It felt like pushing an elephant uphill on roller skates (the elephant wearing them, not me.) You couldn't relax for an instant or the whole thing would come rolling back on you. Initially I tried to force going through everything and deciding what was going and what wasn't BEFORE we packed it but I had to give that up or else we'd never have gotten out of there. There was a LOT of *stuff* that just got boxed up and labeled "Good Intentions" with a promise they would be gone through and sorted.
Before the move I must have taken 7 or 8 full loads of my Tracker to the local Goodwill, making certain to get a receipt. It got to where they started recognizing me which was funny and mortifying at the same time. SINCE we moved I have taken another 2 full loads with at least one more on the plate this week.
We had talked about getting movers to do the heavy lifting, mostly because I did NOT want to lug boxes of books and heavy furniture down and up steps. Getting my couch up Lisa's steps and making the necessary 90 degree turn nearly broke Lisa and I up before I had even moved in. I was not about to repeat the experience.
However the quote that came back on Saturday startled the cheapskate in me enough to where we went to UHaul ostensibly to get boxes, we wound up reserving a truck for the next Monday and going out to talk to the day laborers who hang out there trying to drum up work.
My Spanish is oh so rusty but I felt it was good enough to go talk to a few of them and find out how much per hour they are. I stopped the car and got out walking up to meet them and was instantly surrounded by a group of very brown, very STRONG men.
Lisa from the car described the scene as similar to one opening up a bag of chips on the boardwalk in front of a flock of seagulls.
More and more guys kept running up and I kept backing up. I told them I didn't need any help today, I was going to be back on Monday but wondered how much an hour they were. They kept wanting to give me their numbers...or me to give mine...none of which I was having. I finally got $15 an hour out of them and hightailed it back to the car.
The rest of the weekend was cramming everything into boxes. Once I decided to just give up on sorting stuff it actually went a lot quicker and I felt a lot less angry. It also helped having some friends come over. No slacking off when friends are around helping to pack!
Monday morning rolled around and we still weren't QUITE done but we went off to get the truck anyway figuring if we got all the BIG stuff in the truck we could come back and do some little loads in my SUV. As we pulled into the UHaul place to get the truck some of the day laborers recognized us from Saturday and came running up to us.
There was one guy I recognized, the one I had talked to most on Saturday and picked him. There was another guy that was HUGE so I picked him and then I felt bad because two more guys were really vying for me and we only needed 3 so I did a quick eenie meenie miney moe.
I had thought we would be directing the process but within 3 minutes back at the house I realized the best thing we could do was just get the heck out of their way. These guys FLEW. I couldn't believe the weight they were carrying and how tightly packed they got the truck. It was like Hulk meets 3D Tetris master.
Lisa and I were frantically stuffing things into boxes trying to stay ahead of them. I was reminded of a zillion scenes in movies where a character is trying to out run or out drive a crumbling road/bridge behind him.
Quickly the truck filled up so we all went over to the new place and the guys again started to fly, this time UP the stairs. Lisa stood in front telling them "Bedroom. Kitchen. Front Room, Bathroom. Studio" directing where the boxes and furniture went. I went down the street to get some burritos for everybody.
When the truck was empty we sat down and ate and talked a little bit. They helped me a little with my Spanish which again, is woefully rusty. We headed back to the old place and started filling it up again, this time with stuff from the basement. It seemed to go a little quicker (less stuff downstairs that up) but a lot more awkward and heavy items. The dryer for one and my filing cabinet for another as well as Lisa's very long, very heavy bookshelf.
I checked my watch when it all was unloaded and the whole process had taken a little under 5 hours...which had included lunch. Rather than trying to figure out how much we owed them I peeled off three $100.00 bills and handed one to each of them thanking them profusely and giving them a ride back to the UHaul place. I told my folks later that was some of the best money I have ever spent. I shudder to think how long it would have taken Lisa and me.