I move a couple times per year – not myself but other people. Not counting college dorm rooms, I move my own place of residence only about once per decade, and even then only if you include a move from one house to another on the same property: in the 80s I bought a property with two cottages on it and in the 90s moved from the smaller to the larger. This is pretty static by modern standards. Moreover, most of the moves have been local. I live 10 miles from where I was born, 4 from where I went to high school, and 3 from the family cemetery section where there’s a vacancy. (I wasn’t involved in that purchase, but there it is.) Nonetheless, my friends always remember who has a truck and an as yet uninjured back, so rarely does a year go by without putting my GMC and my latissimi dorsi to use in a move: most recently a week ago.
I usually get tagged for the large heavy pieces. I actually prefer these, for even though they are…well…large and heavy they are therefore few in number so the endeavor is over soon. (Friends who have lots of large heavy objects hire professional movers; no one yet has made an utterly unreasonable request for my help.) I invent excuses to avoid the tedious packing and moving of the usual small sundries from water glasses to sweat shirts. The one occasion when I regretted handling only the big items was when a friend (you know who you are) moved into a fourth floor walk-up. We carried up the steps a foldout couch that to account for the weight must have been made of uranium.
The few times I have moved on my own behalf have convinced me not to do it again without necessity. I’ll stay where I am for as many years as I can, but the cost – particularly NJ’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes – of retaining the family home as I presently do is unsustainable in the long run. So, necessity eventually will arrive, assuming John Maynard Keynes’ remark about the long run isn’t applicable first. I’m not looking forward to it – either possibility actually, though one of them is less work. The most daunting task will be disposing in some way of all the stuff that won’t make the move with me. The barn alone, despite my ongoing multiyear effort to diminish its contents, still abounds (my dad was a builder) with such sundries as mismatched trim, shingles, random hardware, window screens that fit no windows, mismatched cabinets, and (yes, really) a kitchen sink.
I had a foretaste of this kind of effort when I closed my business office a couple years ago: the removal of desks, copiers, steel file cabinets, and so on. I MacGyvered a makeshift block and tackle to get the heaviest cabinets down from the second floor. It’s not something I wish to repeat or that I’d recommend for the joy of it.
A track from a George Thorogood cd that was playing on my stereo earlier today not only inspired this blog but might contain good advice for my next home. (The song originally was Hank Williams I believe.) So long as it has wifi, a doghouse might not be so bad. It’s cozy and the move after that would be simple indeed.