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The Furniture Saga
sword
tiger_spot
(We have internet again! Yay!)

So, the saga goes like this:



We ordered lovely new bedroom furniture[1] to go with the lovely new apartment, on grounds that our existing nasty-ass particleboard bedroom set[2] wasn't worth moving to California in the first place and was most certainly not worth moving up stairs to the Apartment of Joy and Wonderfulness. I put it up on Freecycle, and a few days later on Craigslist. A couple of people expressed interest in the whole set, and a great many expressed interest in just the dresser. I made arrangements with Person A to come pick up the set on Sunday at noon, after we moved all our stuff out. "You're bringing a truck, right?" I said. "Yeah, yeah," said Person A. "We're borrowing one. No problem."

Later, we realized that we didn't have anywhere to put the flat drawers we had under the little shelves in the study, so I put those up too. I made arrangements with Person B to come get them at 2:45 on Sunday.

Saturday the Moving Squad of Awesome Helpfulness came over and helped us pack the truck, unload the truck, have tasty pizza lunch, pack another load of truck, unload another load of truck, and disassemble and reassemble various bits of furniture.

Sunday, a little before noon, I headed over to the old place[3] to wrangle furniture and clean up a bit in between visits. Around 12:45 or so, I called Person A to see if she was planning to show up. She assured me that she was on the way, and somewhere around 1:30 actually showed up, with Person A' (who is apparently the one who actually wanted the furniture), in a car. I talked them into buying the old TV[4], which they put into the car before they went off to fetch the truck.

At 2:45, they came back, in a pickup this time, and we went upstairs to start bringing the furniture down; at this point Person A' decided that actually, she needed to fetch several burly men in addition to the truck, because she was going to need to take it up three flights of stairs at the other end. "Are you absolutely sure you can get people?" I asked. "Oh, yes, yes." "Today?" "Oh, yes." "Well, all right then." And they went off to fetch the burly men.

Around this time, Person B showed up with her SUV. She was very complimentary about the drawers, the other furniture, and the condition of the walls (?), but then realized that to get the drawers into the SUV she'd have to fold the seats down. This was a problem for some reason involving her daughter's custody situation. "Can I come by tomorrow?" she asked. "Okay... tell you what, let's put it outside so you can just come grab it and won't have to wait for anybody to let you in." "Can you put a note on it so nobody thinks it's up for grabs and takes it away before I get here?" "Sure."

So we hauled it down the stairs and out the door. Then we hauled most of the rest of the furniture down, and I called Person A and let her know that when they got back with the burly men it'd be outside and therefore easy to pick up. We got the box spring stuck halfway down the stairs, at which point Person B had to go run to get groceries before picking up the kid. I called andres_s_p_b, who was off shopping with C-who-does-not-have-a-LiveJournal, and they came and rescued me from flusterment[5]. I vacuumed the now-empty apartment, left a note on the furniture, and took off for home, secure in the knowledge that Person A would be back later that evening with burly men, and Person B would be back the next day with no need to put kid and drawers in the car at the same time.

Neither of these things happened. Monday morning the old landlord[6] called. "Um? This furniture?" I assured him that I would take care of it somehow. I proceeded to contact the various other people who'd expressed interest in things and let them know that if they wanted it they just had to pick it up. I looked into junk hauling prices (expensive!). Andres called the Mountain View Goodwill and determined that they don't take particleboard[7]. We leaned on brooksmoses until he promised to drive things to the dump on Saturday if necessary.

Tuesday night Andres and I put everything back inside the apartment so it wasn't cluttering up the sidewalk. None of it had been taken by magic pixies as we were hoping; instead, someone had added a mattress to the pile.

We looked into how much this "dump" thing would cost us. We frowned. I called the Palo Alto Goodwill and learned that they do take particleboard (although not box springs), and the old landlord said that if we broke stuff up we could put it in the dumpster there as long as it didn't take up the whole dumpster.

Friday, an unexpected phone call resulted in Person C turning up and taking away the drawers and the nightstand. Yay!

Saturday, brooksmoses and I and the truck went over and smashed the box spring into a foldable form and a lot of kindling (saving a spring for andres_s_p_b, who didn't think it had any), threw that out, took the dresser, headboard, bedframe, and mirror to Goodwill, decided that the bookshelf and the chest of drawers were below Goodwill's standards, fetched screwdrivers, disassembled the rejected furniture[8], carted the disassembled bits to the dumpster, picked up most of the staples and nails ejected by the destruction of the box spring, and decided that the remaining splinters and bits of fluff weren't really our problem anymore, especially as we hadn't brought a vacuum.

And then all the furniture was gone and we lived happily ever after.




[1] Crazy expensive; we can never ever get rid of it. But we won't ever need to because it is made of Actual Wood and will therefore not disintegrate.

[2] Bookcase headboard, dresser, chest of drawers, nightstand, and mirror. Also the box spring and metal bedframe, since the new bed is a captain's bed (the kind with drawers in), and a small bookshelf which the veneer was peeling off of.

[3] And it was already "the old place". Usually when I move I get a doubled or fuzzy sense of home for a while, as I slowly shift from one place to the other, but this time it was like a switch. ::CLICK::, this is home now. ::CLICK::, this is not home anymore. Very odd.

[4] Which Andres has been trying unsuccessfully to sell since Thanksgiving... 2006, was it? when he got the new TV.

[5] Box spring does not go down the stairs. Box spring goes over the balcony.

[6] Nice guy; we liked him.

[7] Quite sensible, really.

[8] Salvaging the drawer slides and some knobs, because brooksmoses is kind of obsessive that way.
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Hoo, boy. BT,DT. Glad you're done!

(The moral of this story, boys and girls, is: Do Not Buy Particle Board Furniture, no matter how economical it seems at the time. Find real wood at a thrift store, buy industrial metal Gorilla Rack-style shelving, live on piles of floor pillows - anything but particle board. It's heavy, it's harder to take apart than it was to put together and nobody really want it used, even when they claim they do.)

I would argue that there are reasons to buy particleboard, but that one should realize that it is temporary and you will have to dispose of it in some manner, and plan accordingly.

The lesson I'm taking away is that if you sell stuff rather than give it away, people feel invested in it and are therefore more likely to actually take it with them (viz. the TV).

Well, there are what seem like reasons at the time, I'll grant you that.

But having spent the last decade gradually eliminating of the last remnants of my particle board past (I'm down to my desk and one two-drawer faux oak file cabinet), I'm not sure they were good enough for the considerable pain (some of it literal - ever drop a particle-board shelf edge-down on your toe?) that ensued.

(I've had reasonably good luck Freecycling, but I also live in a neighborhood where you can put *anything* on the curb with a "free" sign on it and have it disappeaer in a couple of hours.)

In any case: Yay, new abode, yay, new furniture! Enjoy!!!

In any case: Yay, new abode, yay, new furniture! Enjoy!!!

Thank you. :)

instead, someone had added a mattress to the pile

That's awesome.

If by "awesome" you mean "incredibly rude", sure. If we had been hiring a junk-hauling company, that thing would have been at least another $20. (We told Roy-the-landlord about it and he made it go away since it wasn't our fault.)

Incredibly rude, certainly. But from a human-behavior-analysis standpoint it's interesting that someone had the nerve to do this. What were they thinking?

Presumably that if someone was going to come haul away the other furniture, they would also haul away the mattress. Perhaps they thought nobody would notice, or at least that nobody who knew there wasn't supposed to be a mattress there would notice, since clearly we-the-furniture-owners weren't intending to be present when the furniture was removed.

In the more charitable explanation, they might have noticed that there was no mattress in the pile and thought that theirs was good enough to be given away for free with the rest of it (Untrue. It looked pretty nasty.). In the less charitable, they were trying to freeload a ride to the dump, although if that was their thinking I don't know why they didn't just tip it in the dumpster out back.

Apparently magic furniture pixies are capricious and do not own GPS units to find their way back to places.
I'm just glad you got rid of the TV too (and the rest eventually).

Yeah, I was kind of pleased about the TV.

It's probably rude of me to laugh, but really? The idea that so many people claimed they wanted it but in the end you couldn't even give it away for free? Is fricking funny. As is the extra mattress.

People are weird. Some days this is more amusing than others.

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