I know, I know, I’ve been delinquent in writing. And you thought something horrible had happened to me. Well, it has been an ordeal, but not horrible. Miserable, yes. Horrible, no.
For the last four months, we have been preparing to move and then moved. We had been in the same house for 25 years and without any motive or design, we had filled every nook and cranny of that baby. When we were in the Army and moved every three or so years, we kept track of what we had. If we bought a new couch, we got rid of the old one. In this last 25 year episode, if we bought a new couch, we moved the old one downstairs, next to the couch that was replaced 10 years earlier.
Some years back, we decided that we would eventually move to The Fairfax, a very nice military retirement community near Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Well, with Carole’s health problems and so many steps in our house (you had to go downstairs to visit all our old couches), we decided this would be the year we would move.
So right after Christmas, Carole went through all of her Christmas decorations. The problem was that an awful lot of them were magnificent. How do you get rid of beautiful things? That would be a good topic for Dr. Phil. Carole reduced the number of her Christmas wreathes from 11 to nine! We ended up renting a self-storage area to hold our Christmas decorations.
My daughter-in-law, Sandy, showed me how to use Craig’s List. That went well. Everybody warned me about the crazy people on Craig’s List that will come into you house and cut you into little pieces. Well, they must have been busy cutting up other people, because I didn’t have a problem.
I had one rule for Craig’s List that seemed to work well. I never gave my address out on line. I insisted the interested person call me. I had one woman (who knows if he or she was a woman) email me six times asking for information about the item and requesting my address. Each time I would give her general information on my location and ask her to call me. She never did. In her last correspondence she advised me that since I couldn’t give her an address, I must live too far away. I decided to leave that logic right where it landed.
Then there was a nice Indian couple who showed up to purchase two benches that converted into a picnic table. Before they left, they had also bought a kitchen table and chairs (downstairs with the couches), a universal weight machine and two porcelain elephants I brought back from Vietnam (BUFEs). They also bought a lot of little items we had been assembling for a garage sale. They came back two-days later to disassemble the weight machine (They brought no tools). I suspect it weighed 800 pounds and after borrowing my tools, they took it out piece by piece. I have no idea whether they ever put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
Pricing is always a problem. I didn’t know anything about what to ask. I know what we paid for something 10 or 20 years ago, but that isn’t much help. Sometimes I asked too much, sometimes too little. You can remedy the problem when you asked too much, but when you ask too little, you are screwed. I had two great big JBL speakers. I thought big was out and these babies were at least 35 years old. I just wanted to get rid of them. I offered both of them for $25. Big mistake. The phone started ringing off the hook. An early caller insisted on giving me $50. I guess he felt sorry for me.
We had two Lexington end tables that cost us about $500, each. I offered them for $150, each saying we were moving and they had to go. I received an email from a woman that told me she would pay $30 for both if I needed to get rid of them. I wrote her back and told her that before I would sell them to her I would use them for kindling.
So now we have moved and The Fairfax is proving to be everything we had hoped for. But we are still stepping over things. I have determined that we have approximately 30 hanging items (pictures, plaques, etc.) for each room. I’m afraid that the vast majority of them are going back into a box. The problem is we have to go through all of them to see which ones will make the cut. “Sorry big guy, but it is back in the box for you.”
We have a few more critical decisions to make. Like when we put things back in the boxes to store them, where do we store them? Anybody got an old garage they’re not using?
Written by PJ Rice at www.ricequips.com