The thing about moving, see, is that it’s all about boxes. Finding boxes, sorting boxes, packing boxes, loading boxes, moving boxes, unloading boxes, unpacking boxes, re-sorting boxes, and getting rid of boxes.
When I moved out to Virginia from California, I wasn’t sure how long I’d be staying. I was a bit nervous about lopsided Baptist-to-Hippie ratio. I figured I might either need to skip town in the middle of the night, or be chased out by an angry mob wielding the proverbial pitchforks and torches. Turns out neither happened; I lived in the same place for six years in a row, which set a new record for me. (I moved a lot as a kid.) But, yeah, so anyway, I saved most of my boxes when I moved here. Half I put in my basement, half in my attic. Alas, I didn’t take into consideration how damp and moldy my basement was, nor how many burrowing, gnawing little critters there would be in my attic. So much for planning ahead.
So, I’ve been doing some box work lately–trying to air out some of the moldy ones, patch up some of the nibbled ones, and gather as many free used ones as possible. Luckily I know people who work at places like Lowe’s and the college bookstore. My dining room has become the staging area where I sort out all my boxes as I figure out what will go where. It’s kind of a mess. It looks a little bit like this:
Here’s a valuable lesson I’ve learned over the many, many moves I’ve made: put heavy stuff in small boxes and light stuff in big boxes. Part two of this lesson is: BOOKS ARE HEAVY.
I have a lot of books. And files. And three-ring binders from classes and productions I’ve directed. Oh, and academic journals and theatre magazines. All of them are heavy. I’ve sifted through my stuff and got rid of two big, black “lawn and leaf” style trashbags full of stuff already. (No books, of course. Just journals, magazines, term papers students never came to pick up, and photocopies of stuff I finally admitted to myself I could live without.) After that great purge, here’s what I’ve got packed so far:
That’s 27 boxes. I mean, the little one on the top left doesn’t really count since it’s really just all the crap I cleared out of the drawers from my office desk. But still…that’s kind of a lot, right?
And I’m not done yet. I still have more to pack. Like this set of shelves in my living room:
Yeah, I also have books in two bedrooms, my study, my bathroom (yeah, I know), and even a few in my kitchen. In fact, the only reason I’m writing this blog right now is that I needed a break from packing books into boxes. I should get back to it.
Oh, and for the record, in case any of you digital generation kids out there are going to tell me I should get a Kindle or sell some of the books I don’t read anymore, lemme tell ya: it’s not gonna happen. I like how old books smell. A little smoky, a little earthy, and just the teensiest bit like slightly moldy boxes.