Thursday, June 14, 2012

Learn from our horror. Please.

Putting any kind of textile-art anything in storage is a REALLY SUPER BAD IDEA.

While the hub and I were moving around with the military (we estimate we moved something like eighteen times), we learned a few things. For today's discussion, the big lesson was that STORAGE COMPANIES LIE. (Moving companies, and packers, are a different thing. Many of them are okay. Especially if you babysit them.)

They'll tell you that they're storing your stuff in climate-controlled areas. Lie. They'll tell you that you'll have your own, specific little hidey hole for your stuff, and it won't be stuffed in a warehouse jumbled with a zillion other people's things. Lie.

One of the reasons that unpacking my stuff has taken so long (two years and counting), is because every time I open a box, I find some fresh new hell, and I want to drive to South Carolina and bust some heads. Literally. If I had one of these people before me when I see this stuff, I really would slug them in the face.

This blog post is brought to you by Tuesday's unpacking gig, which filled our trash can with stuff that was okay when it went INTO storage. This last round? I threw out at least a hundred yards of fabric, and most of what was left of my knitting supplies that had survived the carpet beetles. Plus every half-knit sweater I ever worked on. Mostly, the big issue was, it was full of bugs. Of all kinds. Not just carpet beetles. Something had bored holes through the cotton fabrics, too. I'd just gone through EVERYTHING, before it went into storage, because of the carpet beetles, if you'll remember. So I know it was fine. KNOW.

If it was in climate control, I'll eat it.

This is on top of how, when I got my washer and dryer back, they were covered with dirt splashed up by rain storms. When my kitchen table went OUT of my house, the top was wrapped in three layers of corrugated cardboard and loads of tape. When it came back IN, it was bare, with a moving blanket thrown over it, and covered in scratches. (My table was custom ordered from Indonesia. This is not something I can just up and replace if I feel like it.) My refrigerator had molds inside it, in advanced forms I had never seen before, outside of a textbook. (And I had to wear a respirator to clean it out, because at least one of them made me sick.)

If you complain, or file a claim? You're hallucinating the dirt splashes on the appliances, or they got there after the appliances left their place. The refrigerator is your fault for not cleaning it out right (never mind a closed fridge should be anaerobic and if left shut for a year would AT LEAST grow something different than molds - or, you know, not grow anything at all). The bugs must have been in the textiles when they came into the facility. Not their fault. They blamed the table on the movers. Never mind what I saw with my own eyes.

In our case? We got fucked over by a storage company in N Charleston, South Carolina. If we can figure out if they're still in business, I really WILL publish the name and leave scathing reviews all over the internet.

In your case? Vet the place first. Do a tour. You'll see right away if they're scumbag fuckers or not. If they are cocksuckers who throw other people's property around, punch them in the face a couple times, for me.

I hope your property fares better than ours did.


Emily said...

Oh God, I am so sorry. That is just horrible. When we made our tiny move which put our stuff in storage for just a few months, we had similar damage, but our stuff was cheap, so it wasn't heart-breaking, just maddening. (Cigarette burns on the coffee table!) I guess one has to TAKE PHOTOS and get notarized statements.

One guy I met some years ago had to move from NY to California; he was a cellist & had several mega-expensive cellos he couldn't take in his car with his family. The moving company "lost" his stuff...
one of his cellos was found in the home of the company's owner. He couldn't give the name of the moving company because the case was in court, but it was a big national brand name. He said worse than the loss of the cellos was that of his wife's family photos, because all her people were dead.

Moving is god-awful.

Justine James said...

This is horrifically reminiscent of the "salvage" company that was supposed to store and, where possible, clean our stuff after a house fire when I was a kid.
They had stuff from several different families all stored mixed together in a storage building and were letting people just come in and say "yeah, that's mine" without any proof. Tons of our stuff was claimed by other people.
They lost my mother's wedding dress. Pulled apart pieces of a tea service that weren't meant to be removed...
And pretty much everything still reeked of smoke. Including stuff that shouldn't have but was stored in close quarters with stuff that had been directly exposed to tons of smoke.

Freyalyn Close-Hainsworth said...

How heartbreaking - I'm not surprised you're so cross.

debsnm said...

You should find a good (ha!) military lawyer. When my sister had to move with the Forest Service, the movers wrecked her double-wide trailer. Running one half into the other. Broke windows, which they didn't cover for the trip, which meant curtains were flapping in the wind all the way down the highway, and also meant the carpet was covered with shards of broken glass.
She had a 8-month old at the time crawling. The moving co offered to replace the windows & vacuum the carpets. NOT HARDLY!! They got an attorney used to dealing with these people, and they not only got their house re-built, but brand new carpeting, drapes and windows. I know how you feel about the Navy, but they DO self-insure so your stuff gets where it's supposed to go. Throw the US Gov'ment at them! They'll prob cough up something.

Kate said...

Holy crap - I'm so sorry! I'm also rather in awe at the relevancy of both of your recent posts (since I've got that move coming up and all).

I wonder if PODS are any better than that storage company you used? That's our tentative/hopeful plan for storing our stuff during the LA year. But I'm also already planning to put the real valuables - my violin, etc. - in "storage" in the guest bedroom at my parents' house. I'm not big on risk, y'know?

Roxie said...

I had no idea! I'm not moving ever again! That just sucks ROCKS!!

We rented a POD to store our furniture when the floor was refinished, and we were quite pleased with them, but all they did was drop it off. We loaded it, left it sitting in the driveway for two weeks, then unloaded it and they took it away empty.

Argh! I'm furious on your behalf!

Galad said...

I haven't moved in 28 years (which has its own problems as far as accumulation). You have now convinced me I need to stay put for another 28 years!

Donna Lee said...

All that anticipation of seeing your stuff again must make this all worse. I'm so sorry. There should be some recourse for this.

Deirdre said...

I need to de-stash & can send you (all or part of) some: organic Inca cotton in skeins and cones (off-white); Rowan Kid Classic 8+ skeins dark green; 6+ skeins Malabrigo worsted in burgundy, misc Paton's classic merino & some laceweight/fingering. (I buy much faster than I knit.). It can't make up for your loss - but hopefully would be a package more fun to open. (Stored in ziploc bags in non-smokers' weather controlled house....)