As I've mentioned briefly elsewhere, I'm probably going to be moving in the next six weeks or so (exactly where, I'm not 100% sure yet). But it occurred to me that I really ought to start thinking about packing. And I have a lot of books. 350 feet of bookshelves, in fact. Constituting the vast majority of my possessions that have to be put in boxes. Does anyone know of any way of figuring out how many boxes (standard size for packing, if there is such a thing) I would need for all those books? More specifically than "many"? Oy. The last time I moved, 10 years ago, when my ex and I separated and I moved into an apartment, my new place was only about 3 miles away, and I was able to move most of my books and other possessions myself, in my car, over a period of several months. This time, I won't have that luxury, since if things go according to plan I'll be moving back to Manhattan from New Jersey. Probably Washington Heights, specifically Hudson Heights if anyone is familiar with that neighborhood. I've applied for an apartment, but it's a 5-year sublease in a co-op and I need board approval, so I don't want to go into too many identifying details about the location just yet, except to say that the apartment is right on the Hudson River with wonderful views from the living room and bedroom windows, and is only a short walk away from Fort Tryon Park and the Cloisters.
It makes my stomach hurt to wonder about how I'm going to find the time to get ready to move so soon, assuming I get the apartment I want, or, if not, am able to find another place. It isn't as if I'm in a position to take any time off from work. I still get reminded now and then of how much time I "took off" (as if it were a vacation!) last summer. So when I look around my apartment and see how much there is to do, I just feel like going to bed and pulling the covers over my head!
But I do need to get out of here. I feel so isolated and lonely here -- all my friends live in the City, and I've had exactly 1 (one) person come to visit me in the 10 years I've been here, since apparently it's an uphill trip both ways to travel from NYC to New Jersey and back again. And ever since my surgery last summer, I've felt too exhausted to stay in the City after work to get together with people, knowing that I would have to go back to New Jersey at the end of the evening.
I only stayed here all these years to be close to J. Now that he's in college, I don't need to do that anymore. I didn't move last year because one major stressful life event per calendar year is plenty. But if I don't do it now, it'll be another year before it's feasible, because my lease is up for renewal in May.
And I just can't take the commute on Route 3 and in through the Lincoln Tunnel anymore. An hour or more of traffic to go 13 miles, every single day for the last 23 years, whether I drive or take the bus. I feel like I've been slowly driven out of my mind. Taking the A train down from 181st Street every day will be an immense relief by comparison. Not to mention the large sums of money I'll be able to save on parking, tolls, and gas. (I do plan to keep my car at least for a while, and see how much I end up using it on weekends, but it'll definitely be cheaper to leave the car parked in a garage uptown than the $450 per month I pay now to park it at the Port Authority Bus terminal garage -- which is about the lowest price one could find in midtown.)
It will also, finally, be a chance to get rid of all my "old" clothes, which still take up a substantial percentage of my closet space. I'm the only woman in my position I know who's kept her old clothing that long (it's been 5 years now), and the only reason I've done so is that I wanted to be able to give J., who's approximately the same size as I am (maybe 1/2 inch shorter), the chance to take any he wants for himself. Not that he needs suits and sports jackets and button-down shirts and khaki pants now or for the foreseeable future, but he might someday, who knows? So I've told him that his vacation in another week is his last chance to decide what he wants; whatever he doesn't want gets donated or disposed of.
So it's important for me to move as soon as I can for a lot of reasons. Moving back to Manhattan will feel to me in many ways like a return from a 23-year exile. I was born in Manhattan (oddly enough, at the old Jewish Memorial Hospital in Washington Heights, not so far from where I'll be moving!), and grew up there, on the Upper East Side, in an apartment where my father still lives. I moved to New Jersey when I got married (my ex is a New Jerseyite), but even after all these years have never been able to answer "New Jersey" to the question "where are you from?" I'm still a New Yorker at heart, and always hoped to move back someday, and I truly believe that if I am able to move back, it will be the best thing for me. Even if I can't remotely afford to live anyplace centrally located anymore.
Anyway, I do need to order some boxes so I can get started, but it would be nice to know how many I need just for the books. 50? 100? 1,000,000? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!