Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pack Rats Anonymous

So I've started packing and, uh, I'm screwed. I packed all day yesterday (except for the two hour mid-afternoon nap Serdic and I took, which we both agreed was one of the Top Five Best Naps of All Time) and feel like I haven't made a dent. I know I must have, because there's a huge stack of boxes in my living room, but I've been doing the easy stuff first -- books, CDs, DVDs ... stuff that's coming off shelves and fits nicely into rows in the boxes. So all the shelves are empty, but all the big stuff remains. I did empty out the drawers of my desk last night, which was interesting. When I moved to Ottawa from London (Ontario, not England, sadly enough) I was in classes right up until a couple of days before I moved, so I just threw everything in boxes and didn't do much of a purge at all, so there is some stuff in this apartment that I haven't looked at since I was in London, and it's just gotten buried under other stuff. I came across all kinds of neat things, and all kinds of garbage.

It's interesting in general to sort through the last five years of my life as I get ready to move. To decide what I want to keep and what I don't need any longer (I am a pack rat so the second list is very long indeed). Sometimes it's bittersweet, like the moment last night when I stumbled across a birthday card from a couple of years ago from my grandparents, where my grandad had written his own message inside. That's unusual -- my grandmother usually just signed both of their names to any card they sent me. But for whatever reason (I suspect this card was the one I received the summer he was undergoing chemo and was quite ill), on this card he wrote a lengthy message of his own about how much he loved me and how proud he was to call me granddaughter. Something that was lovely at the time but got tucked in a drawer and forgotten is now a treasure beyond rubies.

It's also interesting to have someone else to share the chore. Serdic has been so good to me, hauling garbage and recycling down to the basement, cleaning and scrubbing and moving boxes, helping me figure out a plan of attack, and when things become overwhelming keeping me focused on the end goal, which is being snug as two bugs in a rug in our new place in less than a week.

Today, I tackle my front hall and bedroom closets. Pray for me, faithful readers.


Lythrum said...

During our last move I started out a couple of weeks in advance, sorting through books and starting to box things up, keeping very organized. As the impending date moved closer and closer I started panicking and throwing things in boxes. We were still packing until 5 minutes before we left our house for the last time. It's definately something that makes you think that being a packrat might have some disadvantages. I swore that I wouldn't move again unless our house burned down and I didn't have any possessions to move. Good luck!

Darklight said...

I've moved 3 times in the last 6 years. You'd think that would actually make packing easier, as I purged each time, but no. The last time I moved to a house that is about half the size of the one I left. I purged beforehand, but it wasn't enough. I'm still purging 7 months later. No matter how much you get rid of on the leaving end, there will be stuff on the new end that you'll look at and think "why did I keep that?" But, like you, I also found some treasures that made me smile.

Best of luck with the move.