1.30.2015

A few thoughts on packing and unpacking

I am surrounded by boxes! Mountains of them. And it is getting me down. So down that staying in bed under covers all day would be awesome. With a good book and maybe some hot tea. Lots of blankets.

We've moved from a cozy post-WWII cottage with three bedrooms and one bath into an apartment with two bedrooms and a kitchen half the size. Truly the best part is the two bathrooms (TWO!) and a huge playground practically outside our door. It's just a temporary stop while we sell the house in Birmingham.

You thought I was joking?

So if this situation isn't forever, why exactly are the boxes getting me down?

Because I'll open a box only to find stuff that is

1. really cool but don't have the space to display, like my pretty pottery
2. nice to have but don't really need at the moment, like the springform or tart pans or
3. just stuff that it's time to let go, like VHS tapes. Who keeps VHS tapes these days?!

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is still. stuff. in Birmingham. Lots of it I'm afraid. Where are we going to put it all when the house sells??!!!!!

It all shows how privileged we are compared to some parts of the world. Boo-hoo I can't fit all our pots and pans in the one kitchen cabinet, there are people who don't have a kitchen with stove, fridge and microwave let alone indoor plumbing. Perspective!

As we loaded the moving truck in Birmingham, Chris and I decided together we need to make de-cluttering a priority. Which is great! Awesome! Excellent goal! Except, since I'm the main person opening boxes, I'm the main decision maker about what to keep, what to toss and hey, let's be honest we have all this crap because over many years we've shoved stuff in boxes instead of making those decisions (Some of us in the household do this more than others, ahem!). It makes my head hurt.

There IS progress being made. As a friend wisely reminded me as I was trying to get the house ready to sell, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." I've already taken three boxes to Goodwill and what can't be donated or recycled is out the door in trash bags, about a bag a day. To borrow a phrase from Japan's organizing superstar Marie Kondo, does it bring joy? If not, out it goes. Such a simple question but it's been working for me.

Almost finished with the kitchen and dining room areas. Closets, bathrooms and the boys' room were also considered essential. The rest of that mountain will just have to stay where it is. I keep repeating, It's only temporary, It's only temporary, It's only temporary! Besides, we'll have fun rediscovering treasures when we do finally get where we are going.

Now, back to unpacking.

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