Saturday, July 2, 2011

On Packing Tape and Box Cutters

To be sure, there have been up sides. But moving is a lot of work.

One plus: I will never have to buy packing tape again. The movers left at least a case of it behind. This is very convenient for me as a Zappos shopper. I end up with a fair amount of returns and you have to tape those half-sheet paper USPS/UPS labels onto the box. I used to think I liked internet shopping because I lived in a remote place (when Telluride was my home). I'm a city dweller now but my love for online shopping abides, owing to the hefty surcharges of city tax and downtown parking fees. I troll the web and shop almost exclusively at retailers who offer free shipping and returns. Hence the need for packing tape.

Unpacking has been way more work than packing. It's kind of the reverse of packing for vacation. Outbound preparation demands attention to selecting and packing with great care so your travel clothes arrive in suitable condition. On the way home you can just shove everything in your bag and let the wrinkles come out in the laundry.

Packing our house was the opposite. We did not move far - just 300 yards - and we moved the kitchen ourselves to save time and bubble wrap. Everything else was boxed up over a scant few days. We've been in our new pad for a month now and I still have several large boxes skulking on the periphery of most rooms, like a dog that wet the floor. The problem with these last few boxes is there it's not obvious where I'm meant to store their contents. My office accoutrements, for example, will remain boxed until my star-crossed desk finds me.

Unpacking the boxes that were packed earliest took the most physical effort as we were much more liberal with the tape when packing the first dew dozen boxes. Afterwards it was, like, one strip per box, then on to the next, because there were a lot of boxes -a fact that was obscured in the early hours of packing when we had more time and energy.  Once it came to the unpacking it was a huge relief to be able to use a box cutter again. I'm certain that I did not once touch a box-cutter since the Towers crumbled. But with Bin Laden out of the picture it felt ok to use the tool for its sole, intended purpose. Other sharp tools aren't adequate or even really available when one first arrives in a new home. Scissors and Swiss army knives are packed themselves. But our box cutter, which makes its home in a bright yellow tool box, was readily available. My long-suffering box cutter, stained by the 9/11 hijackings, could rejoice at having its status restored as Useful Tool.

The dust has begun to settle and I'm very much enjoying the new Pinch kitchen and the patio garden that feeds it. More on those things soon.

Have a lovely Independence Day!

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