The Tao Of Moving

Daphne Macklin
4 min readOct 7, 2019

It was just upstairs and to a better place even…

But it was still “moving”.

You want to have a bad attitude about moving, try being homeless for a bit. Schlepping your life from place to place, not fun. I would have been a bad nomad. I collect too much stuff. I have too many memories tied up in physical structures. Try something as useless as an unfinished piece of an ambitious crochet project. Ok, make that several unfinished pieces for a number of unfinished ambitious crochet projects. Guilty as charged. Very guilty. Have a storage container full of many, many years of stuff that should probably be thrown away. But that’s down from two. Did I mention I think that Kondo woman is a fraud?

The office move was somewhat inevitable. Our small staff was growing and thirty plus years of accumulated materials was beginning to feel like my storage facility except with doors and windows and telephones. Then there was the copier. It didn’t help. The copier could be relied upon to produce a ream of paper that needed to be filed (and was not going to be filed) on a daily basis. Non-profit organizations generally do not have support staff and filing is not a priority if no one is being paid to, well, file. And some things cannot be trusted to volunteers!!!!

So there is the need to move. Well mainly because not just space is needed but also privacy, a spaciousness of one’s own so to speak. A small amount of your professional real estate where a client with a disabled young child can weep in private about her most recent encounter with an unfeeling and uncaring social welfare bureaucracy. A space big enough to entertain friends visiting from out of town on a whim. A space secure enough to hand rear newborn kittens without distracting all of your office mates. A space with a window that you can stare out of in peace while the conference call you are participating in goes on and on and on and….

Still the old office with its open seating plan; treasure trove of historically interesting policy reports dating back over thirty years; and its secret front door had its charms. There was the ballroom dance studio in the suite to the south. There was an insurance licensee’s training institute on the other side of court yard. Generally we never saw the patients at the legal marijuana dispensary as their office opened onto a parking lot on the far side of the building. But there are things which were learned about the marketing strategies of a certain convenience store chain that give me pause every time I think about entering one of their franchise operations.

Unlike the series of downsizing moves that I began a few years ago, this move was essentially contained and discreet. I had to move the contents of my relatively small desk, one two-drawer file cabinet and a closet outfitted with a bookshelf and whatever else that could be gotten behind the door when shut. Given what I’d learned, I ordered a half-dozen of the unfold and pack bankers’ boxes for office delivery. We only needed to make two runs to Office Depot for more.

By Friday I was packed. Saturday, the movers, four strapping young men, arrived early and under the direction of our office manager/bookkeeper/significant other of the organizations’ head, were wrapping file drawers in plastic and boxing annotated binders of stuff. By mid morning they were far enough along to start loading the U-Haul truck that would journey the great distance of around the office complex to our new building with the so much more spacious digs and private offices with windows!!!!

However much I thought that I was packed, there were still other things to pack and get hauled on a hand-truck through the courtyard, across the bridge that had once spanned an ornamental fountain and pool, up a slight but steep hill and onto one of the tinier passenger elevators I have ever used. As it was Saturday, none of the other offices were open. Most in fact were not even occupied. We have the only occupied suite on our side of the second floor. The realtor kept insisting we could sublet if we took on another suite.

Loading the hand-truck could take about fifteen minutes. You do have to balance the load. Then there was the above described five-minute trek, fortunately in pleasant late September breeziness to the elevator and then the new office. What did take time was the unloading of the hand-truck. What went where? Who was it for? What was it really? This was easy at first because the only goal was to unload the truck. After lunch, when the furniture started to migrate upward, it was wisest to deposit hand-truck loads away from furniture deposits.

I set myself a goal. All of my boxes to be where I wanted them by 3:00 p.m. Then I would go home. My ankles and knees had other ideas, as did the wheel on the hand-truck. As the last set of my boxes was deposited at 1:30 p.m., and I headed for the elevator, I noted an unusual noise, looked down at the hand-truck and observed that it had lost a wheel, a big wheel.

I was able find the missing wheel, some washers but not the linch pin. I took that as a sign: Go Home.

I did not need to be told twice