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24 May 2011

Zen and The Art of Moving Often


The key to moving is less stuff. I enjoy purging more than acquiring. I sold everything I could from my current house, the sofa, the washer and dryer, two beds, and some bar stools. I made daily trips to Goodwill. Nostalgia isn’t worth as much as cash in your pocket. I bought new furniture. I saved on the moving expenses because the furniture company delivered. I also occupied both places simultaneously and moved in stages, creating the ideal conditions for sterilizing the new home.

Strategically, the first thing I moved was recycled wrapping paper, three thin totes of it to my bedroom closet. Next I moved a plant, a big one. I left it on my kitchen counter, hopefully doing some kind of carbon dioxide, oxygen exchange thing to the air in the place. Of course I cleaned thoroughly first. Not a nice organic clean, but a chemical spill instead. The idea of living in someone else’s stale germs caused shallow breathing, racy blood swelling in my brain, and a dull ache in my left breast.

I usually have a cleaning person handle this, but my wallet suggested I do it this time. After a few hours on my first mission, with plastic gloves and facemask forgotten in the bag on the kitchen counter, entrenched in the depths of my stand up shower, I mixed the concoction, and then I remembered when I was younger on The Today Show or maybe Dateline, a report about people who died from mixing cleaning chemicals in improperly ventilated places. This new anxiety compounded with the bleach, mildew spray, Comet cleanser, and steam drove me from the house in a full blown sweaty palm, call 911, panic attack. After a series of meditative breathing exercises and a healthy self talk, “I don’t want to die today, I don’t want to die today…”, combined with curling up in a ball on my bed, I felt better.

I returned every day for 3 weeks, carrying one thing or another. A Pier One shelf made the cut. Amazon shipped me a front door mat. I bought new seagrass area rugs from Celadon. I mopped the floors and placed a bucket of Murphy’s Oil Soap and an open box of baking soda in the middle of the room.

In keeping with the staying high on household chemicals theme, I spent a few days reviving my wicker porch furniture. Six cans of white spray paint, indented and stained white pointer fingers, and some new cushions, this will be worthy of my new space. I thought a lot about my mother. She made chicken salad out of chicken s@*t every day. I start with organic chickens, no wonder I make gourmet meals. My teacher was a master.

Before

After

I repainted and carried over a toy bench George made for Jake.

John started moving the garage: kayaks, bikes, tool boxes. All very neatly organized in a wall mount system.

Jake walked in and said, "Welcome to Jake's Sporting Goods."

Drilling holes in concrete and hanging toys might be addictive.

Then the 4 Christmas totes for the attic, and a keepsake box for both Abbey and Jake. New blinds, new toilet seats, and more plants bring life to the vacant rooms.

A box or two moved, and a bike ride on the beach. Another box, and I sat on my deck watching the sunset.


Jake and Abbey helped at first. Using his toolbox, Jake removed all the old toilet seats, Abbey installed the new ones.

Abbey wasn't so invested on moving day. Instead, she played paintball for 6 hours with her friends. The next day, while everyone worked...

Abbey retreated to her virtual world.


And Jake wished for his iPod and wi-fi.

Vegetable container garden, beach toys, and winter clothes, all moved in one day.

Container Garden

Beach toys

Alex and John spent the weekend moving my heaviest pieces of furniture, a pine roll top desk, matching armoire, dresser, a cedar chest and two, extra-cumbersome beds. They moved boxes of miscellany and the dining room table too. Alex’s superhuman strength and John’s spidery superpowers made it look… actually it appeared extraordinarily difficult.

At one point Alex had the very heavy armoire resting on his chest and knee. Notice John straddling the banister?

My move in date is tomorrow. My new furniture was delivered today.

Ahhhh, settled in for summertime.


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