Packing Dilemmas

This morning I began packing - the real packing. You know, the books and knick-knacks off the shelves type of packing. The rummaging through the years of accumulated junk kind of packing. The "do I save this shell with my zodiac symbol on it because my best friend bought it for me on her vacation when we were 12?" type of packing.

It's tough because I've never packed before with the thought that this move is going to be permanent. (Fingers crossed.) Difficult decisions need to be made. Do I take this lamp with me because, well, I need a lamp, but it looks so good in my "old bedroom"? Do I really need to take ALL my photo albums from over the years with me RIGHT NOW because chances are I will be moving again before the "buy a house" stage of my life?

Luckily, the move isn't all too far a distance, and some of these questions don't have to be answered today. Not that I want the moving process to be too gradual, but it's comforting to know I can postpone answering some of the unanswerables until post-move.

These dilemmas make me feel so materialistic, though. Deep down, I know I'm really not, and part of me wants to say "Fuhgeddaboudit!" and throw all the junk out. The other part needs to keep them so I can remember my history. My life. I'm putting my life into boxes. This is weird.

Do you remember your first real move? Have you done it yet? What advice do you have?

Photo courtesy Heather


margosita said...

I recently did this kind of a move. It was a combined "moving half way across the country" type move and a "cleaning out my childhood bedroom" type move because my father was selling our house.

In the end, a lot of things went and a lot of things went into boxes, which are being stored in a basement. And I have to say, although it was hard at the time to throw things out, I don't miss much.

That Kind of Girl said...

Absolutely had that experience with my first big adult move a few months ago: downsizing five years' worth of accumulated college & life stuff from a huge house to a tiny studio apartment across the country. I've always been a sentimental fool, but I was utterly ruthless. And I totally don't miss any of the stuff I trashed.

When I was packing, however, I was extravagant with use of my digital camera. I took pictures of all the sentimental stuff I tossed, and scanned copies of the old play tickets, snapshots, love letters, etc. I figure most of the reason we cart sentimental junk from house to house is for the joy, while packing and unpacking, of looking at it for just a moment and thinking: "Oh yeah. That was awesome."

With pictures, you can keep experiencing the joy, and save $$$ on shipping!

KBrock said...

When I took my dresser from my room in my parent's house, I was officially moved out. Moving sucks. I did it last year (only about a mile away) and this year was the tough one with a 2.5 hour move.

My suggestion: bring as much as you can the first time. Moving gradually is ten times worse than doing it all in one stressful day. Get a ton of cheap tubs from Walmart (the $4 kind) which you can store and use later or if you have no room, throw away because boxes are almost as much anyway. Tape down EVERYTHING in the truck.

If you have the money, hire movers. Way less stress than family.

Good luck moving!

Unknown said...

I enjoy reading your blog because it allows me to wax nostalgic about my own first big move, which like you was from Ohio (Newark in my case) to Lexington, Kentucky.

I'm definitely a pack rat, but I hate moving more than I like accumulating stuff, so that was definitely the time to purge clothes I didn't wear. a foosball table never played, etc.

Rachael said...

Thanks so much all for your advice!

margosita: Luckily I already identified the essentials in the "moving across the country" experience, but the "cleaning out my childhood bedroom" is draining. Thanks for your support.

TKOG: The photo thing is a great idea! I will have to keep that in mind.

KBrock: My family will be helping and we'll be moving everything ourselves via UHaul, but thanks for the heads up on taping everything down.

realtor Jay said...

Good luck with your packing, it is a pretty tough task. I suggest you to pack your stuff into separated boxes and label those. It really is helpful.

Regards, Jay.