Yay! The week before last I flew back to Georgia to supervise the packing and shipping of all of our personal belongings. First I had to empty the storage unit and divide everything into two piles: one to go to the apartment and a second to go to another storage unit in Morgan Hill. I thought I did pretty well but since then I have been looking for some things that I should have put in the apartment pile that I did not. Anyway, I learned two lessons from this experience. I personally had packed many boxes (books etc) and had carefully labeled it all to put it in the storage unit in the first place- this part of the de-cluttering stage of trying to sell a house. I thought I had done well but I should have labeled EVERY side of any box which was fragile, as I learned that movers do not necessarily read one let alone every side of every box. So far, everything seems to have survived but we had unpacked very little... I am a bit concerned about the number of boxes that have crushed corners due to the straps the movers use to stack everything as high as the ceiling in their truck. But we'll see. Even some of those boxes packed by the packers seem to have suffered some of the same issues. Note that the packers and the movers were two different groups of people. I also discovered that packing my own boxes rendered those things uninsured in the move, as the packers could not guarantee I had packed them properly.
The second lesson I learned was to make sure that every box gets labeled more thoroughly than they actually were. "Garage contents" could, for example, range from gardening equipment to bike tools or beach chairs- it it going to be fun unpacking it all! I have already tried to find some things and had to break into several boxes- and that was just in the boxes in the apartment alone.
I also had to bring everything down from the loft space- not so easily done by one person alone. I did however find some of the original boxes were useful as they seem to protect some things better with their original packing materials.
The packers arrived bright and early and set to work in their assigned areas. That is also when you suddenly see things that should not be packed up (like used open bars of soap) or things that really should be packed in a more logical place but happened to be put away in the wrong place and therefore we won't find them again until we unpack a box and get a big surprise.
By lunchtime the packers seemed to be almost done, but then the movers arrived early with the truck they had to use to shuttle everything to the 18 wheeler. They were not able to drive the 18 wheeler around Berkeley Lake... My main regret there was that I was not able to see how they packed everything for the actual drive across the country (like the fragile boxes stacked near the bottom of the piles...)
The packers finally left at 4 pm and the movers finished their first shuttle load and I was free to go to bed very early.
The next day the packers came back and finished packing up the house and had left by noon. I did a final clean and check up of the house and then found three drawers of cutlery in the kitchen... I have no idea how we all missed them except they were from the kitchen island and we were using it as a desk to sign everything. I ended up having to pack an extra bag to bring back on the plane. I even put a note inside to warn the airport screeners just in case as there were all of my sharp knives in there!
It was strange because I didn't really feel much about leaving the house- I suppose it was because we were all (Dick, Pepper and I) in California. The hardest thing was that every time I was in the house I kept expecting to see our dear sweet Petey.
We actually closed on the house on May 25th.