On Friday, i spoke with Gavin Parks, the first of two movers who will come and give me estimates on the cost of packing and moving my stuff. Mr. Parks didn't quote me the cost of packing, though he implied it would be expensive ("I can tell you right now that it'll cost more to pack than to move you"). That didn't bother me; I knew it would be expensive when I started. But then he said he wasn't sure they'd be able to get it done in one day.
Well, I don't want to take off two days from work to supervise movers. He suggested, after we finished the walkthrough on my apartment, that it might only take one and a half days -- first day to pack and load, half of second day to unload. On reflection, I like that idea even less -- where am I going to sleep on the intervening night? Ick.
So today, I went down to the storage room and dug out some of the boxes we've been keeping there. I packed up a couple of those. Lut pointed out that the seven or eight boxes we had on hand, most of them copy-paper boxes, were not going to make much of a dent in the packing we needed to do. This is all too true.
I have a bunch of clothes that I've been meaning to get rid of, so I dug through the back of my closet, and sifted through the existing pile o' problem clothes, sorting out "things that didn't fit when I put them here, but fit now" from "things that need mending" from "things that should be thrown out because they're ruined" to finally "things I will never wear again, but someone else might". This last category filled a large laundry basket to overflowing. Lut carried it down to the car, and we drove off in search of a place to leave it. And more boxes.
There's a self-storage center a block away that sells boxes. We got an "apartment pack" from them, then moved on to a thrift store. I was worried that getting rid of the clothes would be a nuisance -- that someone might ask me to wait around for a receipt or tell me they didn't accept wrinkled clothes (some of these items had been buried at the bottom of my closet for five years; when I say "wrinkled" I mean WRINKLED) or whatever. The cash registers at the thrift store were clogged with customers, but I found a woman working the shelves and asked her what to do with them. "I just want to leave them somewhere other than a dumpster." She told me I could leave them at the front of the store. So we emptied the hamper into a pile on an end table, and went on our way.
I don't know if thrift stores will pay for clothing or not, but it didn't seem worth the time to find out. Given how little I pay for clothing at thrift stores, it's hard to imagine they could be shelling out very much to acquire their merchandise.
We ate lunch -- well, early dinner -- at the Chinese restaurant in the same plaza, then headed home.
An hour or two later, I broke open the "apartment pack". It consists of two rolls of bubble wrap, a knife, two rolls of tape, 5 book-boxes, 7 medium boxes, 1 large box, plus (bonus!) the box it came in, which might be big enough for my uncut mat boards, come to think of it.
This won't be nearly enough boxes for my apartment, either. I packed all our pictures and mirrors in one of the medium-sized boxes. With three boxes packed, I've made, effectively, no noticeable dent in the amount of packing left to be done. And I used up all the bubble wrap, too. (Granted, the pictures and mirrors are the most fragile things I own, short of dishware and a few glass or pottery bowls, but still).
However, I am operating on the theory that I will pack until I am (a) heartily sick of it or (b) out of boxes and not willing to go get more. Whatever Lut and I don't pack, the movers can pack. Hopefully, if we rack up 15 or 20 boxes of stuff, there won't be much left that the movers will have to handle. I'm pretty sure both moving services charge by the hour, so whatever we get done will save us a bit of money.
My experience has been that it's that last bit of packing -- the last five or ten boxes -- that's the worst. By the time I get that much done, I've started thinking "There can't be that much left to do". Yes, there is. There always is.
Well, this time I can stick the movers with doing that last five or ten boxes. I'll do the easy early ones.
Or something like that.
I need to get some wardrobe boxes. Lut can probably get by with just one, but I bet I'll need at least three, and that's if I cram them in tightly. Heh. It's probably a good idea to get those myself; moving services tend to charge a premium for providing boxes, and wardrobe boxes are the expensive kind anyway.