Here we go again. To relocate is no easy thing, especially when you move internationally. Over the years I’ve done that several times; however, I only had a small luggage with me. I learnt to bring with me only the essentials, and buy locally for my daily needs. If you think of it, there are little things you won’t find locally, and most of them will just fit in a backpack. What you can’t bring with you on a flight, you can always ship by mail.
Nevertheless, when the moving involves an entire household, two adult humans and two cats, things are a bit more complex, even if you only move within the same town. Luckily enough, Jeff and I are strong of the experience from the last two movings, plus an invaluable global resource: banana boxes.
Over the last two years, Jeff has first moved in with me in Dublin 7 and, later, we have moved together twice – to Dublin 8 and to Bray. Since the beginning, we have gone through a process of shrinking of our belongings from the excess to the bare minimum. I didn’t have much when I landed in Dublin. However, since the very beginning, I started to make my apartment nicer and bought all sort of furniture and decorations to make it ‘mine’. When Jeff moved in, it was clear that my apartment wasn’t big enough for the two of us, not because it was a tiny apartment, rather because Jeff came with a 6-year legacy in terms of ‘things’. We were soon overcome by boxes. Many things he had, I also had newer, so we started junking doublets and selecting what we wanted to keep.
It took us quite a lot. Eventually, we decided to find a larger apartment. I left behind a new table and chair, a brand new sofa and bathroom cabinets.
We did love our new place in Islandbridge. It was good sized, in a nice area, private but with big windows and tons of light coming in. It needed repainting and reflooring, but we counted to do so over time, with the landlord’s permission. I could see it shining with just a few touches and some extra comfy furniture. We were extremely unlucky. We immediately had a rough start in dealing with a narrow-minded agent to get permission to repaint the walls (not to mention to replace the carpet with hard-wood flooring). When she made it clear that we didn’t even have permission to modify the position of the desk in the living room, we got the message and we dropped both communication and our enthusiasm for the place. We were stuck in an apartment that couldn’t be improved or even made decent to live in. The whole thing was quite bothering, depressing and disheartening. When the landlord eventually defaulted and fled to Malaysia, at least, we had the solace of not putting too much money into it. Over this 12-month long odyssey, we managed quite well to throw away all the old things we had.
The final cut on our things came with the moving to our current apartment in Bray. We were passing from a good-sized two-room apartment down to a tiny one-room apartment. We left behind a brand new double fridge, new King size mattress, new filing cabinet, large cooking pans and utensils of any kind, tech gadgets, blankets, pillows, sets of extra duvets, treadmill and so many other things that couldn’t possibly fit in our new place. Even so, after a drastic reduction of our things, we have had boxes in the bed room. There are things we can’t get rid of – for me, that would be books.
We are now at a point of bare minimum possessions, with most of the extra boxes gone, and yet, no room for any more clothes or shoes (luckily enough, we are not fashionistas). Sometimes that’s just frustrating… and an incredible exercise of co-hexistance. If we have made it here, we’ll have no issues at all in the future.
Now that we are about to move again – and leaving the country, this entire shrinking process just comes handy: less to be moved, very little to be left behind.
Why banana boxes?
When Jeff first moved in with me, I found myself surrounded by dozens of banana boxes. I soon understood what their advantages were:
- They are easily available, and for free: any supermarket will have some of them every day for disposal, so they’ll happily hand them out upon request;
- They all have the same shape and size, which comes handy for storage and handling.
- They are extremely strong and you don’t need to seal them, as the cover will perfectly slip onto the base and won’t slip off.
For two years, banana boxes have helped us moving our stuff around and rationalize our operations. Today it’s time to start it all over again: later in the day, we will head to Tesco and load up on banana boxes. Luckily, this time we won’t need too many of them.
It’s time to start packing!
Categories: Life in Ireland