Lynn Hall column: On the move: The ‘joy’ of packing boxes and moving mattresses

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 14, 2019

I just spent the last three weeks moving. This required the packing and relocating of some 217 boxes, 34 pieces of furniture, a washer and dryer, televisions, 10 lamps, golf clubs, tennis racquets, tools, a bicycle and bike rack, some lawn equipment, camping gear and 54 pieces of framed artwork and family photos.

Inside those boxes was everything from dishes and glassware to clothes, movies and CDs, linens, books, office supplies and other computer equipment, not to mention an enormous and embarrassing amount of miscellaneous memorabilia that still remained despite at least 15 separate trips to Goodwill and the dump. Once I began moving into my new place, I found that the depth of sentimentality was proportional to available space. Goodbye college yearbooks, summer camp photos and songbooks and my very colorful stamp collection, assembled on the basis of nothing but “oh, that one’s pretty.”

Of all the extraordinarily heavy items that had to be moved, the biggest pains in the neck (back, shoulders, knees and feet) were the mattresses — two double beds and one queen. Perhaps I’m showing my age (again) but didn’t mattresses used to come with some sort of handle on the side? I distinctly remember there being a small hand-hold of some sort and it making life and moving immensely more tolerable. (If I dreamed this and there never was such a thing, don’t even think about it, I’m already booking a slot on Shark Tank.)

If you’ve ever moved a mattress, even a twin, you know from first-hand experience how difficult it can be to get a good grip on the darn thing in order to move it out of one room, down the stairs, around corners, out the front door to a waiting U-Haul. I don’t even need to tell you how many times it slips from one’s grasp and either knocks down the person maneuvering the other end or causes one to misstep and knock three photos off the wall and one lamp off an end table. And that was just the double bed mattresses.

Due to an architectural miscalculation by the builder of the house, a queen size mattress and box springs will not fit up or down the stairway. Were this a Victorian structure or some other relic of the days prior to the advancements in sleeping accommodations and the advent of the queen and king-size mattresses, it would make sense. But a house built in 1998, not so much.

In order to find yourself reclining on a queen mattress in an upstairs bedroom, you and several very good friends were required to hoist the big, slippery thing straight up and over the bannister without knocking down the chandelier. I think we may have actually earned some sort of Scouting badge for this accomplishment.

Anyway, I’ve now relocated, unpacked, discarded those 217 boxes, found it unnecessary to hoist a single mattress over any bannister and with only three more muscle relaxers left, feel I’m very close to being settled. I had thought this was to be a temporary move until I found exactly where I wanted to be. Turns out, never having to pack and move again is exactly where I want to be.