Sometimes “Eureka!” moments happen when we least expect it. The original “Eureka!” happened to good ol’ Archimedes when he climbed into a bubble bath and splashed soapy water all over the bathroom floor. This caused Mrs. Archimedes to exclaim, “Eureka my butt! Who’s gonna clean up this mess?!”
I had a “Eureka!” moment the other day, and luckily for me it did not involve flooding the bathroom or getting hit in the head with falling fruit. I was chatting with my friend Mickey Blarney, who just sold his house and downsized to a condo. Mickey was telling me what an ordeal it was to move, and surprisingly, his story hardly mentioned the things I assumed were important: real estate agents, lawyers, money, and mortgages. Here are the main words he used repeatedly to tell me of his adventure: attic, basement, closets, industrial sized dumpster, Goodwill, storage unit, moving company, furniture, hand truck, ropes, blankets, bungee cords, borrowed pick-up truck, boxes, bags, bubblewrap, and bins. Lots of bins, that is, those large plastic ones they sell at Target and Walmart. Mickey lost count of the number of bins he and Mrs. Blarney purchased to make their move. All he knows is that right now each room of his condo has a couple of bins in the corner, and the storage unit he had to rent is stacked to the rafters with bins.
As Mickey continued to talk, I suddenly had my “Eureka!” moment. The profound thought that popped into my head was this: “Three-quarters of all human activity involves moving stuff.”
Or these frequent statements: “Where’s the remote?” “I can’t find my boots.” “Have you seen my keys?” “Do we have any cookies?” Whenever these questions are asked, some items are about to be searched for, and when found, moved. Or in the case of the cookies, if none are present, very soon some will be moved from the grocery store to the house.
Which companies are experiencing record sales these days? FedEx, UPS, and Amazon. Why? Because they move stuff.
On a personal level, just think of how many times during a typical day we move things. No matter what occupation we write down on our tax returns — sales, construction, management, attorney, teacher, plumber, etc. — each and every one of us is in the shipping business. We could write down “delivery driver” and not be lying. Or if you want a little classier description, go with “logistics coordinator.”
The process of moving excess stuff out of the house should require about 75% of my time during the next few months. It will be a lot of work, but I know it will get done because I’m a human being, which means my primary occupation is “logistics coordinator.”
I just need to make sure I don’t move a bunch of soapy water onto the bathroom floor, or my “Mrs. Archimedes” will Eureka my butt.