One more step West

Despite losing a week to Covid, I was able to carry out my mission to the midwest, by getting the contents of our storage unit moved from the Chicago area to Eureka, CA. We’ve had the storage unit since we decided to sell our house in Wheaton, early in 2014. We filled it with items we didn’t need during staging, then emptied it out for our estate sale, then we filled it with the items we wanted to keep while we traveled.

Storage unit contents

Eight years later, we are ready to get rid of the storage unit. The price has crept up and up. We already knew that the value of the items stored in the unit would never equal the money we paid to keep them, but some things have sentimental value. Now that it costs over $200/mo for a 10 x 15 ft. space, though, we will both be relieved to be done with it.

We were a bit concerned about getting access to our storage unit, when the key we left with Peggy didn’t work. I arrived with the one remaining key that might work, and it did, so there was no added drama or need to cut the lock. We’ve been visiting the storage locker a couple of times a year, and we have a general idea of what is in it, but it has also accumulated a deep layer of dust and some lumpy pieces of insulation that seems to have been blown into the roof of these units. It appears to be harmless, just a bit messy.

I met with a “relocation specialist” from our mover, and found that this is the person who negotiates what the client wants: packing, shipping, storage, immediate vs. delayed pick-up, immediate vs. delayed delivery, all the options. Our specialist, Lee, looked over the unit, took photos and video, and discussed the fact that we wanted some fragile items packed by them. Our conversation was straightforward, and the visit was brief.

Lee did a good job of follow-up and that proved important. We followed up with her when the estimate didn’t turn up as scheduled, and she got it to us. Then when we accepted the bid we didn’t get the contract. Lee found out that the office manager she hands her work off to was out sick. She got someone else to send us the paper work. Once that was lined up we got a date for pickup, and again Lee was the person who confirmed the dates.

Movers setting up for the packing job

In the meantime, I had Covid and recovered and then still had a couple of days left over before pickup of our items. I visited the storage unit and by taking a bit of Benadryl and wearing a face mask, I began to sweep and dust the boxes I could reach. Cleaning is not required, but the movers don’t clean anything, they just pack. I figured it would benefit all of us to have a bit less dust on everything. I couldn’t reach it all, there was plenty left on moving day.

On Monday morning right at 8 am, the two movers arrived at the storage unit. I let them in and watched while they set up. After getting to work and making sure we agreed on what they’d be packing, I left them to it for an hour and went home for coffee. By the time I returned, the packing was well under way. I dozed in the car while they finished up, all done exactly three hours after they arrived.

I left a few dried leaves for the clean-up crew.

I signed paperwork, and the lead packer advised me to check the inventory carefully when it arrived. He pointed out that our goods were picked up in one truck, and would be transferred to another, and perhaps another after that, and the risk of leaving something behind increases every time the load is moved from one vehicle to another. Now we wait and see how long it takes for our collection to cross the US, and what shape it is in when it arrives in Eureka. We agreed to a very flexible delivery date, figuring it would help with price and scheduling. After all, Eureka is not a major city on the west coast… The packer whistled at the 16 day window for delivery. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter to us.


Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

2 thoughts on “One more step West

  1. Congratulations on clearing out that storage unit. I know what a relief it is to not see that monthly bill! Hope you get stronger and better each day. 👍😘


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