PODS

A PODS pod waiting for stuff to be loaded
The astute reader will note that two-and-a-half weeks have elapsed since last I deigned to cast my thoughts into cyberspace. There are many reasons, some of which are germane, and some of which boil down to laziness. A few of the germane reasons include: busy work environment, good books to read, American Idol to watch.

But the main reason why I haven’t been writing is because my parents are moving from Alabama to Oklahoma and I was assiting their move during the weekends. This entailed driving back and forth to Birmingham which, while not a hugely long drive, still nicely eats a good portion of your day. After getting home, I was never really in the mood to blog.

I was compensated for my time, though: I got to annoy my little sister, eat my mother’s cooking, and I also took home with me their dining room set and one of their bedroom sets. The dining room set includes a china cabinet! so we can finally unpack and display all of our beautiful wedding china. Plus the enourmous collection of champagne flutes that we possess (people just kept giving them to us, and they are all very nice) finally get a resting place.

To top off the moving adventure, though, was the three-day odyssey that took place last week, when Dad and I packed up two PODS for delivery to Tulsa with all of the household goods. Dad had contacted the Master’s Commission in Birmingham to help with the heavy lifting on Monday and Tuesday, and the plan was to get all of the big, weighty things into the pod (see picture above) and then to fill in around the corners and edges with everything else in order to pack up the house.

Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. When I arrived on Tuesday evening, most of the heavy furniture was in the pod (singular at that moment) but not a whole lot else. There were couches and desks and boxes and chairs and recliners and all sorts of things scattered around that still needed to go in. I was a bit dismayed. Dad asked if I thought we needed another pod (for a total of two) and I emphatically answered yes.

Inside a POD before we stuffed it to the gills
Here is a good picture of what kind of space is in these things. What you see there is two dressers, a love seat, a dryer, and a cushy chair on top of one of those heavy cushioned living room chairs—There’s about equivalent room between the dressers and loveseat as between the front door and the chair.

Wednesday we accomplished the stuffing of pod #1 as shown above. I set up a nice booby-trap for those who unpack this thing by placing a plethora of loose items behind the couch that we stood on end near the front door (Good luck to the ones who open this thing up).

Don’t let all that open space near the front fool you! That pod is absolutely jam packed as far as we could manage it; floor to ceiling, side to side. Dad told me that he was unpacking boxes on Monday and Tuesday just to have items to place inside other items. And it’s all going to have to come out in reverse order to avoid any catastrophes (again, good luck to the ones who open this up).

We got up early again on Thursday and started working on pod #2, starting from the almost-empty state you see above in the second picture. Today was more challenging because we had left a great deal of weird-shaped items: all of the dining room chairs, several cushy seats, a work bench, the lawnmower and rototiller, an evil three-in-one end table (it’s evil because it hit me on the head twice), the table saw, plus all the odds and ends that get left to the end of a project like this one. After many trials, heartache, sacrifice, and sweat, we ended up with pod #2 packed and ready to go.
The finished product.  POD #2 packed and ready to close.

This left Friday to bag up all of the things that weren’t going to make the move and cart them to the dump, plus depositing a sizable amount of porch furniture, ladders, etc., in the neighbor’s yard, covered by a tarp, for pickup by Dad in two weeks on his way to Tulsa.

Woo! It was a busy few days and I’m glad they are over. The house is now in possession of its new owner and all is well. Too bad the parents are moving farther away, but now I can visit two sets of relatives every time I go to Tulsa.
The first POD being picked up by its truck for delivery to a storage location
In case you’ve never seen them in action before, here is a picture of the pod being picked up by its truck. It’s a cool system and I would consider it for a move under certain circumstances. If you’re moving a house, you definitely must be willing to spend the time to pack the thing well, and I guarantee that your items will take up more space then you think. The PODS website says you should be able to fit a 1500 square foot home into a 16 foot pod (what we had) but I’m not so sure. You could probably do that if you make the assumption that you have minimal garage or shop items, and few outdoor things to toss in there. The square footage needs to take into account the size of your exterior investment. My parents, with a pool house and several other large exterior accoutrements, defintely did not fit into that category.

I figure that roughly 60 person-hours of work went into packing the two pods, and that does not include the time spent packing the items to go into the pods. So, keep that in mind if you contemplate this adventure for yourself.

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