Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Every time I move, and trust me it's been many times, I pack a box or basket with the essentials. The essentials are things that cannot disappear in the moving mix, those things that I want to have on hand right away. Some of the essentials are clearly important or significant, especially at the outset of packing. But toward the middle, and right through to the end, the essentials get quite random and voluminous. That's when things get complicated.

In the beginning I am all hyper organized and rational and my game face is on. In the beginning I am like a moving master, all knowing, all seeing. Where is the cow cookie cutter? Do we have any C batteries? Are those starlings or mockingbirds? The answers or the resources are mine and I can provide all things necessary, even in the midst of dual-domesticity... but that is only at the start of the journey.

How long can I sustain the illusion that I have everything under control, that moving is "easy" because I am so experienced and perky? Not long. No. Soon I will have several baskets and boxes that are full of the most important articles, those necessities that keep us moving forward and safe from absolute chaos. Soon we will be in a last minute panic, trying to get out of here with GaryBob on our heels, and still trying to get homework completed and cobwebs cleared and that is when we will pack at least two ten boxes with everything from the garage pantry and our immunization cards, telephones and hair dryer. Those boxes will be labeled URGENT :: OPEN NOW and those boxes will get packed at the back of the garage and discovered a few days before next Easter. I shudder at these truths. These inevitable realities.

But for now I have this lovely Pack-Basket and it is filled with the essentials and it is plain to see that I am a moving master. These are the small lies and deceptions I feed myself in order to have the courage to keep moving forward.


  1. We used to move a lot but have finally settled in one place. Anyhow, we gave ourselves the same pep-talks/told ourselves the same lies to keep going. Eventually we just decided to grab 2 pairs of underwear and go for it...for what it's worth...

  2. Yup, first 30 boxes, clearly numbered on all sides including top and bottom, contents listed on a sheet of paper, no problem. Last 30 boxes were lucky if they got a number and some kind of description like "Bathroom upstairs, packed by Marc" (Marc is my brother and he happened to come by when the movers were already there but not everything was packed up because I ran out of boxes before I ran out of stuff....)

  3. Oh Natalie. You make me smile even though I know that, if I had to move, I'm not sure I'd even have the presence of mind to come up with a pack basket.

  4. Awwww - is that one of my coasters I can see in your pack-basket of essentials? I'm touched ...
    How about giving everyone their own box to pack their own essentials?
    And don't forget, even if something is packed deep in some unknown box, and stacked in some out of reach corner of the new house for a while, you are never going to be so far from a supermarket/Home Depot/ Rite Aid that you won't actually survive until you find it!
    On our moving day, our packer/removal team banged shut the doors of the truck and drove all our worldly possessions away from our house in the Carmel Vortex at 6pm.
    Then we swept up, and had to drive up to LA, have something to eat, ditch the hire-car and catch a plane to Australia at 11.30pm.
    I tell you this to make you feel better about your move!

  5. I love the cow cookie cutter being amongst the essentials. Is that used daily, weekly, monthly I wondered? Or strictly on some sort of emergency basis?

  6. That is a great idea, Natalie! We had similar "essentials kit" when we moved and is was a lifesaver in many ways.Labeling boxes with content and intended room was too. Hope all continues to go well with the packing and making ready...Very exciting! :o) ((HUGS))

  7. Hi Natalie... I know you will be fine. You are brave, resourceful, and most of all, you have your cow cookie cutter!

    I just clicked over to Lesley's blog and I love her post about Barney Frank. Her paper cuttings are astonishing! You know such talented people.

  8. This was my life last September. Everytime I move I vow, "this will be the last time I move, ever, ever". The best of moving luck to you.


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