Unpacking has been sort of a multidimensional* chess game.
This would be easier if the packers had been a little more specific. Anything they packed, that happened to be in the garage, they simply labeled ‘Gar items.’ The basement, which to them was all one room (rather than a guest bedroom, living room, laundry room, unfinished space, and big closet) contained two things: ‘Books’ and ‘Misc items.’ So, for example, I could open a Basement – Misc items box and get some of Deb’s dolls, a lamp, two pillows, Trivial Pursuit, an art kit, one of those imbecilic gingham rabbits I had hoped and prayed we were rid of (probably mated in the box and raised a litter), and five hockey pucks. A Gar items box might contain a circular saw, an Alice pack, a bag of grass seed, some old army wool glove liners, the electric pumpkin I use for Halloween, a socket set, and those two overhead bike hoists I decided not to install when it became evident we were leaving Idaho. A book box usually contained some books, but could also include whatever other crap was within someone’s reach.
Sample problem: we needed to figure out a decent place to put the spare 16′ baseboard pieces. Overhead made sense, except that it’s not as easy as it looks. Once those were moved, we could get at some more Gar items, another couple of boxes of Basement Misc items, and so on. Because once I got these two boxes of Gar items out of the way, we could make a decision about this item and that item, and so on.
Second sample problem: once I could assure access to the right tools, I could help the situation in many ways. However, the tools could have been stuffed in any random box of Gar items. Could I go out and just buy what I needed, task by task? Sure. Keep doing that, and one goes broke buying things one doesn’t really need. We don’t have a counterfeiting operation, or a congress, where we can just print money. Plus, in the end, we’d end up with that many more Gar items. Already got two channel-lock pliers; do I really need three?
Oh, and then there was the AC going out in the middle of this. And then when that was replaced, the new condensate pump went wack. The contractor had the knack of getting back to me just as I was preparing to give him both barrels: “Look. It is not my way to patiently keep asking a contractor to please sell me a thing. I humbled myself because my wife has diabetes, cannot take the heat, and my pride came second to her health and comfort. Well, I did that, but I have done all the self-humbling I plan to do with you. Either stand behind your goddamn equipment, or I’ll find someone who will. And I’ll sign onto Yelp, first time ever, with the express purpose of letting people know what they’re getting into.” Of course, it took a couple of completely failed promises before it actually got done. I extemporize very poorly, so when I want to cut loose, I have to plan in advance. Almost needed this one.
The ant invasion in the master bedroom was actually a relief, because at least there I knew what to do. I had those in Boise. The few visible ants there now are corpses. Come at me, you little pirates, I will destroy you root and branch. Terro ant baits, great product.
Anyway, it’s a chess game, or maybe more like a giant housewide slide puzzle, but we are gradually winning. The library is functional if not finished or organized, we finally found the file cabinet (entombed as deeply as possible in the middle of the Gar items and Basement Misc items; deeply enough that we could not even locate it for some time), and I can see a day when I may feel slightly organized, more or less, to some degree.
When we get all this crap dealt with, though, it’ll be a nice place to live. We still have to find a respectable Mexican restaurant, though. First World Problems.
I just have to keep plowing through the Gar items.
*(That’s not hyperbole, because we have some rafter storage in the garage. However, hoisting anything heavy up there on a ladder is an issue, so we will need to reserve it for totes containing stuff I can carry up a ladder. When I break down and buy one, which I am irrationally resisting, mostly because I forgot our ladders in Idaho and they are not cost-effective to recover.)