The Box


I used to be good at moving.

Tonight Tim went out (to something we were both supposed to attend, but I wasn’t feeling well) but left me home with five fresh boxes he bought at the hardware store. They’re labeled verhuisdoos just like I asked, so that on the other side I can hoard them and say, “Ohhhh, these are my Dutch moving boxes!” and he can give me a pitying look.

We had agreed that I might start with books, because then we can sell the bookcase. However, there was some dispute over whether or not the boxes were sturdy enough for books (they seem pretty flimsy, Gamma). Tim suggested that we watch online YouTube tutorials on how to pack books, because I wanted to know if we needed to wrap them in plastic or sandbag them or something, since on the way here some of my spines cracked on the boat, which is: TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.

Although I would never have imagined this sphere existed, there are boatloads of moving companies that have posted YouTube tutorials on how to pack your boxes, including specifically of books. Unfortunately, the first four I watched conflicted 50/50. Two said to pack the books flat, and two said to pack them upright. I was inclined to trust the one where the guy began by packing Harry Potter 7, so my books will go flat. He seemed to have priorities.

I, however, do not. I couldn’t get started on packing. I stared at the bookcase for ages, because it seemed like the first thing I packed should be “significant.” Yet… not so significant that I might want it between now and next month. I settled on The Holland Handbook, the expat guide someone gave us when we moved here. I’m not sure we ever used it. Then I began pulling off the shelf all the books that were Tim’s or that I don’t really care for, because I was certain I wouldn’t want them between now and the end of April. This began with the multi-volume Feynmann Lectures on Physics, which I am nearly certain no one in this house has consulted in four years. I continued with odds and ends books, and when the box was half-full, I determined that it was already structurally unsound and took all the books out.

Then I repacked it with two books, a shower curtain, a few stray linens, and two tiffins. And so it sits: ¾ full of things we will almost certainly be disappointed to see on the other side.

I took a break to open a beer. I took a break to think about the soundtrack to Once, which I’d just gotten from the library. I took a break to brainstorm a creative project for my niece’s birthday. I read a really long article on Slate. I remembered that I was supposed to document whatever went in the box, and I made a list that wouldn’t make sense to anyone else, including items like:

Small blanket I knit. Bird towel.

And I think that’s enough for tonight.


1 Comment

Filed under Our Dutch Adventure

One response to “The Box

  1. Jo Ann

    I’m glad you chose the bird towel and the blanket–it’s a start, and a meaningful one! Who would not love birds and blankets?

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