The first step in the moving process is to decide where to move. I have known my friend Scott since I was three and I have even gone so far as to travel to Germany with him to visit his parents. Scott lives in Loveland and he mentioned how he needed a new roommate. I thought about it for a few days, and eventually I called Scott back and asked if there was any way I could move in with his parents in Germany. Don’t get me wrong– I think Scott is a great guy, but his mom is a way better cook and most experts agree that Germany has a much better ultra-high speed train network than, say, Loveland, Colorado.
One of the keys to a successful move is to be disciplined and organized. Unfortunately for me, both of these attributes were permanently damaged in a prepubescent winter sledding accident. Despite this handicap, I tried my best to prioritize my belongings to make packing as efficient as possible. Here is a list of actual items I found during the inventory process:
One half eaten box of Total cereal with an expiration date of May 1997.
One empty bottle of shampoo with instructions in some foreign language.
A set of used check carbons from SIX addresses ago.
A zip-lock bag full of obsolete Dutch coins with an estimated value of seven dollars (minus the cost of transporting them back to Holland)
These items were carefully packed first using liberal quantities of crumpled up newspaper and bubble wrap. Once that was complete and double checked, I addressed the rest of my stuff.
One of the problems with packing is that I started with the things I cared about the most. All my clothes and electronic equipment were carefully packed and labeled in boxes to make sure nothing was thrown away or misplaced. On moving day all of this was ready to go. First we picked up the couch and placed it in the truck. The next two trips took care of my bedroom furniture. After twenty minutes all of my furniture, clothes, and electronic equipment was loaded up and ready to go. The problem, of course, was the rest of the crap that had accumulated in my apartment over the past three years– stuff that I didn’t want to throw away, but I didn’t care enough to actually pack. The good intentions I had at the beginning of the process gave way to me running around my apartment haphazardly throwing random objects into garbage bags so I could deal with it all later. The last bag I packed contained– and I am being totally honest here– a Harley Davidson calendar, a handful of razor blades, and my Fred and Barney Fruity Pebbles cardboard cutout.
Most fine wines improve with age. The same is not true for U-Haul trucks. I’m guessing the monster I rented reached its peak somewhere around 1977 based on the painting on the side of the truck of an old fashioned American flag and the phrase “U-Haul: Helping American celebrate her bicentennial.” Now I see why it was the only truck in Boulder available to rent. Everything squeaked and rattled in exactly the way I thought it shouldn’t. On the way to Loveland I looked on the dash and noticed the vehicle had been driven 116,000 miles. Of course there were only six digits on the odometer. I strongly suspect it had been flipped three, if not four, times. And by “it” I mean the entire truck.
Despite the truck’s best efforts to spontaneously disassemble into its 40,000 original parts in the middle of Highway 287, we made it to Loveland without any problems. I even got the hang of the odd standard transmission which had reverse where first gear should be, overdrive where reverse usually is, and third gear crammed into the glove compartment with a hastily written note saying, “Don’t use this until we get it back into the transmission box. Have a nice day.”
Unpacking everything in Loveland went pretty smoothly. The biggest problem was by the time we unpacked all the crap I didn’t really care about, we were all pretty much exhausted. No matter how much I think about it, I couldn’t find a way to unload the front and bottom most section of the truck first. Having survived the move, I would recommend the following simple two step process to anyone else who plans on changing their residency in the near future. 1. Spend half an hour moving the most important things into the moving truck. 2. Unfortunately, the state of Colorado still considers things like “lighting your apartment on fire” and “insurance fraud” to be “illegal”, but I’m sure you can connect the dots.