The moving nightmare

Maybe you’ve outgrown your current living space, or you decided that you need a change of environment, or your priorities have changed to criteria no longer offered in your current place. So now you’ve made your decision – it’s time to move. Such was the case with me recently when I decided to move to Hoboken. After several months of checking listings online, in local newspapers, and with brokers, my heart’s desire at the right price, location, and amenities popped up. So I forged ahead.

Great, my new home at last. While that ordeal may have been put behind, another nightmare much worse cropped up – the actual move. “I’ll make it easier this time,” I said to myself. “I’ll begin by throwing out what I don’t need and when the time comes I’ll plan strategically by marking boxes listing the contents. After all, I’ve hired a mover to do the heavy stuff like the furniture and some of the heavily packed boxes. I’ll take my clothes from the closets and put them in plastic bags. Easy, right?”

Baloney – the ordeal was only just beginning.

We all know that living creatures reproduce, but apparently so do some objects; namely, clothes. I filled up three large garbage bags and hauled them to the car only to discover upon my return – it appeared that nothing had been removed. In fact, on a second look it appeared that more clothes remained in that closet than before I started.

“Have they multiplied?” I asked myself. Adding insult to injury, items I never realized I owned popped up.

Finally, just a day or even hours before the movers appeared, I thought I was finally finished, only to discover that other items like that old vacuum cleaner or some old pillows were staring me in the face. Items that were stashed away for keepsake. Well, they were no longer a keepsake, I thought to myself in disgust while on the brink of a nervous breakdown.

Like their predecessors, they went directly into file 13, the garbage. No gym or treadmill could compete with those weeks of endless trips back and forth to the Dumpster. Every time I turned around thinking a task was completed, another object kept coming up. Then after everything was ready, I discovered an unpaid bill and suddenly realized that I needed a stamp and an envelope. While large quantity items like books and music material were marked in cartons accordingly, a few boxes comprised of odds and ends not warranting individual boxes were marked miscellaneous. Now gazing at these duct taped sealed boxes I yelled out, “Which one has my stamps and envelopes?” Embarrassed, I found a neighbor willing to spare those extras.

Shortly after the movers had left, I decided to relax in my new home with a sip of a cold beverage just removed from the refrigerator, only to discover that I needed a glass. “Oh, no, where did I pack my drinking glasses and cups,” I screamed out, while my tongue was hanging out, dying of thirst. Disgruntled, I decided to slit all the boxes, only to discover that my knives were also packed away in one of them. Then I looked for my scissors, finally recalling that I had placed them in the trunk of my car along with other last-minute items. In preparing my first meal in my new home, I then realized my silverware had vanished. In fact, it appeared to be missing permanently since everything was now unpacked. Desperate, I headed to a supermarket for plastic utensils to tie me over. Emotionally and physically drained, I concluded that this is it. The next move is to the cemetery. The only consolation was losing about four pounds.

Now several months later, in looking back I ask myself if it was worth it. Do I have any regrets?

“Absolutely not,” is my response. I can sit back, relax, and say to myself, “Welcome to Hoboken, Elaine.” – Elaine Kabat

Elaine Kabat is a writer currently living in Hoboken.