Ta-ta-tin! - Breaking out of the box - CycleBlaze

January 31, 2018


We've entered the end game of our move.  We've decided what stays and what goes, and are packing up belongings for storage.  Tomorrow morning our moving crew will help us cart off most of our furniture, assuming I don't ruin the plans by crashing the 15 foot U-Haul truck into the restaurant next door when I back into the loading zone. 

After that, we're down to final packing, and loading the survivors into our storage unit.  Only one significant question remains - will it all fit?

The answer to this question has been slow in coming.  We locked ourselves in on a fixed storage capacity a few days back, by leasing a pretty small unit: five feet wide, six feet deep, and roughly six feet high.  We've mentally been working with this constraint in making our keep/eliminate decisions, but until those were all done we couldn't really say for sure that it would all fit.  The fallback if we don't have space will be further cuts in what we're keeping.

Here's what we plan to keep and fit into the unit:

  • Our dining table: 3-1/2 feet deep, 2-1/2 feet high, and 4 to 7 feet long, depending on how many leaves are installed.  This is going to storage because it's a good structural item - we can stash things beneath and stack on top.
  • A simple desk: 3-1/2 feet wide, 2-1/2 feet high, and 20 inches deep.  It is going to storage for the same reason - it's a good structural item.
  • A tonsu (Japanese chest of drawers): 31 inches wide, 15 inches deep, and 34 inches high.  This is going because it's a family heirloom handed down by my parents, and because it will work well for our personal belongings that we need access to.  We just need to store it oriented so that we can open its drawers.
  • Two bicycles.  We plan on rotating them - riding the Bike Fridays and storing Rodriguez and Surly when we're overseas, and reversing that when we're in the States.
  • A large, heavy glass coffee table, a glass end table and a pair of lamps, because we like them enough to keep them around.
  • A few dozen boxes and various odds and ends.

That's a lot to fit into such a small space.  I've been mulling over the problem for the last several days, mentally playing out different ideas.   About three this morning I woke up thinking about it again, and couldn't get back to sleep.  Time to get out the paper and pencil for a reality check. 

After about an hour, I had drawn up a passable solution that looked like everything just might fit.  It would be close.  I went back to bed.

A half an hour later, I wake up again, with an improvement in mind.  I get up, redraw the plan, and go back to bed smiling to myself at how well this is all coming together.

A half an hour later I wake up for the third time, with yet one more improvement in mind.  I get up, redraw the plan again, and now I'm really happy.  Perfect!  Here's the plan:

  • the dining table will go in lengthwise, snug against the back wall.  With one leaf in place, it's almost a perfect fit - 5-1/2 feet.
  • The glass surface of the coffee table will go on top of the table.
  • The desk will go on top of the table and glass, up front and against the left wall.
  • The tonsu will go on top of the table and glass also, up front and snug against the desk, with the drawers facing the 1-1/2 foot open space on the right.
  • the curved base of the coffee table will go on top of the dining table, against the back wall. 
  • Heavy boxes (books, etc) will go beneath the table.  Light boxes and miscellaneous items will go on top. 
  • Things we don't think we need until we resettle will go toward the back, and things we want to be accessible will go toward the front.
  • The bicycles will go in the open spaces the right.  It looks like they just fit, with my handlebar extending over the top of the table.

As the delightful restaurateur in Pezenas announced with a flair last fall, Ta-ta-tin!  I love thinking back on her, her husband, and the wonderful meals we had there.  If things go to plan, we’ll get to stop in again this fall on our way across southern France.

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Now, all we need to do is test the theory out in real life.  The proof is in the putting, as they always say.  We'll check back Sunday with photos of the packed storage space.

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