Sunday, July 11, 2021

On the Side of Mount Cardboard

If you don't know me from other spaces -- I moved in June, going from our apartment of 9 years to our first owned space, a three bedroom condo in a 1920s courtyard building. It's lovely, tons of details, a  million projects we want to tackle -- and it meant that everything we owned had to change locations. 

Nine years is a long time for much of anything and when it came to inhabiting a physical space, the previous 15 months of which had been a global pandemic which kept us very housebound, and you end up with a lot of stuff.  I hadn't weeded much the last two moves, going between similar sized spaces and here again we have even more space. But moving always prompts a good cleanout on the front end where you can and now on the back end -- even more. 

Packing was time constrained, neither of us could really take time away from work and so it was shoved into the evenings and between other obligations. This meant a lot of the sorting I might have liked to do got put off as deadlines approached and things Went Into Boxes rather than were thoughtfully packed. I'm grateful to my mom -- who brought carloads of empty liquor boxes and my brother -- who sent packing labels that meant I can mostly find where the big things ended up. 

Then there was the grand "we have to do the repairs to the old place and get the Move By Hand stuff out of there" but finally we're here in the new place and I'm doing some intentional unpacking. As in , there's already  a giant bag ready to go for donation and I opened a box last night and realized I have a lot more I'm ready to let go of. 

The goal is Slow and Deliberate Unpacking. We're basically functional -- we have dishes, clothes, bathroom things, clean sheets. That's all fine. But the rest of the boxes I'm trying to not sprint through but to instead open and consider what I'm finding. Particularly for the books. "Will I ever read this again?" is becoming a familiar question. 

Of course, that will mean finding places for said books to go. There are a couple little free bookshelves nearby that I need to check out. If I can stock those for a few months on my way to the train; I'm amenable! Few of these books are special, I'm not worried about trying to sell first editions or anything like that. But even with as many bookcases as we intend to have, I know there was an entire 5 shelf bookcase full of books that I knew I wanted to read once and pass on. As I return to commuting, I'm hoping those go fairly quickly.  

Other categories of things where I'm debating if we can Just Get Rid of It include extra plastic tupperware of strange shapes; why do we have This Many Canning Jars (we probably will keep those); and a few other things.  Clothes were reduced as things got put into closets, though the Fall and Winter Coats box still needs a serious and slow examination. 

Cardboard is leaving more quickly. Friends are moving later in the summer and are very happy to receive all of our empty boxes, the majority of which we purchased. We're pleased to have the piles of cardboard go to be used rather than just to recycling.  

How is your Use Up Year continuing?

(also, we have to talk about bath products and cleaning products...)