Strange things are unearthed when you move house. (Assuming of course, that you actually end up unpacking all the cartons) Appliances that are largely obsolete, because you never had that perfect party to use your ‘ice-cream maker’, and now, you are in a “I- don’t-want-to-do-any-work-that’s-not-absolutely-necessary mode.” Sweaters you would never be caught dead wearing. Oversized jackets. Gifts you once unwrapped and quickly wrapped them back because they were so not you. A steamer you once bought for daily cleansing, but never used, because it was too much infrastructure to deal with at the end of a hard day. A hookah that looked good when you inherited it, but is now totally out-of-place with where you are. An inflatable chair that was a hand-me-down from your brother. Letters, cards, pictures of ex-boyfriends. Music they recorded for you. Printouts of a story you wrote many moons ago and are now ashamed of. Pictures with random people you’ve forgotten the existence of or don’t really care for.
Moving house is either about addition or subtraction. A friend of mine who recently moved from a one bedroom to a two bedroom was wailing for two weeks about how there’s so much space to fill up, and despite using all their furniture, they still had space, so they went out and bought more.
I have never understood this. First we complain about the space crunch. Then, we finally have space, we are so intimidated by it that we quickly go and fill it up.
Subtraction on the other hand is really a lightener, a mood elevator in more ways than one. To me, moving has always been an excuse to reorganize and then give away. Clothes, shoes, curtains, lamps, kitchen stuff, knick-knacks, knick-knacks and more knick-knacks, tax papers, work papers, insurance papers, car papers, home papers, just-any-paper. The shredding (papers) and the giving away (things) is the fun part. Imagine giving away all the aforementioned items and not having to deal with them ever again. I would pay for that! I think all of us will be happier if we open cartons with more frequency, whether we move or not.
But if you are, like my husband, the type that never opens mysterious cartons except at gun point, and then shudders to find phones that were drowned in champagne (whatever!), sunglasses that would work on a retro night at a pinch, floppy disk sets, PC games and VCRs. May be I have had a good effect on him— he was ready to give it all away. Of course, only after I assured him that only when you give stuff can you make room for new stuff in your life. His eyes brightened at the thought of all the new gizmos he could buy.
When the new maid (who spends more time on her cell phone than me) commented that we had too much stuff for two people, it was a wake up call for me. So now, we have two huge cartons of stuff we are happy not to need, but someone else could still find use for. Of course, our respective mothers have messed us up so much that we that we did save up some of the cartons. I am also guilty of hoarding most of the bubble wrap I inherited. But I am getting there!