On the travails of packing

Is there anything worse than packing? It is my considered opinion that there is not. Just over one week ago, this is what our condo looked like. But here’s the evil, insidious part of packing: I always think that we’re about two hours from being done. So at 10am, I’m thinking it should take about two hours to finish. Fast forward to 6pm, when I’m sure that in just two more hours, the kitchen will be completely packed. Repeat as necessary.


About two hours of packing should finish this off. Har.

Actually, there’s another evil part of packing: the visual change effected by one’s packing efforts does not correlate with the time required to complete that packing. So, for example, we can pack all of our books quite quickly, and it looks like we’ve done a lot of work. The bookshelves are empty, there is a fresh mountain of boxes—heavy boxes, too, which surely means that some serious packing occurred—and mild exhaustion has set in. Great! Time elapsed: two hours.

Then you start packing the kitchen. Oh lordy. Unlike books—which, despite their tendency to accumulate more quickly than seems reasonable, are at least all orthogonal, fairly sturdy, more similar in size than they are different, and rarely something one needs to consult multiple times a day—kitchen stuff is oddly shaped, either very heavy or very fragile, and stuff you use every day. So there you are, assembling box after box, each of which can contain a few pans or a single Dutch oven, leaving a couple of cubic feet of space you either need to stuff with packing paper or fill with “sundry items” that aren’t too heavy and will fit, Tetris-like, in the available space.

So that’s how, 12 hours later, you end up with boxes labeled “KITCHEN: Dutch oven, measuring cups, Ziploc bag of dog food, novelty Simpsons bottle opener, take-out soy sauce packets.” But of course you don’t actually label the boxes this clearly. That’s just a surprise treat for when you unpack.



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2 responses to “On the travails of packing

  1. We have recently been having professional movers pack out kitchen. And let me tell you, there are few more efficient exchanges of money for time. One guy packed our entire kitchen (wedding china and all) in like an hour and a half, all very securely, and with not one problem.

  2. isaaccates

    This is why we’ve recently used professional movers to pack our kitchen. Let me tell you, I’ve rarely seen a more efficient exchange of money for time. One guy packed our whole kitchen, wedding china and all, in like an hour and a half, with no problems, no chips or breakages. If you think of the time he saved us… !

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