Increasing Busyness Ahead

PG has previously mentioned that he and Mrs. PG have been preparing to down-size from the current location of Casa PG into a svelte and smaller Casita PG.

This has been a much more involving task than PG ever imagined. For example, the PG’s have filled three large commercial dumpsters (the type that completely block the driveway when a large truck delivers them (empty) to be hauled back back up on another large truck with a winch, cable and hook a few days later after PG has filled said dumpster by lugging and tossing all sorts of bulky and forgotten items discovered in the dark and hidden reaches of Casa PG).

If PG never hears the sound of another large winch make a heavy dumpster scrape and squeek during loading, he will die a happy man.

PG is also the renter of a large storage locker (Rental Locker PG) which he has partially filled with lots of cardboard boxes containing items that won’t fit into Casita PG. PG fervently hopes to never unlock the large padlock securing Rental Locker PG once he places the final items in it tomorrow. His heirs have padlock keys and can do with them what they will whenever they will.

PG is posting this on Sunday evening, nearly surrounded by large brown U-Haul cardboard boxes. The last rush to pack, locker or dump will occur tomorrow, Monday. The movers arrive bright and early on Tuesday, to deliver a herd of U-Haul boxes to Casita PG, which, fortunately, is not far away.

PG cannot rule out the necessity of taking some more cardboard boxes to Rental Locker PG on Tuesday, but expects to be back in the blogging biz on Wednesday. He doesn’t anticipate being any wiser next Wednesday, but does expect to enjoy a feeling of great relief.

25 thoughts on “Increasing Busyness Ahead”

  1. Then there is the unpacking. Then the inevitable realization that, when the last box is unpacked, something essential somehow ended up in the storage locker, and that non-essential things are taking up all of the space in the new domicile, and need to be repacked for consignment to the storage locker.

    Okay, I’m a cynic on the subject – but that was developed from all too much experience.

    May you have a better experience, PG.

  2. Don’t forget the fun of wondering whether something got damaged by a shift in those piles of boxes in the storage unit or the moving truck, either…

  3. Storage lockers are a dangerous trap and will cost lots of money.

    We moved from New Jersey to California, and did not put anything in storage. It all went before the move. 4 BR, 3.5 BA suburban house where I homeschooled three kids. To, initially, a 1BR, 1BA apartment for five months surrounded by boxes.

    One of the things I’m proudest of is that downsizing – I sat in a chair, immobile, and ran a crew of two lovely young ladies for about a month, and they did everything at my instructions.

    We haven’t missed a thing. Have re-bought only a couple of kitchen gewgaws. We have since moved to a 2BR, 2BA apartment in the same retirement community, and have a tiny chicken wire storage space across the hall for suitcases, and a few things for trips.

    And we STILL have too much junk. Which I am trying to get the husband to sort through and finally let go.

    Thank goodness all my book stuff is digital.

    • Totally with you on this one. Storage lockers are just kicking the can down the road.

      We have been found the “buy nothing” movement to be very helpful. In most locales it is conducted via a facebook group (yes, I know – it’s the only thing I use FB for) It’s quite simple, you start a “post” by taking a picture of whatever it is and describe it briefly. Interested parties local to you respond, you choose one and use FB messenger (yes, I know! it’s the only thing I use that for too) to contact them, leave the item out somewhere, and it is whisked away by someone in your community who has expressed that they can put it to good use.

      As an example, last week our youngest decided that he was too good for a loft bed. It had a few issues – stickers, a missing step on the ladder, perhaps a missing bolt head or two. We took it down and put it out on the driveway, photographed it, ‘posted’ it, and waited. Within an hour someone around the corner expressed interest. The next morning they came and took it for their kindergartner who, they said, would be “thrilled”. Win-win.

      I see art, furniture, stacks of books, outgrown clothing, kitchen stuff, you name it. It really does seem like one mans outcasts are another mans treasures. Worth investigating. I heartily recommend.

      • Sometimes you do have to “kick the can down the road.” Your employer transfers you, and you have to clear the house quickly to get it ready for sale, while you live in an apartment in the new place until the old house sells and you can buy one in the new place. A relative dies and you can’t take the time to go through everything they have left.

        But the expedient should be as brief as possible – it should not be “out of sight, out of mind.”

        We cleared the last storage locker out around a dozen years ago ourselves, after four years of having them. Things from both sides of the family – and not all that much that we were willing to dispose of. (It would have been sooner, but the sister in law didn’t have an apartment big enough to take the very large bed and dining room sets until then.)

        The wife and I are working as we can on clearing the house out, even though we have no plans to move this decade. The theoretically-a-garage is full, but the majority of that belongs to our children – so I have no qualms about leaving it for them to do an emergency clearing. It’s their stuff, it’s their problem…

        (Books are very slowly getting into digital form. Unfortunately, a lot of my books don’t have a version in electrons yet – even a fair number of fiction titles that really should exist. It is down to two and a half large bookshelves, plus five banker boxes of non-replaceables. Four banker boxes of books that can be replaced, as funds become available.)

        • Do you have the time/interest to do the conversion yourself?

          There’s no way I’ll live long enough to convert even a portion of my pbook accumulation (a collection it ain’t) but the top 20-50 I have. Mostly rereadable non-fiction. (Plus RISSA KERGUELEN in proper omnibus version. 😉 )

          All it takes is a cheap scanner (most come with decent OCR software) and one trick I discovered: scan to Word format–>feed to Wordpad–>save as rtf.

          For some reason, Wordpad eliminates multiple line breaks and spaces and it only takes a half hour scan to proof/join broken sentences.

          About two hours per paperback, a bit more for average hardcover.

          You really have to want to do it but the outcome comes out reasonably good. And Calibre can find the prooer cover when you convert to epub/mobi/azw.

          Not commercial grade but good enough for personal use. Of the ones I bothered with only three have shown upon digital since. I’m sure my eyeballs will thank me in a decade or so. 😀

                • Ahh, yes.
                  New stuff arriving…

                  Mine is only 8 pt.
                  Still, Ten pages and counting.
                  Too many LPs and cassettes to digitize, even more CDs to re-rip to lossless now that storage is air-cheap.
                  Plus makingyy a dent in the TBR lists…
                  I’d need to be immortal to clean it out.
                  (le sigh)

          • Thanks for the workflow. I do want to digitize an anthology, because an old teacher of mine is in it (Phyllis Eisenstein), and the font is too bloody small for me to read the mass market paperback. It’s Lin Carter Presents The Year’s Best Fantasy Stories: 4 and it’s just been sitting by my TV, mocking me with it’s teeny Barbie print***. With this proposed workflow I could actually add the conversion to my to-do list for the weekend.

            Once I have the .rtf file I can ingest it into Scrivener and output an ebook. I usually use Sigil for any epub refinements, but Calibre’s find-the-cover feature came in handy when I was processing the Baen books that came on an Honor Harrington CD back in the day.

            ***Barbie print is what I always called print that’s so small only a doll-sized personage could read it. (As a kid I was fond of a Saturday-morning cartoon called The Littles, and I imagined the characters were about her size).

            • Glad to be of use.
              It’s sad that after 16 years of mainstream ebooks, so many good backlist titles are unavailable in digital.
              And, occasionally, new ones: my mother is looking forward to a new release from a local politician (first female governor) but it’s not yet listed on Amazon or B&N. I may have to dig out the old scanner. Hopefully my scanning muscle memory still works. 😉

              Do you already have a scanner+OCR software?
              If not, make sure to check the scanning speed. The cheapest on Amazon is $60 for 10 sec/page, versus $130 for 3sec/page + Abby Finereader for a much newer version of the vintage one I have. At 10 sec you may have to wait a sec or two between scans while at 3 sec your ability to lift the cover, flip the age and lower the cover will be the limiting factor. Unless you’re related to Jesse Quick. 😉

              (Btw, have you checked out the new Anime Superman series on MAX? 100% on RT. It is a good pathfinder for the next movie. Lots of fun.)

              • I have a flatbed scanner, but it’s probably about 20 years old now. And you’ve just reminded me the speed is going to be the limiting factor here. This is as good a time as any to look around for an upgrade, especially one of those pen scanners for the heavy-weight tomes I want to take notes from.

                I haven’t seen the Superman anime yet, but I think I saw a commercial for it (unless it’s a competitor). It’s interesting you have hope for the next movie; the DCEU seems like a mess right now. What the MCU pulled off with the Infinity Saga was downright miraculous, because I expected it to have all the problems plaguing the DCEU.

                I really do want to figure out how the reprint market works, there are so many dead-tree books that need a new life as e-books. But their authors are dead, so the books are orphaned, as it were.

                • I have some hope for the Gunn regime based on his choices, teases, and casting.

                  Teases? HEROES AND MONSTERS plus the KINGDOM COME pic promises to focus on the DCU itself. Which has a collections of aspirational protagonists (Supes, WW) and freaks and outright monsters. If we take both terms in their classic meanings instead of the modern usage they both point at larger than life figures of dubious morality. METAMORPHO, SWAMP THING, CREATURE COMMANDOES, and THE AUTHORITY all exist in the gray area of human morality, each for different reasons. Ditto for WALLER, PEACEMAKER, and BOOSTER GOLD. Just his choices of protagonists is promising. Which right away distinguishes DC from Marvel, especially the movies, which are all, even the ones the mases don’t take to, about *something* with actual consequences, unlike the bulk of the Marvel movies and (especially) the TV shows. Full dissection of Marvel might take a book.

                  Choices? An older BATMAN with his full coterie and his assasin son (hopefully properly cast as a twelve year old) promises a very different Bat. Plus a chance for NIGHTWING and STEPHANIE BROWN and CASANDRA CAINE as well as BARBARA GORDON. Finally, his promise to focus on CLARK KENT over SUPERMAN (like the anime) is spot on. The key diference between Supes and Bats is that Supes is Clark’s disguise whereas Bruce is the disguise and Bats the real person. As good as the Snyder movies were, he got them both backwards.

                  And then there is the casting. The ones named so far look much like the most common comics renditions. Most are actors with enough of a track record to know they have the chops while not being too expensive. 😉

                  So yes, I’m hopeful.
                  Particularly because Gunn himself has a track record of being on time and on (moderate) budget. Plus he is a *writer first*, director second. If the studio guys give him enough room (and the actors don’t go off the rails) he can deliver.

                  As for anime supes:


                  It is story driven and since Gunn says he wants a single uniform vision for each character across animation, games, and live action it looks like this is the Supes for the next generation. As Gunn put it: a kind, good natured, well intentioned man out of sync with our cynical disjointed times. An aspirational hero.

                  I see it as a signpost for the movie.

                • The other option is to use your cellphone. The Notes app on the Iphone and Ipad allows you to scan documents. I’m not familiar with Android phones, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it has a similar function.

                  When I’m doing archival research I bring a digital camera and take photos of the documents to read in depth at home. The archive requires that cameras be on stand or have a wrist band to be used. I don’t have a wrist band for my phone.

                • Android phones have similar capabilities.

                  For snippets or single pages, yes; modern cellphones are good enough. And a few apps will OCR the images into PDF or a good document formats. They can substitute for a pen or wand scanner for small research extracts.

                  Still, Wands are best for longer in library extracts.

                  Say, something like this:


                  But for large jobs like chapters or full books, at home, there is no substitute for a fast flatbed scanner.

      • Good idea. But even simpler—for me—is putting the item(s) out on the road with a “Take It—Free” sign. Bada bing, usually gone in a day or two. It’s old school but it works. No social media involved.

    • The storage locker is a money suck. A trap. A hedge against a “someday” that will never arrive. After about a year without retrieving anything from the locker, one wonders, “Why do I have this thing?” After a second year of status quo, one starts multiplying the monthly cost by 24 and cringing.

      • After my mother passed, we had two large storage lockers. Those despite my having three siblings upon whom I managed to dump more than their “fair” share (earning the undying enmity of two brothers in law). After five years, I was nearly at the point of giving up one of them, as I repaired and refinished furniture for our use – sixty to seventy hours a week as a software developer did not give me much time or energy to move any faster.

        Then the wife’s parents passed. Even though we spent two-plus weeks going through their house, we still had 2/3 of a commercial moving van to get from the East Coast out to Arizona. Sigh… Went up to three lockers, and an overstuffed theoretically-a-garage. Finally cleared the last one only when the sister in law got an apartment big enough to take the bed and dining room sets that were allocated to her. (We still had a few things, about a third of the locker, that we hadn’t bothered with, but a trip to the swap meet took care of those. Between the space rental and family food, we took a net loss – but not even a month’s worth of the locker rental.)

        If we had to do this again today, I’d definitely look into what @davemich mentioned.

  4. In the 90s, there was a thing called “Zero Footprint”, where people resolved to leave no mess behind. They only rented, and kept only what they needed. This was an Utne Reader kind of thing. They were successful to the point that I can’t find any discussion on google.

    I knew a number of couples that practiced that concept, so I know that it was real.

    Personally, I have way too many books, but the word “Desideratum” comes to mind when I look at my stuff, so I am content.

    BTW, I wrote an extensive comment for PG on how I would spend a year clearing out the house before I moved, but decided not to post it. A week later PG is moving. HA!

    PG should plan on emptying the storage unit before two years has passed.

    At the end of a year, if you don’t need or use anything in the unit for a year, farm it out to Goodwill, 10% each month, until it is empty by the end of the second year.

    • No person has the power to have everything they want, but it is in their power not to want what they don’t have, and to cheerfully put to good use what they do have.

      — Seneca

  5. Just for the sake of mentioning that there’s another side to this…

    I hate clutter and appreciate the theory of not holding onto things. And we have regularly carted trunkloads of goodies to Goodwill and donated books to the library. However, we also held onto a considerable number of high-quality toys and children’s books.

    Amazingly, we now have a 2 1/2-year-old grandson who’s reached the age where he can play with some of the toys and listen to the books. Plus a two-month old granddaughter who we hope will soon join in the fun.

    I do agree with not paying for a storage locker if at all possible. We kept the toys in our sons’ closets and in the covered shelving in our garage.

    • I agree heirloom-quality stuff should be saved. I have furniture that I would never yield up, because in a few cases it IS an heirloom, for example a Dixie French Provincial white and gold vanity my mother had as a girl (looks similar to the one at the link, though I may repaint and decoupage mine). If I had to get rid of it for some reason I would pass it on to my niece, who adores her grandma. My mother and I just picked out some upholstery fabric with little mermaid girls on it, because she’s going to fix up the little rocking chair that was once hers, then mine, and will now be passed on to my niece for her birthday in a few weeks.

      I held on to the Illustrated Wildlife Treasury collection my brother and I had as kids, and I just gave it to the niece a few months back since she loves to learn about animals. I kept it in an armoire in my guest room. I’m a firm believer on saving the good stuff to be given in turn to others who appreciate the good stuff. Plus, I’m just sentimental 🙂

    • My feelings are more mixed. A few notes:

      1) Not everyone has lots of room to store extra stuff in their home, especially if living in an apartment, condo, townhouse, or a SFH with no off street parking (so cars have to go in the garage) and a small yard. HOA’s can also make life difficult.

      2) If storing extra stuff in storage lockers is so expensive and wasteful, well, so is having a bigger house to keep all that stuff. Using rough Bay Area pricing, houses cost ~$700/ft2 to buy, >$3/ft2 to rent, and <$2/ft2 for rental storage. The reality is that it can be cheaper (and more flexible) to stay in a smaller place with storage vs moving to a bigger place, but if you believe the minimalistic living logic, you should dump everything possible from your home, and buy/rent the smallest possible home.

      3) Items with personal meaning, of exception quality, or hard to replace are definitely worth keeping. Maybe the teenage kids don't appreciate those items now, but they might when they're 40 years old with kids of their own. If you're not always buying the latest electronics, it's good to keep now hard to find cables and such around, etc.

      4) While I'm not a fan of throw it all out ASAP, I'm slowly working through 20+ years of accumulated stuff. For example, I've kept the children's books that are special, but donated the rest. It's also good periodically check through stuff both to bring back memories, and to figure out what is no longer worth keeping (but was worth keeping 10 years ago).

      • If storing extra stuff in storage lockers is so expensive and wasteful, well, so is having a bigger house to keep all that stuff.

        I think a solution is lurking just below the surface here.

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