When I moved to Maine from New York City four years ago, there were 60-plus boxes of books. Because the upcoming move to Oregon is a lot farther and I'm on a tight budget, I sold about half my books which are the weightiest items. Here's what was accomplished on Friday – 15 boxes of books with only about six or eight more still to be filled from other rooms.
I'm quite pleased with myself and those empty shelves make me feel like a lot of progress was made. That's not really true, but having that much cleared space has energized me to keep at it, a few boxes each day for the next three weeks.
On Friday, I hired an excellent helper, Waring Cutler, who had been one of the painters when I was preparing the apartment for sale. Here he is hard at work packing those books.
I cleared out the drawers and lower cupboards of the sideboard of an amazing amount of junk (among it, 40-odd VHS cassettes; I don't even own a VHS player anymore). Waring hauled it all to the dump, including a lot of other stuff from around the apartment. More empty space - which is the overall goal.
I'll hire Waring again a couple of days before the moving van arrives to haul away everything else I've identified as drek. I did this before I left New York; it's amazing how much crap I have collected in four years.
But it's not all junk. Look at this elegant pair of dress-up, evening slippers I found buried under a lot of other stuff on a closet shelf.
I remember buying them, but they have never been worn, sitting forgotten all this time on that shelf. Sometimes, packing is like Christmas morning. Near those shoes, I also discovered the head scarves I spent months trying to find and finally presumed had been tossed in one of my rare fits of closet tidiness.
Waring helped me pull out the china from the highest shelves. These are mostly heavy, serving pieces and a lot of extra teacups that would have taken me about 25 trips up and down a ladder to retrieve on my own.
I haven't used most of it in the four years I've lived here, so I'm washing them all before packing. I don't want grungy dishes to wash at the other end of the trip.
Normally, Ollie the cat hides under a bed when anyone visits our home, but Waring is one of the few people he likes and as the boxes piled up during the day, Ollie made careful inspections to be sure Waring's packing skills were up to snuff.
Packing isn't hard if you give yourself plenty of time; two or three boxes a day is not a burden. But as a concession to my age (and on the good advice of you, TGB readers, on previous posts), I hired Waring for the heaviest work.
It took him about eight or ten trips up and down the stairs to get the trash, some of it quite heavy, into his truck for the drive to the dump. It would have taken me well more than an hour carrying smaller loads and resting between trips. Waring did it in 15 minutes.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Walt Grant: Tomboy Hero