The Move

Aug. 13th, 2010 12:34 am
stevenpiziks: (Fountain)
The move started several days before the movers arrived.  We went through everything we owned, sold a bunch of stuff at a garage sale, and gave away a bunch more stuff.  And we flat-out threw away a whole mess of stuff.

We created a system: fill a box, put it in the garage.  Fill a box, put it in the garage.  It was move, move, move from morning until night for days.  And there were the sundry arrangements for utilities, mail, and other bits.  I despise Consumer Energy, who couldn't seem to confirm my identity (they copied some of my information down wrong, which red-flagged my account) and wouldn't switch the gas into my name for three days, meaning the landlord wouldn't give me a key right away.

Allison, who works in the credit department at Consumer Energy, is an illiterate, incompetent bitch.

Anyway, when the movers arrived on Monday, everything that was packable was packed.  The four-man team hustled everything into the huge truck with a minimum of fuss.  I like moving when someone else does all the heavy lifting.

And then we drove up to the new place in Wherever, and the movers brought it all inside.  They finished in far less time than estimated, probably because we'd done so much pre-moving.  We ended up paying a chunk less than the estimate, which was nice.

Then, of course, the real work began: unpacking.

It was particularly difficult because I'm now a single parent.  Kala helped with a couple of things, like getting Aran and Maksim's bunk bed set up, but after that it was me and the boys (and Mackie isn't really much help). 

Sasha did his own room, which was great.  Aran and Mackie did a large part of their room, too, once I gave them specifics on what needed to be done.  They even arranged furniture!

My first priority was the kitchen.  So much to unpack and place.  This kitchen is rather smaller than our old one, and it took time and creativity to set everything aright.  And there were interruptions--other things that needed doing Right Now.  The cable tech showed up to plug us in.  The boys had a doctor's appointment for school shots.  (Mackie only needed one, but was in tears over it.)  Trips to the store.  Occasional work stoppages to break down cardboard boxes in the garage.

Once the kitchen was done, I put my desk together.  Since I quite literally have a room of my own, I decided to combine office and bedroom.  My desk is complicated to assemble alone, but I managed it.  Set up the computer, plugged in the new DSL modem shipped by AT&T--and got no Internet.  Of course!  How often is plug and play =really= plug and play?

In the morning, I called AT&T to complain, and they offered to send a technician between four and eight o'clock, trapping me in the house for four hours.  He showed up at 7:30.  (But of course.)  It took considerable time to track down the problem and fix it, but now I have Internet.

At last, today only the garage remained.  I brought the boys out to it, and we organized the boxes that weren't being unpacked.  We assembled shelves, stored camping equipment, and stacked all the flattened boxes.  I'm keeping them all, since a bit of packing tape will make them good as new and usable for the next move.

We took a nice long swim in the complex's pool to celebrate being fully moved in.
stevenpiziks: (Default)
The movers arrive on Monday.  A great deal of the house is packed up, but there's still so much to do.  Tomorrow we have to dismantle my desk (whimper) and the boys' bed. And finish packing.

Can I haz summer break now?

Open House

Aug. 1st, 2010 11:18 am
stevenpiziks: (Default)
This morning we got up early (yet again--isn't this supposed to be summer break?) and set to work cleaning the house.  Kala had already shampooed the rugs yesterday, and I cleaned out my office in a big way.  Today was more, more, more.  Washing walls.  Scouring cupboards.  Mopping floors.  Washing windows.  Cleaning doors.  Everything.

But now it's all done!  The house is more sparkly than a Stephenie Meyer vampire.  Ready for the open house at 2:00.

Here's the listing: http://marjoriebolgos.reinhartrealtors.com/property/7521205

stevenpiziks: (Default)
The yard sale was mildly successful.  We got rid of some stuff, but not quite as much as we were hoping to.  So many clothes to donate now.  The karate equipment will go to the dojang--they can certainly use it.  The main thing is to figure out what to do with all the little stuff--the toys, the extra dishes, and so on.  I hate to throw them out, but we ain't takin' 'em with us.

The treadmill and the tandem and the china cabinet we'll list on CraigsList and Freecycle.  See what happens.

Yard Sale

Jul. 29th, 2010 05:17 pm
stevenpiziks: (Default)
We're holding a moving sale (since we're, you know, moving).

TIME: Friday and Saturday, July 30-31, 9-5. 

PLACE: Corner of Sheffield Drive and Ashton Court, Ypsilanti  48198 (Easy to find with MapQuest or GPS)

HIGHLIGHTS

--boys clothes of various sizes (for a twelve-year-old down to about a six-year-old) and adult clothes

--a treadmill (works, but won't fit in our new place)

--desk

--Armada 110 laptop

--Various DVDs, including complete seasons of BUFFY, ANGEL, several SF movies and kids movies

--Hardcover books by Janet Evanovich, Diane Mott Davidson, and others.  Paperbacks by Alexander McCall Smith, Phillip Pullman, and others.

--large china cabinet, dark wood, glass doors, comes in two pieces, perfect condition

--Shelving (wooden and plastic) of varying sizes

Our neighboring house is joining in, too, so they'll have a host of stuff as well!
stevenpiziks: (Default)
Today was Basement Day II.  (Basement Day I was cleaning out the utility room.)  The family room was on!

We went through all the stuff--toys, videos, games, everything.  Everything unwanted or unplayed with for more than six months was either pitched or put into the garage sale pile.  To facilitate pitching, I brought our wheeled garbage bin down into the basement.  By the end of the day, it was completely full.

The boys started the day with three bookshelves and a toybox filled with stuff.  By day's end, it was condensed into a single bookshelf.

The big challenge was bringing the treadmill upstairs into the garage for the sale.  We just won't have room for it in the new place.

Once everything was out, it was time to wash walls, sweep tile, mop floors.

We also have a large foyer in the basement at the bottom of the stairs.  This is where all the spiritual material is kept and my harp.  I went through all of it, tossed surprisingly little, put a fairly large box of it into the sale, and packed the rest away.  It packed down into three boxes, to my surprise, though this doesn't count the harp and my music.

Swept and mopped the foyer, too.

By then it was seven o'clock.  Showered--very dirty work, here--and threw together a quick supper of fried potatoes and sausage.

Done for the day now.  And the family room looks very, very different.  Much larger, and not lived in.
stevenpiziks: (Default)
So Kala, the boys, and I cleaned the garage today.  We pulled everything out, laid it in the driveway, and sorted what we're keeping, what we're leaving with the house, and what we're selling in the yard sale this weekend.  This only took about three hours, but it felt like all day!
 
Put everything back.  Stuff to sell is on appropriate shelves and tables, ready to be taken outside later.  Stuff to keep or leave is in its place.  Not quite as much junk was uncovered as I expected.
 
A huge pile of styrofoam was left over.  Our recycling service doesn't take it, so we put it into a bag in the garage until enough accumulates to justify a trip to the county recycling center, which due to unfortunate budget cuts has to charge $3 per visit.
 
Next it was a stop at the hardware store for some grass seed to hit some bare spots in the lawn, and then to a friend of Sasha's to pick up his bike, which was left there.  At home I had Mackie and Aran help me prep the bare spots on the lawn, spread the seed, and set up the sprinkler.
 
By then I needed a shower and a late lunch very badly!
 
Tomorrow: the basement family room.
stevenpiziks: (Noooo)
I have a lot of book.  A =lot= lot.  I mean, why not?  We have three bookshelves in the living room, three in the family room, and three in my office.  One year, the sprinkler system at the school library where I work accidentally went off, drenching most of the collection.  It dried, but even a whiff of mold renders a book worthless for a library (since it might spread), and the librarians announced "Free books!"  I came away with a whole lot of reference books.

And, naturally, we acquire books in the house for reading.  Three packed shelves hold children's books alone (which, naturally, means we have three children who don't like to read very much).

Now, however, we're moving.  And the place we're moving to is smaller.  And most of the reference books have been rendered obsolete by the Internet.  I have a thesaurus and a copy of BARLETT'S I got for high school graduation that I haven't opened in years, for example.

So it was time to thin the herd.  I went through the reference books and pulled almost all of them.  All the former library books went into the junk pile, unfortunately--they can't be donated, and they won't sell at a garage sell.  I kept a few--my folklore and fairytale library stayed, as did about half my Witchcraft library and most of my mythology library.   I can't look that stuff up on line so easily, or page through the Internet for inspiration.  The pair of 100-year-old volumes of Irish history stayed, as did several books on autism.  Everything that wasn't a library book went into the donation pile.

Then we turned to the fiction.  Only two types of books could stay: those that I knew I would read again and those that were autographed.  Everything else went into the donation pile.  I agonized over the Diane Davidson mystery books because I wanted the recipes, but then I realized I could find them on-line with a few mouse clicks, so into the donation pile they went.  (I know I won't reread them.)  All the Janet Evanovich books went.  Many, many mystery, science fiction, and fantasy books I liked but knew I wouldn't reread.

In the end, I filled seven boxes of books.  When I added up the donation value, it came to over $2,500.  Sheesh!

I still have a pile of books to haul to the trash.  Ohhh, it hurts.  Books are like the toys in the TOY STORY movies.  They have voices.  They beg to be read.  And what if I throw away a book and need to look something up in it later?  But no--that's the thinking of a hoarder.  They have to go.
stevenpiziks: (Default)
We need boxes. Lots and lots of boxes.  Kala and I have spent a couple nights driving the van through the alleys behind the stores of Ypsilanti looking for boxes.  Here's where the recycling trend has made things unfortunate.  In the old days, people just tossed boxes whole into the trash.  Nowadays, recycling services don't take boxes unless they're cut up or flattened, which makes it harder for us scavengers.  Some boxes can be restored with packing tape, but the ones that have been squashed flat are hopeless.

We're becoming experts on what areas are likely to have boxes, which areas won't, and which areas are best avoided altogether.  The alley behind one liquor store on Cross Street seems to be a favorite place for drunks looking for a place to pee and drug dealers sitting in their cars with their wares on display.  The strip club has one of the grossest dumpster areas I've ever seen, and I've worked fast food.  The costume shop in Depot Town throws out boxes labeled "Tommy Guns," "Monster Heads," and "Grenades," and I'm going to leave them on when we pack.  The food co-op has lovely boxes, but most of them are squished, so we're going to go in and ask when they unbox their stuff so we can have their nice, heavy boxes.

I kept waiting for a police officer to show up and shine his spotlight on us.  "We're getting reports of people skulking in back alleys.  Just what are you up to?"

"Er . . . just taking excess cardboard."

"I'll need to check for contraband corrugation.  Please step out of the van."

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