Lauren and I bought a house! Yay!!! Shit... that means we have to begin the dreaded packing process... Boo!!! No matter how organizes you live your life (which I can proudly say that my wife lives a very organized life, though, I may have a bit more of the collector’s personality in me), packing for a move is one of the most overwhelming, daunting tasks that we as adults face.
Ok, so that may be a bit dramatic but I attribute the sentiment to the fact that I myself am currently overwhelmed.
We began packing our 1,500 square foot apartment 2 weeks ago and have about 2 more weeks of packing to go. I have absolutely no idea how people do this in days. Our plan was to go through each and every item and only bring things we love and cannot live without to our new home. Though that rule is proving to add an excessive amount of time to packing, two great things have come out of it.
1. Goodwill is getting a ton of great stuff! I imagine people getting our former treasures for a fraction of the price and those said treasures finding themselves loved by a new owner. Win/win.
2. The whole process is quite cathartic. Having a collector’s personality I find myself much more attached to tangible items than my wife does. Watching Lauren get rid of things was not only shocking but it was inspiring. I had to remind myself that holding onto things is not necessary in holding on to the memories of those things. Seems simple enough but trust me, when its your stuff you find six ways to Sunday to justify keeping crap. I am by no means anywhere near as good as my wife is at cleansing items from the house but, I have to say, I am quite proud of my improvement.
To begin I had to have a plan. The entirety of the task was far too immense to just simply begin. I decided to begin with a list. Well, in all reality, I began with many lists but this was my process.
List 1: Things I cannot live without.
This list is a list of my most precious items. My brother passed away a few years ago and I have his collection of his vintage silver rimmed glassware. This was Item 1 on List 1. Other things include: old photographs, artwork, my dining room table that I adore et cetera.
List 2: Things that I really, really wanted for our new home.
A new comfy sofa. A large desk to set up our home office. New light fixtures. Could we have kept our sofa, desk and the light fixtures that come with the house? Yes, of course we could; however, these things are the things we really wanted to get to make our new house into the home that we both really want.
List 3: Things that are on List 2 that we could get from family and/or places that have the best deals on these items.
I searched and scoured the internet to find the best possible deals on these items. Buying a house is expensive but filling it with things that make it your home can get pretty pricey too! Luckily, Lauren and I have similar taste so the design decisions were easy to make. Finding places that had the look we wanted at the price we were willing to pay took some time. We also were not ashamed to ask family and friends if they had any of the items that were on our list. My nana-in-law is moving as is my aunt-in-law so we thought we might as well see if they’ve got anything before we go out an buy these items. Turns out they had some pieces from Lauren’s mother who passed away when she was young which to me is far more meaningful and far more perfect than any new piece of furniture could ever be. We are taking those pieces and making them our own by recovering the chairs and refinishing a wooden sideboard to fit the look that we are going for.
Now, I cannot procrastinate any longer with lists! I need to dive in and START PACKING! Side-note: our next door neighbor Jeanne moved out a month prior to our move out date and saved every box, bubble wrap and paper to give to us and it was a godsend. I hated to spend money on boxes that we were just going to recycle (and they’re expensive!) so this was the greatest gift a neighbor could give (and all so nicely wrapped up for us too!). We are going to pay forward the favor and I encourage everyone to do the same.
Okay! now I’m going to pack. I swear.