A moving experience

imagesMy brother, sister-in-law and I have been helping my mom move into her new condo home all weekend. We’re not done yet, but I almost am. This moving stuff is hard work!

A few observations:

1 ) A sister-in-law with a cast on her right leg and hobbling around on crutches, is not able to help a great deal. She can unpack boxes – but only if you bring them to her and you put the unpacked things away for her. This limits her usefulness. She also takes up a lot of space. But she makes up for this with her unfailing good humour and constant funny comments.

2 ) A very tall, broad, strong brother is a definite asset when moving. Bonus points for his truck, too.

3 ) Another sibling bonus is learning that he is just as particular as you are about furniture placement and what looks good where. About the only difference between the way the two of you operate is that he measures very carefully whereas you simply eyeball it. But it works. When items are placed perfectly, you are both in instant agreement. You briefly consider starting up a home staging business with him.

4 ) A daughter with a Honda Fit is another plus. Particularly if she doesn’t need her car that day because she walks to work, so she kindly allows you to use it to transport her grandma’s precious china. With the rear seats down, those Fits can swallow whales, you believe. Or at least about a hundred and twelve boxes of breakable china.

5 ) Some buildings have way too many locked doors to get anywhere easily. And your mother now lives in one. The door to the stairs from the lobby is locked. The elevator needs a key to get to the parking garage. There are several locked doors between the parking garage and the elevator. Your mother is pleased with all the security and says she won’t mind using her key so much. She should try it carrying about a hundred and twelve boxes of china up to the third floor, one at a time. She may mind then.

6 ) Many seniors just love watching people move. You are convinced that those seniors all live in your mom’s building. On moving day, they congregate on the lobby couches and watch you go in and out, chatting amongst themselves and with you as you pass. One woman, who is a member of the building’s strata council, is the designated person to keep the lobby doors open and ensure that no one gets in who should not be in. She is hilarious, and you would really rather just sit and listen to her tell funny stories all afternoon – but no, you have about a hundred and twelve boxes of china to carry upstairs.

7 ) Having no phone hooked up yet is a major headache. This means that when your daughter arrives later in the evening to join the family for dinner, she cannot call you from the front door enterphone, nor can you buzz her in. She ends up shouting your name angrily from three stories below, and you have to hustle downstairs and apologize profusely as you let her in. It never occurs to either of you to use your mobile phones.

8 ) It’s really important to have extension cords. Many extension cords. This is because some buildings do not have electrical outlets in logical places. Buildings like your mom’s. Logical places like on the long walls rather than on the short walls. Because appliances requiring these electrical outlets are more likely to be placed on the longer walls where furniture actually fits, rather than on the shorter walls where only something the size of a toaster will fit. Oh – and why would there be a telephone jack in the middle of a dining room wall? Would any sane person actually have a phone in their dining room? (Assuming their phone line was hooked up, of course.)

images-1 I’ve now decided that I will not ever be moving until I am so old and decrepit that DD must put me in a care home. That way I will likely avoid doing any of the work.


10 responses to “A moving experience

  1. God knows! I was amazed myself. Perhaps they were magical elevators!

  2. my ex mother in law lives in a condo in Victoria and it is like a Mensa puzzle when we go and visit her. There are so many rules just for parking and getting in and out of the building and up and down in the lifts.

    Naturally we break them all because we are ignorant foreigners who don’t know no better. Curtains twitch. A lot.

    She recently had the bones in her feet broken to realign some previous damage to her feet and the week they sent her home the elevators were scheduled for maintenance and out of order for a fortnight. Not funny.

    • katyboo – Your poor ex-MIL! Two weeks for maintenance on elevators?? Sounds a little excessive – did they need to be entirely rebuilt from scratch?

  3. Jazz – Would airfare to Montréal be included in the compensation package? My brother also drinks a lot of beer. He prefers Rickard’s Red. I like champagne.

    Irene – Mom has so much china because she used to work in the china department of a major department store and bought it all at a discount. I don’t know why – she has only ever brought it out at Christmas or Thanksgiving.

    bevchen – Yes, big strong (and preferably good-looking and truck-owning) men to carry the big heavy furniture are indispensable! We had three of them, and they were absolutely worth every dollar they were paid.

    XUP – I don’t think I like moving per se, but I do enjoy all the organizing of a new home. It doesn’t even have to be my move – I just like placing furniture, organizing kitchens and closets, hanging pictures, etc.

    hannah – It actually was entertaining, you’re right. It looks like Mom has some very friendly, interesting and active neighbours – and my brother and I seem to have met them all over the past several days!

    VioletSky – My mom did all her packing herself , a box or two a day, over a period of two months, because she needed to weed out her crap by herself. And fortunately, her condo is right around the corner from both the elevator and the stairs, so it’s quick access. Except for all those damned locked doors.

  4. Like XUP, I like moving and starting over. But after my mother sat in her lounger and watched me pack up slightly less than 112 boxes of china, and said “you enjoy doing this, don’t you?”, I started to wonder… She moved into an apartment that was a very long way down an endless hall. She thought it would be a good way for her to get exercise.

  5. Sounds like a pain, but at least you were entertained right? 😉

  6. 112 boxes of china? That seems like a lot for one old lady in a condo. I love moving. All the clearing out and packing up. I like it when everything is neatly in labelled boxes ready to go. I like discovering the quirks and foibles of a new home; exploring the new neighbourhood and the new neighbours. I can’t wait until I can move again — probably not for another couple of years…

  7. I’ve decided that when I move out of my flat I need some big strong men to come over and help me. I still vividly remember the pain of helping Jan to carry furniture up to my flat (3 flights of stairs, no lift). No way I am carrying it back down. I’ll drop it down the stairs – I know I will.

  8. I’ve sworn I will never move from my 2 bedroom, downstairs apartment and after reading this, I am sure I won’t. Bravo to you and your brother and your sister in law for taking it on. Does your mother really need all that china?

  9. I think if ever I move, I want and your brother to come do it for me.

    Thank you.