Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Empty Nest

Our nest is empty now - well, except for the toys that we are holding onto until the kids get houses of their own. Then we will get rid of those items as well. I spent a couple of weeks taking all of Katie's stuff out of the plastic containers we had put them in when we moved it all to the basement. She does not have room to store the containers in her studio apartment, so it all needed to be put into cardboard boxes so that she can recycle those as she unpacks.

Originally I had thought that I would drive all of her stuff out to Los Angeles. But after pricing renting a truck and then adding on hotel rooms, gas, food, and two plane tickets home, that got pretty expensive. Then I looked at taking my own car and hitching a trailer to the back, but that left me with all of the expenses except the plane tickets. By the time I calculated my time (and that of another person to go with me), the additional hotel rooms and food for the return drive, and the wear and tear on my car, that got pricey as well. Plus having recently made the drive, I am not too excited to hop in the car again for that long of a trip.

So that left us with the option of having someone else handle the move. We decided to hire a national company called The Packaging Store to move her belongings. My neighbor owns the local franchise so I had him come over to give me a price on the move. Ugh! It was about $1,400 more than we were hoping for, so I called some other sources. The bottom line is that it really depends on the weight of the items being moved. One company was quite a bit less expensive, but the reviews online were not that favorable, and they don't have an office here in St. Louis. I have no idea where the driver would come from. Going with The Packaging Store seemed to be the best alternative, and I like the fact that I have someone close to call if there is an issue.

Boxed Items

I was able to use a lot of the office boxes we had left from when we sold ORMI. That saved me a bunch on buying cardboard boxes. I had to use some of their boxes for the bigger and/or heavier things, but I cleaned out our supply so that was good all the way around. Larger things like her desk and a couple of pole lamps I left for them to box up. On Tuesday they came and got everything. They took it all back to their warehouse, where they weigh it, put it on pallets, and shrink wrap it. Sometime this upcoming week it will be loaded onto a tractor trailer. The good news is that the actual weight was considerably less than Ray had estimated, so our bill came right in at what we were originally hoping for - yay!

They estimate 10 working days to get the items to her. One of the reasons it is taking a little longer is that we ordered the extra service on the other end where the stuff will all be put on a local delivery truck. First of all we needed a smaller truck there so that they can actually drive to the back of the apartment complex and use the elevator right by her apartment. Second, two men will actually bring all of it into her apartment so she doesn't have to haul it all around herself. They would have unpacked for her as well, but we didn't add that service on.

We can now reclaim a good portion of our basement, not to mention Katie's room on the third floor. I don't think it has really sunk in yet that she won't be living here anymore. She has been gone so much lately with all of her studies abroad that it kind of just feels like she is away at school right now. But she has already mentioned that it feels weird that the third floor is no longer "her" bedroom. I guess it will take me a little longer to get to that point. While our place here is an empty nest, in a short while she will get all the items to begin feathering hers.

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