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You haul

Hudson Cooper - Columnist
Posted 10/22/20

America is on the move. I am not referring to the movements regarding politics, the economy and the environment.

Neither am I talking about the movements of Tectonic plates that cause …

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You haul


America is on the move. I am not referring to the movements regarding politics, the economy and the environment.

Neither am I talking about the movements of Tectonic plates that cause earthquakes, Mozart's classic “Prague” symphony nor the graceful arc of a well thrown curveball. I am talking about people physically packing up their belongings and moving.

After months of quarantine, many people have decided that moving to a new locale would provide a welcomed fresh start. Real estate agents have experienced a flood of potential buyers. For years houses stayed on the market with very few motivated buyers. Now bidding wars have developed for homes.

A lot of the desire to relocate stems from the current trend to work at home. If the head of the household does not have to daily go to the office, the internet and zoom conferences mean any place with Wi-Fi is acceptable.

Families who spend thousands a month renting a 2-bedroom apartment in a city can spend less than that on a mortgage for a large house in the country. In return they get ample living space, an opportunity to show their kids how Bambi and Thumper destroy a vegetable garden and a hands-on education about a variety of biting stinging insects.

Let us assume a trip to a realtor results in your family purchasing your dream house in a town with a name like Babbling Brooke or Upper Ritzfield. As the moving date approaches it is time to pack up your belongings. Going to a moving supply store such as “Box World” or “That's Just Crate” results in a purchase of a variety of many types and sizes of boxes which you will need for all the knickknacks and stuff you've acquired over the years. Sure, your current closets resemble a scene from “Hoarders” but that is why you bought all those cardboard containers.

Let the packing begin! You unfold some boxes and grab one of a dozen rolls of packing tape that the salesman in the overalls at the supply store recommended. Careful not to slice your fingers on the saw-like cutting edge and making a mental note to buy a First Aid kit, you spin the tape roll looking for the starting point.

A futile spin of the roll is followed by another in the opposite direction. Finally, your spouse, having mastered the mystery of unrolling Saran Wrap, uses a fingernail scraping technique to find the packing tape starting point. Using the tape, you secure a carton and start packing.

As you gently place items in it, you take your marking pen and make a list of its contents on the box lid. Every item gets included. “two boxes of staples, one paperback edition of Catch-22, a box of 12 unsharpened pencils, a 6-inch scissor, a collection of old TV Guides,” etc.

Soon that box gets full and it is on to the next one. Realizing that describing every knick and knack you own will take too long, you develop a shortcut when listing the contents. Instead of listing every individual item from the kitchen cabinet you simply write “Kitchen Stuff” figuring you will figure out where it goes when you are in your new kitchen. Same method is used on the “Bathroom Things” and “Junk Drawer” cartons.

Days later, as boxes begin to pile up in the hallway, you realize that the movers you hired will arrive in 3 days. You accelerate the packing process. So, you take the marking pen and begin to write “Miscellaneous” on each box. Even that becomes tedious and the rest of the boxes now say “Misc” or nothing at all.

After a while, the packed cartons line every nook and cranny in the apartment. Surveying the array, a snap decision is made to get one of those storage spaces that always offer one month free. “Honey,” you explain to your spouse, “We get one month free. I'll just pay for one maybe two other months, go through our stuff and clear everything out.”

The next day you decide to rent a van. You go to a place with a name like “Go Move UrSelf” or “Pack Up All Ur Cares and Go.” Loading every inch of the van you drive to your newly rented storage space, unpack all those boxes, slam the gate down and attach a lock. Welcome to storage space hell. Most people rarely do anything with their contents except pay the monthly rent for years. Many abandoned storage rooms eventually get auctioned off, contents unseen.

So someday a winning bidder will snap the lock off, lift up the gate, open the nearest box and say, “Hey, look at all these old TV Guides!”


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