When we went on the road full-time 19 months ago, we got rid of a lot of our "stuff." But we also kept a lot--way too much, as a matter of fact. So several months ago we decided we needed to do a little de-stuffing. Before we left Lathrop State Park, we went through everything in the RV and, if we hadn't used it in a year, we got rid of it.
In our stick house, we had two rooms full of old family furniture--the dining room and our bedroom. We asked both sons if they wanted the furniture. Doug said no, but Eric said yes. So we de-stuffed by stuffing his house.
Friday we went to the facility where five crates of our "stuff" are stored. See the stacks of wooden crates--called vaults. Hill Moving and Storage knows right where every one is and who it belongs to. So many people have "stuff" they have to store. In addition to the vaults, you can see sofas wrapped and placed on racks up to the ceiling.
Chris, the warehouse manager, had to move about six vaults out of a row before he got to ours. He would drive down the narrow space between two stacks of vaults, bringing out crates one after the other. Finally he started bringing five of them to the front where we could go through them to find the items we wanted to remove.
See that tightly packed wooden box? Tony is just beginning the process of pulling out boxes and furniture so we could find what we wanted. This man is really amazing. He has been doing this kind of work for 20 years and reports he doesn't have back problems. He also said he sleeps well at night.
Here you can see Tony and Jimmy moving something else out of a crate. That stack of flattened cardboard boxes isn't from our "stuff." We didn't even try looking through boxes. But can you believe even our garage sale sign had gone into storage? What were we thinking on January 29, 2009?
One of the crates hadn't been packed correctly. When Tony took off the front panel, everything began to fall. Jimmy is valiantly trying to hold back the avalanche, while hollering for Paul to come help. Tony it reaching for a box to remove it and John is also trying to help.
You know those little stickers they place on your furniture when it goes into a moving van? Each sticker is linked to a line on an inventory sheet. So, as we removed items from storage, Jimmy and Tony had to find the sticker, then check off it's number on another sheet of paper. That way, they can remind us why those items are no longer in storage when we finally decide to clean everything out.
Here John and Tony are surrounded by all the stuff we are taking out of storage. Tony is explaining how our bill will be figured. There is a charge for time while we searched through everything. But we ended up removing half of all we had in storage--saving us $45 each month for each of the two vaults we emptied. That will help. Now that we know we like being full-time RVers, we regret keeping so much stuff. As we looked at what is there, we decided we had been fairly uncertain if we would enjoy this life style when we moved out of the house. So many things we haven't used in a year and a half and don't want now. But sorting and giving away, selling, or whatever is a daunting task. We will put it off for a long time probably--and pay each month for that convenience.
Here is another view of what we took out. We had even stored the vacuum cleaner!
So, what did we do with all that "stuff" we took out of storage? Well, we stuffed it in our son Eric's house. Granted, he wants all of it.
Saturday morning Paul guided Tony into Eric and Liz's driveway.
There it all is. Can you believe they unloaded all of that in under an hour and took most of it into various rooms of the house? Thank heavens they had to do all the lifting.
Here they are squeezing the dining room table through the front door.
As Paul worked at unwrapping furniture, Tony told us a story.
Among the pieces of bedroom furniture was this stool for the dressing table. Our cat Partner used to sleep on that stool. Since Liz is allergic to cats, our grandson John is using some tape to clean off the cat hair.
Kylie and John couldn't resist the chance to get in the truck with their papa, while Paul and Tony were carrying something into the house.
Here the dresser goes up stairs to the bedroom. Man did those guys work, both Friday and Saturday.
And the hutch is moved into the dining room.
In the end, Eric and Liz had a chance to de-stuff. We had several pieces of furniture we didn't want, nor did Eric and Liz. And they had some furniture they didn't need because they were taking our things. It turns our that over two days Jimmy, Tony and Paul all could used some of that furniture. So they took it away and we had only one small pickup load to take to Goodwill. Here a drop leaf table goes from Eric's house into the truck for Paul.
By 10 a.m., the whole job was done and the only thing left was to pay for all the hard work these three guys and their company had done for us.
We are still a little appalled by all the "stuff" we packed into boxes early last year. But we feel so good about all we gave away this weekend. We are a little lighter, a little freer than we were before. Yea!
We are so grateful for all the hard work and great care from Tony, Jimmy and Paul. And we are so pleased that the furniture we have loved and enjoyed using will now be used by Eric, Liz, Kylie and John.