When we first started packing, I decided we needed a fail-safe organizational system. I remembered reading about one a family had done (who have three times as many children and much more oomph than I) that I thought I could modify. I created a labeling system that consisted of a three-part code. The first part would be either “S” for storage or “M” for move. The next letter would signify what category the box fell in, i.e. kitchen, clothing, electronics, books, etc. The last part would be a number: the boxes in each category would be numbered in order of packing. And here’s the really brilliant part: I kept a notebook with a page for each category (section 2). Each entry on the page was labeled ” S1, M2, M3, S4″, etc. On the line next to each entry I detailed what was in the box. Not every little thing, mind, but the general gist and perhaps a few key items we would be looking for. SO, when we started unpacking and I needed a stock-pot, I could look at my handy-dandy notebook, turn to the page for “Kitchen”, scan down the list for “stock-pot” and note that it was in MK12. Then I wouldn’t have to go through every box labeled “kitchen” looking for it. I also wouldn’t have to write anything out, just the code. I fairly patted myself on the back for my brilliance and foresight. The move and unpacking would go beautifully and all thanks to my general wonderfulness.
Well, when we arrived, members of the church (THANK YOU!!) arrived promptly and we had the entire truck unloaded in 2.5 hours. Of course, people scurried back and forth, unloading and setting boxes everywhere. Some of you might be snickering about now. Wait for it. This is kind of what the living room looked like after unloading. (This was taken after several hours work the next day actually. Picture it twice as high.):
When we started organizing things, there were a few particular items we kind of needed sooner rather than later. Smiling broadly, I whipped out the notebook (that didn’t get packed; I did do that much right) and announced that the item Father needed was in MC72. [Note: there were well over 100 boxes of books – I will forever associate the letter “C” with books.] We surveyed the room and realized that boxes were everywhere. Stacked, leaning, upside-down, buried, behind bits of furniture… Well, we started looking for MC72…box by box. It took about 20 minutes. The rest of the day was punctuated by calls for “B-22? B-22?” “I’ve got B-21.” “G-14….G14…”
We were playing Box Bingo.
We conscripted the children, who were smaller and more flexible and therefore more able to crawl into tiny corners and through narrow tunnels in the hopeless search for particular boxes. As soon as we could, Father and I started separating boxes by category into giant piles in the room. It got better from there. The next time we move, another organizational system will have to be found…
On the other hand, the cats settled right in. Especially Genevieve. She’s a comfy cat.