Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Packing, day one

All being well (and, it being Cyprus, there's no guarantee at all...) we should have access to our new house on July 1st.

Since it's likely to be hot, and we're moving ourselves - albeit with help from friends - and there's nobody moving into the house we're currently renting, we plan to spend at least a week moving. Maybe longer. At first we'll probably do a bit of painting in the new house, since it's white everywhere (typical for this country) but we prefer a bit of colour here and there.

People have been asking us for weeks if we had started packing, and I had to admit we had just done a little de-cluttering. Not even much of that. Until we had a date, it all seemed rather pointless. Then about ten days ago Richard announced that we needed some parcel tape before we could do anything. I bought some while he was away (on a not very successful trip - details on his blog).

Yesterday I told him I had bought the tape. Perhaps a mistake on such a hot day (it was still 35C - 95F for those in the USA - by about 5pm) but he was immediately enthused. He went to collect several flattened packing boxes from the garage, and brought them in. In the evening, he started taping them together.

'Where are we going to put them?' I asked, with visions of boxes scattered randomly about the house for the next month, with the cats climbing over them, clawing them to pieces....

'In Dan's room,' he said. 'Until it's full. Then your study. Then Tim will have to move out of his room....'

Dan's room, we pointed out, was fairly full already with his drum kit, and Richard's PA system. So Richard re-organised it. He is brilliant at packing suitcases, shopping trolleys, and car boots, and last night demonstrated that he's also gifted at packing rooms. He thinks three-dimensionally. Within less than an hour, there was more floor space than I have seen in Dan's room for a long time. The PA was stacked neatly at one end. The drums were taken down, and moved out of the way.

'How are we going to pack?' I then asked. 'Should we think about it? Have a plan of some sort?'

No, it appeared we were going to decide what could easily be packed now, ensure each box was labelled and the contents listed elsewhere, and just go for it. So we put all the duvets and the spare pillows into one very large box. That was easy. Richard cleared one shelf of our random junk shelves, threw out various things we had kept in case they might come in useful, and packed barbecue tools, and some other random objects in another box. I dutifully listed them all.

Then we paused. He phoned our landlady to confirm that we're hoping to move in the first week of July. He made a couple of other phone calls too. Then he said perhaps it would be a good idea to have some kind of plan... how many rooms do we have?

I made it eight, including the bathroom. Nine, if we count the living room and dining room as separate. But then for packing purposes we also have to count the garage, the single basement work-room, the corridor where the random shelves are, and the garden. Thirteen in all. OK, said Richard, we need to completely pack three rooms per week, including this week, and since there's not much in the garden we can just take that stuff after we've done the house.


Then we realised there's not much we can do in the garage - it's mainly in boxes already, so no point moving them in the house. Nor do we have much in the basement. And the bathroom only has one large cupboard, with towels and loo rolls and so on, which is probably the last thing to be packed before we move out, and won't take long anyway.

Still, ten 'rooms'. We went through them, listing what packing needs to be done. Most of them read something like this:

stuff in bureau

pictures on walls

random stuff on shelves

No single item will take very long - we hope - but adding them all up gives rather a lot of packing in the next three-and-a-half weeks. Most rooms have at least two or three full bookcases, for instance. And 'stuff in bureau' is a fairly major amount of clobber to be sorted and packed.

By the time we had finished it was 10pm, and still hot. We were tired, so he quickly moved the various boxes to Dan's room, and gave up for the night.

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