My Life in Boxes: Misadventures of Moving
Moving can be an opportunity for a fresh start, leaving behind the stale and insipid interior of one place and getting to reorganize your entire life in a new set of walls. Recently my roommates and I moved from a tiny upstairs apartment, which boasted the impressive view of a Krystal and a run-down car wash, to a much larger house which is better equipped to hold three people, three dogs, and one very destructive cat. However, in our eagerness to move and excitement about the new place, we put off moving until the last minute and were unpleasantly reminded of how moving can be both tedious and chaotic.
Facing the prospect of sorting through all my meaningless junk felt like I had ended up on an episode of Hoarders. There are so many things that you don’t think about until you have to move them; random items that you have tossed carelessly aside or stored in a dark corner of the closet so they would be out of the way until needed, or pieces of furniture that you have taken for granted since they have resided in the same spot for so long that they are now considered part of the physical makeup of the house. None of these items mean anything until you are faced with a seemingly insurmountable pile of miscellaneous clutter collected over several months or years, and must now actually acknowledge their existence. With only a few days to get my stuff together and relocate it, I felt completely lost and overwhelmed, an emotion which I feel can be best related through this picture:
My idea of organizing is probably not the best plan when trying to move in a short amount of time, mainly because before I pack anything, I have to dump everything out and go through it so I can sort things into piles based of relevance. This is a horrible form of organization because it is time-consuming and inevitably leads to hours spent perusing through papers and objects long-forgotten. My goal was to sort through my desk and distribute the items into neat piles, like so:
-office supplies (staples, paperclips, etc.)
-writing and art supplies
However, after spending a good hour and a half going through everything, I was surprised at how much useless crap I had managed to shove into the meager two shelves in my desk. Apparently my method of cleaning had been to take whatever I didn’t need at the time and throw it into my desk drawer, shutting it out of site, out of mind. Being ADHD and perhaps subconsciously trying to sabotage any hopes I had of packing, my thought process went something like, “Hey! Let’s go through these old papers you wrote in high school! Ooohh I forgot about this one, I liked this book. Do I still have it? This cord looks important – I wonder what it goes to? Maybe I should look through my closet and see if there’s anything that will fit it.” I also have acquired the unfortunate habit of saving random objects with the intention to use them for crafts or other art projects, a desire which is fueled by Pinterest only to be crushed by my hopeless lack of artistic talent and a lack of motivation. As the sorting continued, the items became more and more random so that rather than a few piles of easily-organized supplies in a neat, organized list like I proposed earlier, I ended up in the middle of my floor surrounded by islands of miscellaneous rubbish which had been sorted into the following categories:
-Various receipts, some dating back to 2010
-instruction manuals for things I no longer owned
-business cards for places I never go
-“office supplies,” which was actually just an clump of rubber bands, multiple sizes of paper clips, tacks, staples, and few flash drives
-bundle of cords, cables, and plugs with no other identification other than they belong to some electronic device, kept in the event that I ever figure out what they go to
-mix CD’s with no labels
-various sizes of screws which probably belong to something important
-memorabilia (tickets, pins, pictures, etc.), kept to preserve emotional sentiment and gather dust
-pile of wine corks (possibly a Pinterest idea at some point)
-bottles of various medicine
THEN it’s time to play everyone’s favorite moving game, “How Much Random Crap Can I Cram Into This Box?” That’s when the mover realizes that the attempt to sort and organize is pointless, and that it would be easier to just shove everything into a box and deal with it later, thus letting the cycle of random junk continue.
Is it just me, or does moving make everyone feel a little insane?