Guys. Let’s talk about moving. Not moving on, just moving your stuff. From one location to another. It’s hard. It’s awful. It’s one of those things that borders on impossible, until it’s finished. Then you inevitably forget how terrible it all was and repeat the process again, a few years down the road.
If you hadn’t already guessed, Kayla and I just moved. The last 14 days have transpired in various shades of chaos. I spent an entire week of said time hauling all of our belongings out of the old apartment and into a new apartment while Kayla was at work, with the exception of about four things, which she helped me with. Our washer and dryer, our couch, and our wardrobe. We’ll return to the wardrobe later.
Yes, that’s right, this means that I basically spent a week daylighting as Wonder Woman herself. I disassembled IKEA furniture, carried the giant pieces and tiny metal brackets, not losing a single one, and put them back together! I created rather advanced pulley systems for things that were honestly too large for me to move by myself and I moved those things! I dragged stuff, I pushed stuff, I may have even tried talking to stuff to persuade it to cooperate with me. I ate lunch in the hallway on top of our mattress because getting it out the front door was hard enough and I needed a break.
So, why, you might ask, did we decide that it was an appropriate time to cause this self-inflicted misery? Ahh. Good question. The answer has four paws and goes by the name Brinkley.
Yep. We expanded the family by adopting this 1.5 year old collie mix who was looking for her forever home. How could we not? Look at that face!
It was quickly apparent that our loft wasn’t cutting it anymore. As luck would have it, a fabulous apartment in our building became available and we jumped on it. How could we not? Look at that space! Look at the light!
Alas, it turns out that neither labs nor collies are any help when it comes to moving. Shocking, right? So, in addition to holding each item we own in our hands and determining if it still provides our home with purposeful joy, there came a slew of other surprising challenges. For instance, we learned that though the foster family described Brinkley as crate trained, that was perhaps a bit of an exaggeration. Also “not a chewer” translated into “JK, say goodbye to your favorite Patagonia hat, sucker.”
When Kayla and I initially embraced the move, we devised a strategy. The most dreaded pieces would go first. We were feeling pretty cocky after successfully, if kind of gruelingly, transplanting the washer and dryer into their laundry room. Next was the wardrobe.
A bit of information is needed here. See, this gargantuan piece of furniture is from IKEA, and I simultaneously love and hate it. It’s the perfect solution to not having an entryway closet and I can’t imagine not having it. It’s lived with me in several different places throughout the years, but each time it’s moved, it loses just a bit of its luster. Like many IKEA creations, it seems to be made primarily of particle board and wood glue, with a few screws thrown in for confusion, err… I mean, good measure. Not exactly built for longevity, shall we say?
Anyhow, we were very sure that we could make this wardrobe survive one last relocation. So sure, in fact, that we didn’t bother to create a plan for its transport. We just started pushing and pulling and tipping it over, pivoting through the doorway, failing to fit through the doorway, etc. I wish I were being hyperbolic when saying that it took an hour just to move the thing twelve feet to the front door and then over the threshold. I’m not.
And that was the easy part. Once we arrived in the hallway, we realized that there was absolutely no way that we could carry it the necessary distance and the tiled floor would not allow for any kind of sliding. We stood and looked at each other, on the cusp of defeat. Then, an idea! A blanket! We’ll just put it on a blanket and then pull the blanket!
We found a blanket. We carefully lifted the wardrobe onto it. We pulled. It didn’t budge. We pulled again. Nothing. And so began the slow, agonizing process of pushing and pulling a few inches at a time, stopping and panting, apologizing for dropping an end of it, pondering aloud if anyone would notice the dent we just left in the wall by the elevator.
Finally, finally, finally, another hour later, we navigated this beast into the new apartment. We stood it up. The mirror was intact. Everything seemed to be attached. I turned, grinning, to Kayla and offered a high five. “Psshht, what, like that was hard or something?” I joked. And at that moment in time, the universe decided it would joke, too. There was a groan. From the wardrobe. The actual piece of furniture actually groaned. And then there was a smashing sound from inside. I grabbed Kayla’s arm in horror and we watched as the entire thing shifted and was suddenly leaning precariously to the right. “No,” I whispered, approaching it. “No, no, no. Not after all that.” I opened the door to discover that all of the shelves had fallen, taking the back panel out with them, leaving a trail of sawdust that spilled through this gaping hole, onto the floor of this beautiful new apartment.
I sank to the ground. Kayla sat down beside me. Surrounded by the vastness and possibility of our new home, listening to the intermittent high pitched shrieks of our new dog as she yelped to be let out of her crate, wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. This immovable hunk of Swedish junk that I was determined to hold onto was somehow symbolic of life in this new space, I just knew it. Thankfully, I was tired and hangry and completely wrong.
Fast forward two weeks and a thousand more trips through the hallways. We have a cozy home. And a patio! The wardrobe has been repaired with more wood glue, more screws, and also a fair amount of duct tape. The sawdust has been swept away. All of the things that bring us happiness have found a spot within this current set of walls and the things which don’t serve us were not invited inside. Brinkley is adjusting well and has put an utterly heartwarming pep in Benson’s step. She is a true member of the family and we can no longer imagine life without her, even if it means that hats stay firmly on our heads or in the closet.
The moral of the story? Monsters and/or monstrously large objects are difficult to slay but it can be done. Growing pains hurt. Growing is worth it. Life is good. And most importantly: Always, always, always shamelessly guilt everyone you know into helping you move. As long as you’re willing to return the favor when the time comes, of course.