I have lived in my apartment for 3 years and on Friday I will be moving out pretty much everything except for my mattress and essential clothing. It is a universal truth that packing is the least fun activity ever. Even with the addition of a couple of adult beverages over the course of the evening.
More than anything, packing reminds me just how much pointless shit I own. I have a pretty small apartment which I share with 3 other women. The vast majority of communal living items (sofa, dining table, kitchen utensils, etc.) are other people’s, not mine. I pretty much only have to deal with the stuff in my bedroom. Yet, as I packed 7 boxes full of things that I will not need over the next two weeks, I realized – I have seven boxes worth of stuff that I will not need over the next two weeks. And yet it is stuff I don’t want to throw out. What is it all?
Some of it is essentials – important paperwork, winter clothing, and books (I consider those an essential because I only purchase books I can’t live without – the rest I get from the library). Some of it is non-essential but I will use – knitting supplies, notebooks and office miscellany, pounds and pounds of tea. But the rest – 3 boxes – is useless crap I cannot bring myself to throw out. I do use a lot of it to decorate my room (photos, my postcard collection, fabric from various countries I have been to) but most of it serves no practical purpose. I am not a very sentimental person and I am definitely not a pack rat; I throw out/donate stuff without batting an eye. And yet these few things I have hauled from apartment to apartment to apartment. The worst part? Some of it never left the box I brought it in.
Maybe it’s not a bad thing to have objects that carry good memories with them. And I’m not sure my problem is really excessive. But still. It will be interesting to live out of a suitcase again (I did this for a year when I was 21…you learn to stop carrying around the stuff you don’t need real quick) and see if I feel the same way about the rogue three boxes when I return.
On that note – I am terrified of living out of a suitcase! Haha! When I last did it, I was in major urban areas where I could buy anything I forgot pretty quickly and easily. I was also living with families that could provide for any immediate needs. Now I will be in an isolated rural area, living out of a tent. If I forget something vital, I’ll be fucked. But really, what is vital? I’ll have food and shelter and companionship. My idea of vital may shift pretty drastically.
Just my thoughts on the evening. I have been so slow to pack with the various other things going on (Jake Hess update to follow, by the way), I had to bail on a Radical Reference meeting this evening (sorry Nicole!! I owe you one, for real). Glad I’m pretty much ready to go now.