Category Archives: Moving

On the Other Side

So, yeah, I stopped posting when we got down to the deadline. Highlights of the last week or so included finding a charity that would show up on short notice and pick up the four or five bins of stuff we were getting rid of, realizing at the last minute that we were going have to ship about eight boxes instead of three, and still panicking to get everything into the car at the last minute. I have never in my life wished we owned an SUV before, but the day we were leaving the apartment, I honestly did.

But we left, that was the important thing. We spent the better part of a week in hotel after hotel as we drove and then waited for an apartment. I watched a lot more TV than I usually do, including my favorite Hoarding Enablers, American Pickers, and not one but two storage unit auction shows.

At that same time, we were using a storage unit for a few days so we didn’t have to drive around with everything we owned packed tightly into the car. The single month of storage payment was worth it to be able to use the rear view mirror while apartment hunting. But every time I punched the gate code in, I couldn’t help but think about those auction shows.

Anyway, we’re now ensconced with all of our belongings in a studio apartment with a craft room. I’m not kidding. It means Amber will have a space for her yarn and spinning supplies, and since that was what took up the most space in the old place, I have no problem with that decision.

In the end, I ended up fitting all my books into a single office file box. However, almost as soon as I was moved in, there were a few I was replacing at Goodwill – my How To Fix Everything guide, for example. I’m still not quite as handy around the house as I’d like to be, but if I’m going to be installing clothes racks and things I need to look like I am!

So, yes, I do have a book problem. But in my opinion, the important thing is that I’ve established that books that come in can go back out again. It’s not what I have, but what I keep, that matters.

Losing It

Ten years ago, when I was getting ready to move out of my first Real Apartment, the receptionist at the office’s front desk gave me the wrong move-out date. My roommates and I made careful plans to stretch the moving out over a week so it wasn’t a huge rush, but the morning after we moved all the large furniture, we returned to the apartment to find “cleaners” throwing all our things into trash bags.

On some level, I don’t think I’ve ever really dealt with that. I lost most of my comic book collection, and it was years before I started following anything regularly again. I’m sure there are photos, art, all kinds of irreplaceable things that went. And yeah, I couldn’t tell you what most of them were, but that’s not the point.

Since then, I declutter as a way to feel like I have control, since I know how easily I could lose it.

Today I took a pretty big leap of faith. Most of the random things in our apartment are going to charity before we move. My girlfriend found a place that’ll come by and pick it all up, and they’re coming today.

While I’m at work.

Yeah, I sorted it all ahead of time and put the things I’m keeping in the other room. She asked me about all sorts of individual things. She’s actually been very, very patient about my anxiety.

But ultimately when the charity truck comes, she’s the one directing it and I’m out here, in the office. I have to trust her. And I have to remember that for all the anxiety and for the comics that I do miss having available, the vast majority of the stuff that disappeared from that apartment, I really haven’t missed.

It’s not the stuff that got to me, it was the loss. And it’s time to get over that too.

Does It Count As Decluttering If I Scan Everything?

I dropped my 2004 and 2005 tax returns in the shredder yesterday, and I didn’t scan them in ahead of time.

I don’t need to, I know that. I used to do taxes seasonally, I know perfectly well the IRS only requires you to keep them for three years. I held onto them anyway. You know good ol’ Justin Case, don’t you?

There’s plenty of things that I did scan before I tossed, just because it was easier than trying to figure out if I really needed them: receipts for technology I still have, even if I’m unsure how long the warranty lasts, records of paid-off bills, and so on.

I scanned some of the “comics” I made in middle school, on the grounds that the paper is stained and the pencil drawings have gotten blurred from rubbing against each other. I’ll miss having the originals, but they’re a mess and I don’t pull them out often, so it’s for the best.

The apartment is emptying out, though it’s hard to tell. I think we’re at the point where we need to give up and cart most of the remainder off to a donation center. We have a couple things that are still on Craigslist, and a couple more that have been provisionally sold to friends but they haven’t picked them up yet. It’s time to move on to the next level of packing.

Level up!

All The Things

Huh, it’s been almost two weeks.

I’ve done a couple of things – I put my two weeks notice in at my job. I bought a storage bag for the top of the car.

The reason for the storage bag is that my girlfriend and I decided we’re getting rid of almost everything, not renting a truck, not renting a trailer, nothing. We’re going to ship four boxes media mail, and everything else has to fit in the hatchback.

My boss has decided that I should spend my last two weeks working overtime, so my girlfriend is in charge of getting rid of everything else in the house. She updates me during the day when I’m at work and every night I come home to a slightly more empty apartment.

Slow Down

This weekend we took a couple of boxes of pagan books and some statuary to a local pagan store. There was enough that the store owner said he’d like a couple of days to look over it before he gives us the terms for the consignment, which is fine with me. I’ve known him for years and years and we’re basically just looking to get stuff that we no longer need into good homes.

Other than that, it’s been slow going lately. I finally bought some bankers boxes to start packing into, but I’m not sure where to start. I want to do more purging, but I’m at a loss for where to go next on that project. I feel like I’ve already looked at everything, though I know that can’t really be the case.

I started an Electronic Yard Sale album on Facebook so my local friends can get a look at what we’re getting rid of. Most of the big stuff has takers so I’m not too worried, anything that doesn’t go to friends will go on Craigslist in two weeks. Here’s hoping slow but steady will win the race!

Progress

Aside from the books, the only other thing I accomplished this weekend was getting stuff that was already sorted out of the house. The piles of boxes get overwhelming fast, so I need to make more of a habit of taking full boxes out to Goodwill in ones and twos instead of waiting until I feel like I have enough.

I feel I will never have enough done.

So four boxes went out, including my old suitcases. I didn’t even bother to de-nest them, just filled in the last bit of empty space in the small one and sent it on its way. The only things I was storing in them that I bothered to pull out were my high school and college diplomas. Not that I’ve ever needed the hard copies, but the idea of throwing out my high school diploma is still kind of odd.

I did got a non-scam bite on the display case today, and my girlfriend was able to sew up the sale while I was at work. One piece of furniture down! All the other furniture to go!

On the heels of that success, I made a list of the furniture and some of the kitchenware and posted it for some of my friends. I’ll probably follow up with a few links in the next couple of days, but a couple of people have already expressed interest so I’m hopeful.

Overwhelmed

I got just a little overwhelmed over the weekend.

I’m not really surprised. In addition to the moving/packing, there’s a lot of other things up in the air about this move. For example, I don’t yet know what the job situation will look like. To top everything off, an unexpected car bill cut into the savings on Saturday.

Sunday night, as I was going through paperwork and old journals, a lot of things came to a head. I had to sort through the paperwork from my various surgeries to decide what needed to be kept. (If anybody wants pictures of my brain, I have lots!) Going through old journals reminded me of people who’ve gone out of my life.

And somewhere around three in the morning, I looked around the apartment, which is a mess of boxes for different destinations – trash, recycling, thrift store, secondhand book store, pagan store that takes secondhand. I felt overwhelmed by the stuff around me, the idea of sorting through all of it, and the idea of fitting what we want to keep into some kind of moving plan.

My solution, as always, lies in more planning. I priced the very largest option we could possibly need – an actual moving van with a trailer – and while we may not want to use that option, we know we can fall back on it if we need to.

It’s a little too early in the process to fret about the details I won’t even know for weeks. Better to focus on what I can control.

Oh, and on Monday I posted the display cabinet on Craigslist. I immediately got a response from someone who wanted to pay me an “extra $50” if I would take a cashier check. This is my first ever Craigslist scam response!