My wife and I moved our family two weeks ago. With our two little boys it was quite the ordeal. We had to find someone to watch them as my wife and I boxed up all of our belongings, stuffed them into the mini-van, and then drove across town about 20 times to unload at our new place.
Looking back on the whole debacle there are a few things that I wish for.
Ugh My Back!
My first wish is that we had decided to get furniture that did not weigh 500 pounds. Of course as recent college grads we didn’t have a lot of money so we took what we could get. Which means that a lot of our furniture we got for free from my wife’s great-grandmother. Which means that it was all made of solid hardwood. Which means that it was all spine shatteringly heavy.
You might think that a recent college grad would have a lot of strapping young buddies who can grunt and heave heavy things like they are tossing bags full of cotton candy. Not so! Unfortunately we were the last of our group of friends to leave town. So all of our potential movers were scattered from Virginia to California.
That left me and my father-in-law who, although he is far from being old, will be the first to admit he is past his physical prime. (Love you Steve :-).
Our lives would have been so much easier with furniture that we could disassemble and carry out piece by lightweight piece.
Where’s the Truck
Did I mention that we are poor recent graduates? Yeah, we were way too cheap to get a moving truck. So we borrowed a friends’ pickup and took the seats out of the mini-van. Having the truck was great. We got a lot of things moved. But we really didn’t want to impose so we only borrowed it for one day.
Unfortunately we couldn’t get everything we needed moved in just one day. So even though we got most of the big things with the truck there were a few pieces of furniture that wouldn’t fit easily into the mini-van without some grunts and muttered curses.
Not only would disassembled furniture parts be lighter, they would also be easier to fit into smaller vehicles. U-haul might object. But I would love it.
Ouch My Thumb!
Finally everything was at the new place and it was time to put everything in its place. After clearing away a maze of boxes we got around to setting up our kids’ room. Our oldest boy had been sleeping in a pack and play because I hadn’t gotten around to assembling his crib. The crib was one of the few pieces of furniture we owned that actually did come apart.
Unfortunately it was also incredibly difficult to assemble. The bolts that held it together went in at a crazy angle that made them difficult to turn and in order to get the nuts to attach to the bolts I had to do this magical thing with a pair of needle nose pliers. After about an hour longer than it should have taken, I finally had the thing together.
Difficult assembly is incredibly frustrating. I can’t tell you how many times those silly little nuts slipped off my pliers and I had to dig them out of the hole recessed into the wood.
Where’s That Little Thinger?
One of the other fun things that we ran into while moving was finding all the little pieces that went to some of our furniture. We had some bookshelves from a giant Swedish furniture maker who I won’t name. These shelves had adjustable height. You just had to pull out the tiny little metal piece that they rested on and you could reposition them wherever you want. So we took all these tiny pieces and put them into a plastic bag so we would not lose them.
But when we tried to put together the shelves at our new apartment we had somehow misplaced the entire bag. Luckily we found it a day or two later. But until then we had to climb over and around stacks of books sitting in front of our empty shelves.
Lesson learned: losing little pieces can cripple your big important furniture.
Where’s My Sonic Screwdriver?
So, I managed to get my oldest son’s crib together. But it has been two weeks now and the crib for our second son is still lying in a pile of parts in the middle of the room. You see, a few months before we moved, my brother borrowed my tools to work on his bicycle. He still has them. I can’t put the crib together because I don’t have the tools.
Some furniture makers, like that Swedish one with the delicious meat balls, have opted to include the tools with the product. That way you never have to worry about being unable to assemble things. Plus after a number of purchases you build up quite an impressive collection of Allen wrenches. That is if you manage not to lose all of those little things.
If you have, like me, lost them and your brother is borrowing your tools then you are out of luck.
Why not make it entirely tool-less assembly? That would be so much easier.
Why Sprout is Awesome
This is one of the reasons that Sprout furniture is so great. From the kids table and chairs to the cubby storage, there are no tiny little pieces to lose. All of the products are made from lightweight materials. After they are taken apart they can be stored flat. With only Sprout furniture we would probably have to make more trips moving the stuff we stored in the furniture then we would moving the actual furniture. Plus, I wouldn’t have to keep trying to reach my brother so I can get my tools back.