Thursday, September 4, 2014

Getting Here: Moving Part 1

In honor of our shipment arriving tomorrow, I thought I'd start recapping the moving process. This was by far the easiest move I've ever done, but it's also the only time I was without my stuff for a month.  The movers began packing us up early on the morning of August 1 and finished late in the day on August 2.  Once it was loaded on a truck, our shipment was driven to Washington and then sailed to the port of Anchorage.  Tomorrow they'll bring it to our house and unwrap everything.  That part is critical because they used at least 300 pounds of paper to pack us and that would be a lot of trash to get rid of in the 64 gallon trash can I ordered from Alaska Waste (which sounded big when I ordered it but only holds two bags).

The movers were originally scheduled to start a day earlier but the assigned crew leader slipped a disc in his back and the company couldn't find a replacement in time. The newly assigned crew showed up Friday morning and consisted of Miss Tex, packer extraordinaire, and a helper whose name escapes me and was a man of few words.

The move crew had a well planned process. They thought of everything, even how to move our glass top table.  A separate company actually came out and built a custom crate for it complete with a shock measuring device.  They diligently worked their way from room to room wrapping everything in brown paper (enter the 300 pound estimate).


We appreciated the thorough labeling and wrapping, but the wrapping made items quadruple in size; hello giant beach bag and massive stack of blankets.
Nathanial and I weren't quite sure what we were supposed to do while the crew was packing so we stayed out of the way playing on our iPads. We checked in with them frequently to make sure they were doing ok. An older gentleman named Nick was in charge of quality control and stopped by several times throughout the process to ensure things were going smoothly.  He kept telling us we were the most laid back couple he had ever moved which only reinforced that we didn't know what we were doing.

The first awkward moment happened when Miss Tex asked to use the restroom and we didn't have any toilet paper.  Oops. We used the last of it that morning and you don't buy groceries when you're about to move.  Don't worry, we got some before the day was over (thanks Mom & Dad). The only other awkwardness was when I realized the male packer was working on our closet and dresser which meant he was the one packing my underwear.

The move crew was with us for two full days so we got to know them pretty well.  Tex told us some funny stories about other moves she had done including moving a quilt collector to Alaska.  She said it took two entire days to wrap the quilts alone. Luckily the only collections we have are small and the packing went relatively fast.



Probably the most difficult part of the move so far was deciding what to keep with us.  We had to pack for two very different climates (100's in Texas and 50's in Alaska) and needed to be prepared to camp out for several weeks.  My wonderful brother and sister-in-law graciously let us crash at their house for 3 weeks so I only needed to pack a few towels and one set of sheets for when we arrived in Anchorage. Nathanial did a good job packing an appropriate balance of work and casual clothes for both climates.  Of course it helped that button ups are his go to for any occasion. I did a little worse on the packing end. I didn't keep enough work clothes and had to repeat some outfits.

We kept 4 large suitcases and 5 carry ons with us. Only 2 suitcases had clothes. The others were important documents and keepsakes that couldn't be replaced.  I managed to fit almost everything under the bed in the guest room at Jason & Sarah's.  That plan worked out well until the flat sheet got caught on a suitcase and I ripped it in a cold moment in the middle of the night.

Here are the bags we kept after we landed in Anchorage.  Yes it does look like a scene from the Beverly Hillbillies.


Miss Tex told us our move was about about 6700 pounds and most houses they do are about ten to twelve thousand.  That information made me feel good about our purging efforts before hand. 

 
Poorly disguised living room furniture.


In Part 2, I'll recap what we did in our weeks of homelessness.  Here are some more pictures of the move out.

Our stuff all lined up. Our neighbor's trike stayed put.

On the final day of the move, we had three moving trucks. It makes me wonder what kind of fleet bigger shipments need.

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