We did it.
We screwed up again.
I admit it right here, in print, for all the world to see. We moved wrong.
Yup, that’s right, we did it wrong. I have heard my whole life that the best way to clean up/ toss out/ pare down is to move every few years. And believe you me, we are in some desperate need of some good ole cleanin’, tossin’ and paren’ . Well guess what kids, we just moved again! Yeee haa, whoopee, rah rah… yeah and a la dee friggin dah becuase we moved wrong. We still have almost the exact same load ‘o’ crap, just with a spiffy different building around it. It didn’t work.
Now part of it is that this came up very fast, so a lot of the time we were in that oh so relaxed and fun ‘SHOVE IT IN A BOX NOW!!!!’ mode. There was an occasional this or that, bric-a-brac tossed and a couple of boxes of old VCR tapes, a few books and some ill fitting clothes found their way to the donation box but with the size ‘Haul’ that I needed to get ‘ U-ed’, what we got rid of was akin to tossing out a Dixie Riddle Cup of water while shifting the Atlantic Ocean to the west coast.
My wife has this fear that we are living on the cusp of turning into ‘hoarders’. You know, those damaged compulsive people you always seem to come across while clicking through those depressing reality shows up on the high number cable stations. Hoarders feel the need to save everything, so they live among massive floor to ceiling mountains of crap-ola navigating their lives through the twisty tiny paths between the soul crushing piles.
I don’t think we are that bad. Okay, yes, we have some impressive box mountains of our own hidden away in our storeroom. And yes we do have a lot more stuff than most humans and yes it’s a lot of stuff we don’t need, use or look at very much. And yes… dammit dammit dammit… maybe we are a little hoarderish, or is it slightly hoadery? Hoader-esque tendencies? I know I can’t say I’m a little hoar. I guess it does not matter how you say it, the point is after years of denying it after this move I’m starting to think that maybe she is right. We have large quantities of stuff tucked all around the place. Unnecessary stuff. Stuff we don’t need or use often. We even have stuff we actually don’t want but can’t yet rationalize donating or tossing.
I know some of my stuff I keep because of inertia; I have had it so long and it has moved with me so many times that the built up force to leave things unchanged is too strong to break. Those things have moved passed the ‘I might need it sometime’ stage and drifted into ‘well it’s always been there’ world. And that is not a good reason to save something. What happened to the Dan that could shove everything he owns into a car with the smallest U-Haul trailer hitched to the back and move in an afternoon… alone!
I need to shake this hoarding thing from my skull and deal with the fact. We loved our old house but our worlds have shifted a bit lately and we really needed to be closer to work and play and friends. After enough people comment that driving to your house is like traveling to another state, you get the hint. We liked it up in the hinterland because you can get more house bang for the mortgage buck and it felt like you lived in the country. Well my wife like that country part; I’m more of a city boy. The farther from the city I am the more a Deliverance style skeeved I feel. I’m a street light and sewers kinda guy.
You would think it would make me happy that the suburbs kept creeping up to our neck of the (now lack of) woods. The little two lane ‘farm road’ we drove home on passing cows and horses has, in the nine years of living here, become a six lane thoroughfare rapidly filling up with a Walmart, a water tower and a Whataburger. I got used to the open fields with twisty trees that are now being replaced with mini-malls, medical offices and multiple subdivisions of mass-produced McMansions. We could have lived with all of that, but the camel busting straw was when we both our work offices changed to the complete other side of town quadrupling our commutes.
So what do you do… you move. Yuch. I cannot think of a more miserable few months than spending most non-working waking hours traipsing through one bad overpriced house after another trying to outbid the zillion idiots that watch too much Home And Garden Network and believe they are going to make zillions of dollars flipping every house that pops up on Zillow. We want a home, not an impersonal patch-job, poorly fixed up on the cheaps, over-priced house.
Of course you think finding the perfect place is hard until you next find yourself spending every spare minute of the day shoving your life into boxes. Dozens of boxes, hundreds of boxes, rooms full of boxes, mountains of boxes… I could build a new house out of the giant stacks of boxes. Hey that’s a good idea. I’ll stack all the boxes so they open in, put a roof across the top and then we never need to unpack. When you need something you just open the appropriate box flap on your wall and pull out what you need. Then when we need to move again, you just tape everything shut again and you’re good to go.
So what did we do wrong? We didn’t clean up/ toss out/ pare down. We were so anxious and time pressed to get out of here so we could sell the old house that we just shoved everything into those aforementioned mountain of boxes. All the clutter wasn’t sorted and trimmed and tightened and tossed. It just all moved across town to clog up our lives somewhere else.
My Dad has always been an impressive tosser. He is not attached to stuff. I remember his way of cleaning up the old New York house basement was to grab and toss. If it was not nailed down, it got thrown in the trash. Books, records, borrowed ice skates, my brother’s boxed comic books… if he was in a cleaning mood nothing was off limits. Any and everything got thrown away. He could get a room emptied in no time. No emotions, no arguments, tossed and done without even having time to add a ‘ho’ to the ‘heave’.
So for now I guess we are keeping the crap and the clutter. My wife is setting a goal of getting rid of a least a box a junk a month. Maybe by the next move we will be livin’ lean… if the next move is in 2092.