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Moving Madness: One Man's Journey Through the Boxes

By John Maybury

(from my "Wandering and Wondering" column in the Pacifica Tribune, May 28)

As a veteran of many moves in my misspent youth, I broke the pattern when I moved to Pacifica some 20 years ago. I began to slow down and stay put for longer periods of time. I have moved only twice since I got here in the early ‘90s (from Sharp Park to Park Pacifica to Linda Mar).


So it was a shock to my system recently when Leslie and I packed up and moved to a new house. I had forgotten how to deal with the chaos of moving: address changes, purging possessions, packing boxes, hiring movers, kicking dust bunnies around the house, losing sleep, getting bruises and scratches on every extremity, trying to remember where everything is (a futile exercise despite careful organization and labeling of boxes), schlepping last-minute carloads of odds and ends that somehow did not get packed in time for moving day.


Well, I survived, and now am thoroughly enjoying the open-ended process of unpacking and reorganizing my living space. This end of the move is much easier mainly because there is no deadline to get it done, whereas preparing for moving day is super stressful.


All I can say about the experience is that using local people is the key to satisfaction. Let me name a few for your consideration:


Realtor Rich Macario ( shepherded us through the entire process of house-hunting and house-buying. He was with us every step of the way, staying on top of the financial and legal details as well as the minutiae of closing out one house and moving into a new one. He checked in with us every single day to see how things were going, and when necessary, got down on his hands and knees to fix a balky garage door opener.


Rich recommended the Vector moving company, and the three-man crew spent eight hours getting the two of us and our four tons of stuff moved to the new place. They did the job with brains, brawn, and good humor throughout, including a miraculous catch of my heavy oak desk as it slipped out of the grasp of the guy hoisting it on a strap out the upstairs window (the beast was too bulky to fit through the doorway). We fed the movers pizza for lunch, and at the end of the move, tipped each one as generously as possible.


But Rich’s best referral of all was James and Lisa Pugliese and their four-man painting crew. They turned our plain-vanilla rancher into a colorful delight. Leslie and I both picked out custom colors for our home offices, master bedroom, living room, and hallway. Pugliese and company got it done in a day and a half, and if I told you the great price, you would not believe it. They did quality work with every touch of the brush, and as crazy as it sounds, we actually enjoyed the ordeal. The Puglieses and their crew are personable and professional, and we could not be happier with the results.


Ian Butler and his helper Joe (Bay Area Arborist Co-op) trimmed, pruned, and groomed a stand of pittosporum trees that line our new backyard, taking away three truckloads of greenwaste. We plan to have Dave Martinez of Dig It landscaping “kill” our scraggly, water-hogging lawn and replace it with drought-resistant native plants. Dan Underhill took care of some plumbing issues around the new house, and Rich Shafer of Granite Electric is scheduled to fix some of our wiring and lighting.


Finally, Alan Wald (Pacifica palindromist, who also volunteers with the Community Center rummage sales) was a huge help in lightening our load before the move, picking up carloads of donations to the rummage sales and loaning us his vast supply of handy-dandy moving boxes.



We always say, “Shop locally.” But after this move, now we really believe it. Local works.


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Having a good realtor is a great thing. Having a horrible agent who hides during the transaction is the worst thing ever.

Having a Realtor when you are buying is such a great thing. Our Realtor from 18 years ago still drops in every now and then. When you are buying, Realtors are THE one thing to have in your corner. (I have no experience selling.)

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