Don’t make a move // Travails of Moving to America

By Sheva Shapira

Having recently moved from Israel to Lakewood, I am considered by many to be a seasoned professional when it pertains to relocation. In fact, I have spent much time in meditative thought, trying to come up with the best possible tip to help others who are planning a big move. And I do believe that I am in possession of perhaps the greatest piece of advice known to mankind on how to have a seamless, stress-free, and pleasant experience. Here is what it boils down to: STAY WHERE YOU ARE!

Now, this is the part where people start presenting me with reasons why they need to move. I won’t go through all the excuses, but in most cases, there is a perfectly reasonable alternate solution. Example: “We don’t have enough room where we are.” To which I might suggest a few practical solutions, such as: Get rid of some of your stuff, or send a few kids to boarding school. There are always other options.

If you are not quite convinced, let me tell you a little bit about the past four months of my life. Last Pesach, my husband and I decided that we were going to move. The reason I say “my husband and I decided” is because it sounds bad if I say that I decided and then forcibly abducted my husband, which is actually closer to the truth…
So we settled on a moving date in the summer. Now, we had many belongings that were not going to fit in our suitcases, which necessitated the organizing of a lift. For those of you who are not familiar, a lift is where a bunch of guys pack up all your possessions and ship it by boat, which takes only about the span of a few lifetimes to arrive. So we used this very nice guy named Shai, whose identifying details I have changed so he doesn’t lose business as a result of this story and has thus the opportunity to torture many more people with his services.

So Shai shows up at our apartment and takes inventory of all the things we want to send and quotes us an estimate based on how much space our belongings will take up on the boat. Then he quotes us a timeline for when we need to send the aforementioned belongings and it is alarmingly soon. He insists this is necessary, even though we aren’t scheduled to leave for another two months. However, if we want to get our things upon our arrival in Lakewood, he explains, we have to expedite matters and transport our belongings to his warehouse as soon as humanly possible, to avoid (quite literally) missing the boat.

In order to get the job done as quickly as possible, Shai sent his team of workers who were experts at speed packing. In case you ever wish to dabble in speed packing, the trick is to stuff everything into boxes in no apparent order so that when one attempts to unpack the boxes, the process will take approximately 15 times longer by virtue of the fact that nothing is where it’s supposed to be. So instead of having boxes neatly labeled “Kitchen,” “Bedroom,” or “Study,” each box was like a surprise combination of the three.

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