Our last post brought us up to Crunch Time, those last few hours where all the rubber hits the road hard. In this case Crunch Time was the 24-hour period where the UPack van arrived, followed early the next morning by the labor hired through InMove, a local moving services company.
Between the van arrival on Wednesday, and the labor arrival Thursday morning, we took advantage of the fact that the facility closes tight at 9PM, when nobody can roam the building or the property until 6AM the next morning. We moved organized piles of stuff into the loading bay close to the van, giving us the opportunity to separate out things we really want to have access to on our arrival. If we directed the 3 men who we hired to load that stuff into the “nose” (front) of the van, that same stuff would come off the van last on the other end when it all goes into a storage unit in Florida. In that way it ends up nearest the door to the unit, and accessible. Things like our 2 kayaks, Ginger and Maryann (see the previous blog), all the stuff for kayaking, our comfy camping chairs, wardrobe boxes with more clothing, Wendy’s sewing cabinets, my tool boxes and bench drawers, all the things we will no doubt slap our forehead at some point while saying “I wish we hadn’t packed that….”
We also made several piles of different sizes of boxes that could be stuffed, Tetris-style, into cavities in the loaded van; super light stuff that can be packed way up high in the load; linens and pillows packed in garbage bags that can be stuffed around other stuff to take up space, etc. If you can eliminate the empty spots, you can stabilize the load and keep things from breaking or scratching too much.
In doing this we supercharged the first hour of van loading, which was costing us $155/hr for the 3 strong young men. We hired them for a 5-hour window, which started at 8:30AM when they arrived. But by 11:00 they were done. I had worked hours on an engineering plan to most efficiently fit all the stuff into the van, and hopefully save us some money, and within 2 minutes of starting I threw the plan into the trash. I had challenged them to fit the entire load into 22 feet of the 28-foot van, and the boss of the crew had assured me they would need the entire 28 feet. The boss came to us at 10:45 and announced that if we could “do without” the 2 blue upholstered desk chairs, he could save us 2 feet. I did the quick math and noted that 2 feet was $288. We bought those chairs on Craigslist for $25. “Put ‘em in the dumpster” I said. I went out a few minutes later and saw that they had managed to fit them nicely into the existing pile by reorganizing it and we got the chairs AND the $288. It was a good day.
It was strange but invigorating to see the end of the job.
It all happened so fast it was hard to believe we were finally about done. A long year-and-a-half had come down to the wire. The van was picked up and our lives shifted earnestly to the east.
We retired to our new home by the Lake (Pleasant),
where our lives were dominated by the geese. We were visited daily, right about dinner time, by 3 adults that escorted 35 babies of graduated ages from tiny hatchlings to gawky “teenagers” that would be ready to start stretching and trying their wings within a couple of weeks.
We have a little guest, who will likely feature prominently on our journey. Meet Racy Lacy, whose twin, Fancy Nancy, lives with Robin, Wendy’s BFF “Storage Friend” (another story entirely). Lacy lounges around the rig, gazing at us and out the window at the geese and the lake. I’ll see if we can coax some comments out of her in the future.
And, of course, Tippy always has to get his $.02 in.