Friday, March 18, 2016

Louisiana: Departure Day: Don't Do What I Did

Pathetic. Just pathetic.

When I moved out of my Opelousas apartment, I broke all of the rules of efficient, effective, low-stress packing up and leaving.

Well, most of the rules.

Here's what I got right
  • As per my lease language, I gave my landlord my 30-day notice of leaving in writing. In this notice, I gave my landlord a time range of two or three hours for when he could inspect my apartment.
  • As a CYA in the event an issue cropped up with the return of my security deposit, I took photos of my apartment after I'd emptied and cleaned it, prior to the inspection, including the insides of the oven, refrigerator, tub, etc. (I had also taken photos when I moved in.)
  • I sold my bulky stuff a few weeks before move-out day. I priced my stuff in accordance with my priority to sell quickly, out of respect for the time and stress I was willing to invest in the process.
  • I delivered various items to second-hand stores in the days before my move. 
  • I tried to weigh these variables in deciding what to pack or not: Replacement cost versus amount of space the item takes up in my car.

Here's what I got wrong

Complacency - the enemy of efficiency and effectiveness!

When I sold my beloved - but wildly bulky - chairbed, I had a fairy-tale calculation of how much extra space its absence freed up in my car, with this cascade effect: 
  1. I miscalculated how much stuff I could take with me to the next home base;
  2. I kept more stuff than I would have otherwise;
  3. Didn't give as much thought to careful organization and packing as I might have otherwise;
  4. I ended up with more stuff than could fit into available space; and
  5. Had to ditch some things at the worst possible time - in the midst of packing my car for departure. 

In my la-la thinking mode in the last couple of weeks, I spent time with last dance and other hurrahs instead of the dull mundanity of packing the little things in advance. Boring tasks such as organizing office supplies and papers and such, corraling them into tidy spaces, ready to be put in their right places into the car. Consequently, I found myself - on the moving day! - of stashing this shit every which place I could because the other thing I did wrong was:

Somehow forget just how long it takes to pack stuff. The process of sorting and packing stacks minutes into quarter-hours into half- hours into hours of tedium. My self-congratulatory glow over selling the big things quickly and early was so bright, it obscured the necessity to knuckle down in the days before the move.

Fortunately, a buddy came over and helped me out a bit, and I sure appreciate that.

Other than that blessing, my move-out day was fraught with frustration, stress, anxiety, and moments of despair. Every tiny bit of it a result of my own poor planning and execution. Damn it.

Once I was on the road, I had to work hard to give myself a break and let it go. Had to remind myself that, hell, I accomplished my mission, not as neatly and expertly as I would have liked, but I accomplished it. Put the damn experience in perspective and enjoy the day on the road.

Just ... don't do what I did.

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