Monday, March 5, 2012

And You Thought Unpacking Was Hard...

Yesterday I mentioned the 11, yes 11, suitcases we brought with us from Shanghai to Boston and if I thought that just the van that brought us to the airport was overloaded you should see the house as we attempt to find places to put all of it. 
So to keep things clear in everyone's head the kids and I came to Boston with 11 suitcases on a 17 hour or so trip that stopped off in friendly Newark where my son assisted the TSA in a minor translation situation (read more about it here) and my husband booked what seemed like the last ticket to Hong Kong and moved there with 3 suitcases (only one of which had clothes in it) and our dog is still in Shanghai waiting for paperwork to be completed before she makes the big trip east.  Still clear?

Well there's something about 11 suitcases...often you don't have places to put everything upon arrival.  There have been some decent attempts on day 2, 5 and 8 but really not much more than attempts and suitcase emptying on the floor procedures that make me feel well, better because there is one less suitcase but the mess is 10 times the size because when I pack a suitcase you better believe it comes in right in at 23kg (that's 50 pounds to most of you).

Then there is the move the piles that are somewhat organized up the stairs to arrange in dressers that first have to be emptied of the current contents that others have never taken with them.  Two suitcases emptied, two suitcases filled with things that don't belong to me or the kids.  That nets out at nil...and a loss for me psychologically as there are still suitcases in the bedrooms.

Then there is the sorting.  Of course you can't put all your clothes in 3 drawers (if you can then you have fewer clothes than me and that might be a problem); you have to separate winter and summer wear and oh crap, now I have stuff I want to hang up but the closets are all full of pretty much everything that could ever be hung on a hanger.  So yep, another loss but at least my clothes are separated into wear now, wear later, hang up sometime in the next decade.  Perhaps, this is a small win...clothes separated and suitcase into the cellar is a minor victory I'll be celebrating with beer in 8 minutes (also known as Miller time in this house).

Day 12: Current status includes 1 suitcase with unknown contents on first floor, another pile of clothes that my son seems to have borrowed from me (a belt with a gecko on it) mixed in with a Red Sox ALCS sweatshirt and some other apparently non-essential items (sweater missing a button, ill fitting jeans that I couldn't get rid of in case I get fat and so on).  One chair holding the contents of some batik pillowcases from Bali and a quilt made by a friend's mum. I hauled two suitcases upstairs today and one was so heavy I know that it has to have something other than clothes in it...maybe gold bars from the feel of it...who knows.

But if I thought the real challenge was unpacking the 11 suitcases I haven't even faced the gauntlet yet.  The day before St. Patrick's Day my parents return from St. Maarten and we will live as peaceably as possible for the next 6 months while I figure out how to turn all this digital stuff into a J-O-B and when my husband returns at least for a visit and hopefully forever.

I'll need luck on all fronts...thank god St. Paddy's day is close!

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