Oh the Horror That is Moving

In the grand scheme of things, there are, of course, many things much worse than moving, but just let me be dramatic for a moment and say that as I sit here Sunday night after two full days of emptying closets, sorting through belongings, and packing boxes, I can hardly imagine what they are. And to think that we just have a one-bedroom apartment with very little closet space. What in the heck are people thinking when they buy those McMansions with their zillions of rooms and closets large enough to live in? Those things are just waiting to be filled with stuff, and more stuff, and even more stuff. Stuff that you never see again after you put it away. Stuff that you have no idea how it got there or when it arrived. Stuff that you have no use for. Stuff that you paid good money for so that it could collect dust. I hope what they’re thinking is that they’re never moving again, and when they die the house can be razed (because pity the heir that has to go through all that stuff).

Part of my brain is telling me that I could make an excellent post here about our consumer culture, our unseemly attraction to things, the way in which the stuff we owns eventually owns us, but another part of my brain is saying “oh my gosh, I just want to go to bed,” and that part is totally winning. Anyhow, you’ve all heard that lecture before, so just replay it to yourself in your head while you look at pictures of our move in progress.

For me, the hardest part of moving is the mess that you must create in the process. I have to work hard not to let that overwhelm me. I also have to work hard not to run into things, trip over things, bang into things, and in general kill myself as I try to make my way through the mess. I begin to feel better as things again become organized, albeit this time in piles of boxes. I’m also a bit blown away by the sheer volume of it. While looking at the humongous box of clothes Jeff is planning to give away, I was both amazed by how much he was able to part with it, and flabbergasted by how much he had to begin with. But like I said above I’m too damn tired to make any educated comments. At this point, all I know is that I’ll be glad when we get the truck loaded up on Tuesday.

11 Replies to “Oh the Horror That is Moving”

  1. Oh man, I’m so glad I don’t have to do that again! It’s exhausting! And the mess, oh dear lord, the mess. You start wondering if you’re making progress or just moving things around. It’s get better! Hang in there! Also I find wine helps. Lots of wine.

  2. You two sure have a lot of stuff!!!

    Once you move to a backpack existance, you’ll realize you never need a lot of stuff every again! So smile, it’s the last time you’ll ever do anything like that!

  3. Well Theresa, last night I told you no problem with storing it all here. Wow! Lots of boxes. Don’t worry I know we have room for it. It might help all of us to get motivated and get rid of all that useless stuff we are saving for our heirs. I think I have figured out now that none of my children want all the possessions Dad and I have held on to for too long.

  4. I should first clarify and say that pictures 1-5 show the work in progress; picture 6 shows it all accumulated (kitchen, hallway, bedroom, living room boxes all in one place). So it’s *just* the boxes in picture 6; not them plus all the other boxes you see in the other pictures.

    I’d say at least half of the boxes are filled with kitchen stuff, which is both difficult to pack (breakable, heavy, oddly shaped) and quite useful. Unless we were to lead a life of disposal dishes (so, so bad for the environment), most of it’s pretty essential. It’s all certainly been well-used. Another 4 or so boxes are filled with books, photo albums, and journals (though they only take up space on one regular-size bookshelf). Only two boxes contain items that would be classified as “decorative,” and these are almost all either items we got on our travels–Italian glass, Greek pottery, Egyptian backgammon boards–or Jeff’s baseball things. The remainder of the boxes contain electronics (aka Jeff’s video games) or sports/camping gear. As for clothes, we each only have one bag. So overall, I don’t think we have that much “stuff,” or at least we don’t have stuff that we don’t use. I mean certainly we could *live* without much of it, and we will next year, but when I come back, I’m going to enjoy cooking, camping, biking, and pursuing other interests that will get somewhat neglected on our trip and which require a certain amount of gear. I’m a bit horrified by rampant consumerism, but at the same time I have no interest in becoming an ascetic.

  5. Thanks for the clarification. I do indeed feel somewhat better knowing just what is coming. Only one other thing: I only note 5 pics on your blog not 6. Am I missing something?

  6. Yeah, I can’t count. Well in all fairness I did have six pictures up at first, but one wouldn’t cooperate so it came down. When I said 1-5, I meant 1-4, and when I said 6, I meant 5.

    Mark, is my eternal love and gratitude not enough? What about the loan of a PS3 or XBox 360 for a year? I’d say you could have a K-Mart Icee but those days are long gone.

  7. Sad news. Woke up with a super stiff neck. All signs point to it lasting until Thursday evening/Friday morning. I guess I’ll have to supervise the move and direct traffic.

  8. there’s always room for boxes in my attic! I must say moving is easier when you have more room. when we moved, I stored all the boxes in the basement until moving day. After going thru all of Granma and Granpa’s stuff, I hardly save anything (although my kids might disagree) be careful on the drive home anne

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