We learned that this staging is the best way to go about things only by trial and error. Our first error was during the second move, where we spent the night in our first Atlanta townhouse after the movers had packed everything into boxes but before they actually moved everything out. There were many boxes. Cal was distressed. Kids have a sense of order when it comes to their homes and seeing everything upended and entombed and mummified in plastic wrap horrified him. So since then, we've learned to minimize the kids' actual exposure to the moving process. Keep them out of the way for the packing, and remove them from the house when the movers are actually moving everything in. (Planning for this, we have a babysitter lined up for tomorrow morning.) This keeps their little heads screwed on straight, because forcing plasticity onto the construct of what they perceive to be a concrete entity tends to blow their tiny head gaskets.
After our last move (again, on a weekend), we discovered on Sunday night that not only could we not find Cal's lunchbox, but we also couldn't find his backpack, his jacket, his shoes, or any of the library books that he was supposed to return the next day. So now we have a policy. Anything that we anticipate needing within the first, oh, say, week of the move, we take with us ourselves. Either we take it to the new house in a series of car trips or, as this time, we rent a U-Haul and take a whole truckload over in advance of the actual moving truck, so we know where everything is. There is nothing more frustrating that needing something tiny and essential like a nail clipper, and not knowing which of the thousand identical, vaguely labelled boxes it resides in. We have learned our lessons. We will let the movers help us carry the couch down the stairs, but anything that we need and want to use, we bring over ourselves, in our own car, so they don't get tossed into a giant box maddeningly labelled, "HOUSE STUFF."
Anyway, we're here, at the new house, though most of the big stuff is not. The movers are coming tomorrow. I think we're in pretty good shape. We don't have very much furniture, old or new, and I think that there's one room off to the side of the house that's going to have to be The Box Room for quite a few weeks (who am I kidding? MONTHS.) until we get all our ducks in a row, but we're going to be in good shape by Monday morning, I think. We're going to be at 80% efficiency, which, as long as you don't need me to attend a cocktail party or locate that one soup tureen that we got as a wedding present but which we never use--we're in pretty good shape.
Moving still sucks, though. Did I mention we have no internet access yet? I am stealing this connection from a nice man named Linksys now, as a matter of fact. I know, I know, first world problems. At least the weather's nice.
Have a good weekend. Barring the possibility I will be pinned by a falling chiffarobe, I'll try and have a good one too.