Motherlode: Imagine No Possessions, and No Moving Van, Too

parenting_post Mari folded herself over Bundy, pretending our rabbit’s white fur was a pillow and resting her cheek on it. Bundy squirmed, broke away and scampered around our apartment. Mari used to crawl after her. Now she runs.

“Bundy!” my 2-year-old called. “Bundy, come back!”

Bundy stopped to sniff the “Mari House”— a 30×40 inch cardboard structure my husband and children made and then painted taxicab yellow and red. She went inside, blending in with the stuffed animals amassed there. “Are we really going to pack that cardboard house in a cardboard box?” I thought.

After procrastinating for weeks, I finally called moving companies. Shipping the contents of our apartment will cost anywhere between $4,000 — if we pack everything ourselves and hire movers with one-star, “HUGE MISTAKE” Internet reviews — and $6,500 if we hire the “Extremely Careful and Courteous” five-star ones.

I watched Bundy hop around our living room and maneuver between the maze of toys, stopping to sniff the cash register that plays a tinny “London Bridge is Falling Down” when a credit card is swiped through the slot. The kids don’t play with most of the toys, but who am I to judge? I have a closet full of clothing and wore the same pair of leggings every day this winter.

Shipping everything seemed overwhelming. And I wasn’t sure it made sense. Our appliances are 220-240 volt, and as we’ll be renting at first, appliances are included. I love some of our furniture – like our couches, which we reupholstered burnt orange just in time for Mari to draw on them — but much of it was haphazardly acquired. A former roommate left me her desk in 1997. Mari’s crib is on loan from friends with teenage children. Matt once worked in an office that replaced all its chairs with ergonomic models, and we took the old ones. Suddenly it seemed like we were about to spend $6,500 for a worn couch and IKEA shelves. Read More

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