Monday, February 7, 2011

on cardboard boxes.

last night, i had a dream.

well, actually a nightmare.  first, it is important to note that i actually slept long enough to dream, and i woke up remembering said dream (er, nightmare).  [insert brief moment of silence in honor of jack's amazing sleep habits as of late.  he drifts off around 8-9 p.m. each night, and sleeps until 6-7 a.m. each morning.  it is wonderful.]

but now, back to the nightmare.  i dreamed that all of our household goods and furnishings were mixed up in random cardboard boxes, and i couldn't find anything.  my breastpump was MIA, jack's bottle warmer was smashed to smithereens in the bottom of a u-haul, and his prized sleep noises giraffe was lost in the shuffle.  i awoke in a panic, feeling sweaty and anxious.  it took me a few minutes to realize it was a dream, only a dream (ahem, nightmare).

but as they say, everything happens for a reason, and i do believe my subconscious was trying to kick my butt in gear with this nightmare.  we have about two months to organize, purge and pack our house before moving day, and truth be told, it will probably take the better part of that time.  (we bought a house.  yay!  but now we have to pack and move.  ehhhh.)

everything takes about a million times longer when little people (a.k.a babies) are involved.  prior to jack, i could fold an entire basket of laundry in 2 minutes flat.  now, i have to make silly faces and play peek-a-boo in order to keep jack occupied so he forgets that i'm not holding, but rather folding.  christmas decorations have been taken down, but (as of february 7) are still not put away.  they are slowly moving from the living room to the spare bedroom and soon (hopefully) back into storage.  we're on baby time. 

since the year 2002, i've moved approximately 14 times.  yes, 14.  from college dorms to tiny apartments to this house, i like to think that i've honed my packing skills.  i've upgraded from huge garbage bags full of clothes when i left my dorm room freshman year to actual boxes secured with packing tape!  but no amount of list-making, box-labeling, or bubble-wrapping can ever completely assuage the beast that is moving.  horrid memories of moves gone by still linger in my not-too-distant memory, etched like scars that just won't fade.  when i moved from college to law school, i stopped counting the endless trips from the third floor apartment to the jam-packed u-haul.  on one of these trips, my right foot slipped, and i fell down a few stairs, twisting my ankle.  it swelled to high heaven, and i spent the rest of the move watching john place boxes in haphazard fashion in our new home.  it was too much for my control-freak, perfectionist nature to take.  the move from southern illinois to iowa was the longest and, by far, the worst of these more than a baker's dozen moves.  i was more than a little stressed out about the iowa bar exam, which was looming about 4 weeks away at the time.  i enlisted the help of my siblings (john stayed behind in our empty apartment for a few more weeks of work), and we packed a semi-sized budget truck and headed north.  i remember the pure exhaustion, the marathon 24 hours of loading, followed by 10 hours of driving a humongous truck with engine problems, rounded out with endless hours of unpacking and arranging.  the heat and humidity combined with bar studying almost culiminated in a meltdown.  it is a memory i do not treasure.  it is a memory i do not want to repeat.

but i am nothing if not proactive, and i have devised a solution to this pesky problem.  today marks day one of my get rid of all unnecessary shit campaign.  i plan to eliminate a great deal of accumulated crap, all while singing nursery rhymes to my baby.  i am also creating a numbering system, complete with a handy chart, in which i number each box, and keep a list of what each numbered box contains.  yes, i know this is crazy.  yes, i know that the control freak, perfectionist in me should be bitch slapped, but this list will calm my nerves, and eliminate any potential crazed rampages brought on by a "where the hell is that colander?" question, or a  "where did you put the washcloths?" inquiry.  i am pulling out all the stops for this, our final move for the foreseeable future. 

any favorite moving tips and/or tricks for one crazed, ocd mama?  i'd be much obliged.