Stardate 07102019 — Captain’s Log

We are venturing forth to investigate a mysterious dark substance floating through space. Approaching with caution. Wait — it’s drawing us in! We can’t escape, and it seems to just go on and on and on ...

That might sound a bit overly dramatic, but it also is an apt description for a move that began in mid-December and is still not quite complete.

Finally, after two 26-foot U-Haul trucks, one 20-foot U-Haul and numerous trips with items carried in a car, a van and my mother-in-law’s vehicle, we have mostly completed the move.

We still have some Christmas items and a few odds and ends at our house in Central Texas, but no more U-Hauls will be needed, thankfully.

Because of that, my wife says we can consider the move complete. But I guess I still consider it ongoing because there is still a van load yet to arrive.

This has seemingly been “the move that does not end.” 

On Saturday night/Sunday morning, we were working until well after 3 a.m. loading items. Then we unloaded those items well into the wee hours of Monday morning.

At that point, it was mostly gardening equipment, keepsakes, lamps, some of my son’s toys and at least one box of old newspapers from places where I’ve worked from July 1991 to the present.

It’s amazing how much stuff accumulates over the years, and, truth be told, we had boxes from previous moves that we’d not sorted out. 

One of the things that took so long is that we took the time to go through several of those boxes this time, and we were able to fill two recycling carts, a trash can and still have a few items in overflow. At least those items won’t be making the move with us.

I’m embarrassed that we have so much stuff (even though we ended up giving away a significant amount to charity and sold other items), but based on the number of storage units you see (including a few in Live Oak County), we are in good company.

The commercial real estate publication RE Journals notes that “there are more self-storage facilities in America than there are McDonald’s restaurants ... There were 48,500 self-storage facilities in America at the end of 2014,” and only 14,350 McDonald’s locations at the time. 

In the last five years, I would imagine the number of storage facilities in the U.S. has increased by several thousand.

A more recent report on the website sparefoot.com indicates the self storage industry is a $38 billion business annually, and that 1.7 billion square feet of storage space is available for rent in America.

Hopefully, we have eliminated enough clutter that we won’t need a storage unit, but I can definitely sympathize with those who do.

What’s interesting is that there are also countless storage sheds in people’s backyards, garages and attics or basements in various places (or entire rooms that some people have filled with keepsakes and various items) that don’t even figure in to those self storage figures listed above.

When driving through Austin on Interstate 35, you can even see a well-lit multi-level storage facility. 

Until I saw that, I never knew there were storage facilities that reached two or three — or more – stories into the sky.

Then there’s the rental truck business. I can’t tell you how many trucks from U-Haul, Ryder, Penske, Budget, etc. that I see on the road. Moving is big business.

The people who helped us unload a truck with furniture items earlier this month told us they were moving some Navy pilots from Corpus Christi to Virginia, and they stay busy constantly.

As drawn out as my move has been, I’m thankful that I wasn’t moving to the East Coast, West Coast or somewhere thousands of miles away. 

For those in the military, moves are often overseas. That has to be truly exhausting.

I am glad to be “mostly moved” at this point. And hopefully, it won’t take us until Christmas to get those Christmas items moved to South Texas — at least our Christmas tree is stored securely in a large closet in the den.

Jeff Osborne is the editor of The Progress. A Texan since 1973, he has worked for Texas newspapers for 25 years.