite recall.
Since then every other move we’ve made has been incredibly short. From Pac Heights, we moved to the Haight. From the Haight, we moved to Jack London Square. From JLS to Temescal. And then Temescal to Grand Lake. We’ve used Delancey Street movers every single time we’ve moved and they are quick and efficient at what they do. This last time we had them box up our kitchen as well and while it felt strange to have someone touching all of my things, it was only dinner plates, forks, and glasses.
So here we are counting down our days until Dublin and we are under the impression that the company who will be moving our belongings is also responsible for packing them. (We would know this for sure if they’d ever actually contact us about the walk through of our home for the quote but that’s another story for another day.) One thing I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around is how to prepare for a move when you’re not packing. I’ve moved countless times throughout my life and the one constant is that you can always mark the time until your move by how many boxes you have filled versus how empty your shelves are. If it’s true that the company needs to pack our belongings, we are going to have a full home right up until the day we leave. I think it’ll feel pretty jarring to not have that sort of visual countdown to mark our progress toward our departure date.
I started going through my closet this afternoon identifying what can go to Goodwill and what I will keep. A lot of what I’m keeping is my winter clothes. Obviously, it being nearly July in the middle of a Northern California draught, I don’t need winter clothes. I could very easily box them all up so that I don’t have to look at them anymore, or think about them until they arrive in Ireland. But … I can’t. And so I see them and they just seem to be taking up space not only in my closet but also in my brain. I think the thing I like about packing boxes for moving – not the actual physical packing, mind you – is that there is sooo much to think about when you move and it can become intellectually overwhelming. But when you put something away in a box and know that you know longer have to think about it, you’re very much living the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. It stops taking up mental space in your head. It isn’t something that you have to consider any longer. There are no more decisions that need to be made. That’s a pretty awesome thing when your life is ruled by consideration and decisions and so many different things pulling you in far too many directions.