Measure everything: Moving struggles teach simple life lesson

Riley Mortensen

There’s nothing quite like that feeling I get when I see a garage sale sign. There aren’t really words to explain it, but I like to think it’s as close to euphoria as one can come. I struck real gold with this one.

What started out as a hunt for dishes for my new apartment turned into the center piece of the whole living room. I’d never seen such a beautiful armoire, but I wanted it the minute I saw it.

It looked like something right off of HGTV. The off-white shabby chic look was nothing short of fabulous, and the full length mirrors added to the elegance and sophistication. Little did I know that the shabby chic look was soon to become authentic.

On moving day, I couldn’t have been prouder. This was my first place, after all. My parents and a few friends tagged along to help me move things in and out of the U-Haul.

I made sure the armoire would fit in the U-Haul, and we knew the apartment was tall enough to hold it, but the fatal mistake we made was soon discovered when we pulled up to the back door.

First of all, it was heavy enough that it took four able bodied men to move it. Secondly, it was too big to fit in the elevator, so we had to resort to the stairs. Finally, it was too big to fit through the back door.

Once we dragged it all the way through the front door and the men, determined to get it into the apartment,  reached the first turn in the stairs and had failed trying to maneuver the cumbersome piece at every angle, we drew the conclusion that there was no way my beautiful armoire would fit up the stairs.

They even ripped the back boards off in an attempt to figure out this geometric puzzle.

By now, we’d spent hours working on this blasted thing, and it was nearly midnight.

With every bump and bruise, I heard the wood endure and I cringed. The only thing we could do was leave it there in the stairwell upside down overnight. That’s why I didn’t sleep too well. And the next day, my mom called the handiest carpenter we know who came and took off only a few pieces, just a few mere inches to make the fit perfect.

In the end, it cost nearly as much to get the darn thing up to my apartment as it did to buy it, but I don’t regret buying it. It’s the most perfect focal point to a room I’ve ever seen, and at least I know how to move it for next time.

Moral of the story, measure for everything. Maybe even twice, but buy what you love. There’s a way to fix everything.

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