Moving — Pack the Truck

The series on moving last year lacked an element, so we’re going to fill the hole today.

It’s moving day! You have a truck or storage pod and need to get (most of) it in for transfer.

Over the years, I’ve seen the most success when only one person is actually packing in the truck. Preferably, this person thinks well spatially and methodically. One other person can help by bringing the appropriate shapes from outside the truck, on request from the packer, but everyone else can be busy toting items from the house out to the truck to be ready (or to the front door, if it’s raining…).

Just think, now you only have one person who is responsible for all the rest of these tips!

  • For starters, the big, bulky things come first. Plot out where the couch and dining room table and beds need to go. You can fit boxes around them, but it generally doesn’t work well the other way.
    Note: Couches may be able to stack on end to take up less floor space.
  • Heavy things on the bottom; lighter things on top.¬†It makes sense, but there is a lot going on in the moment. Tippy stacks are dangerous.
  • Big boxes on the bottom, and smaller boxes on top.¬†Stability, once again, is key.
  • Stack boxes so that the weight is resting on the edges of the box beneath, not crushing the middle of the box. Banker’s boxes and paper boxes are designed to site squarely on top of each other, edge to edge. Many totes are designed to stack inside the lids. If the box doesn’t fit with the one below it, adjust where it is sitting so that it will hold up.
  • Build a wall of stuff in the front of the truck/pod to start, and fill as much space as you can to the ceiling in each section, as you keep moving to the back of the truck.
  • Keep some soft things soft. Pillows in boxes just take up space. Pillows in plastic bags can be used to fill gaps inside the truck as things are packed.
  • Don’t declutter old blankets until after the truck is packed. Moving blankets are great, but you don’t really know how many you’ll use until you are done.

On My Plate

“I have so much on my plate!”

Most of us have thought and/or said this before. Many of us have done so many times. When we do, we are thinking of a plate as a vehicle for stuff to do, tasks to accomplish. What if we turn around that perspective and remember how we usually view a plate?

Plates are where food is served. We serve others with delicious treats. We serve ourselves a nutritious meal to provide energy for the day. We are served works of art at fine dining restaurants.

When we have “a lot on our plate,” it is usually because much has been given to us or we have greedily taken more than we can eat.

Privilege generally comes with responsibility. A large salary has a heavy weight attached to carry. Leadership is hard work. Mother’s Day has at least one child, with all the joy and mess or grief.

When we look at what we need to do, we can keep our eyes on the task list (in dismay) or we can refresh our attitudes with a reminder of what blessings come with those tasks.

  • Taking time for a hospital or homebound visit comes with a sweet conversation and the encouragement of relationship.
  • Serving lunch comes with mouths to feed.
  • Running errands comes with the provision of required finances, groceries, accessible necessities.

It is hard to decline opportunities. Whether we are seeking to make everyone happy or simply greedy for all the benefits, there is a cost. We can’t do everything. It’s simply not possible.

As we examine whether we need to be doing any given thing, it is helpful to remember that the blessing/task combo we’ve discussed will also be a blessing to others. Are we clinging to something that would help our neighbor?

  • Is there a student looking for odd jobs for a mission trip or tuition? You can delegate.
  • Do you know an introvert who would appreciate the quiet but still-relational task of volunteering in the nursery or serving at a tea? You can ask and share that joy.
  • Is there a retiree in your neighborhood that would love the noise of children in the yard every now and then? You can share your bounty.

It is also good to remember that we have all we need. Benefits are good — by definition — but, in Christ, we are not constantly starving for more and don’t need to act that way.