Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Pack vs Purge - A Diva's Dilemma

If you're at all like me, you have a house/apartment full of stuff. Important stuff, not so important stuff, other people's stuff (oops!), ancient stuff, brand new never opened stuff, and stuff you never unpacked during your LAST move stuff. All adds up to a lot of stuff.

I've lived in my current place for almost seven years. Before that I moved quite often, so much so that I never really got into the real spirit of the purge out of sheer desperation to get everything packed and have the process completed as soon as was humanly possible. One particularly heinous move I actually took a plastic bag and emptied the entire contents of the junk drawer into it, dropped it into a box, taped it up and moved it along. Ouch.

Seven years later, I came upon that box in my latest round of packing. This time, however, I had the foresight and intestinal fortitude to open it up and dispose of the extraneous mishmash of single playing cards, twine, old candles, scotch tape, errant nails and other objects that escape my memory at this time.

In fact, I've been disposing of so much extraneous mishmash it's a wonder I have anything left to pack at all! I'm purging with reckless abandon, and am loving every minute of it. So far, I've four bags of diva wear to be donated to charity, as well as five boxes of books, two boxes of videos, and a box of old dishes - again, three sets ago. You know you have too much crap in your house when a box of dishes goes undiscovered in the walk in closet until you excavate the top layers and dig down - deep. Scary stuff.

It's not like stuff just piles up and up... We did manage to do a decent kitchen purge following our June wedding since we were fortunate enough to get lots of new stuff. Yep, more stuff to take up the relatively small amount of space we called home. So it was out with the old, and off it went to my little sister, Hubs' neice, and charity yet again to make room for the new.

This fortunately means we have very little to purge from the kitchen. But there are still six other rooms in the house - and seven years worth of crap in every nook, cranny, bookshelf, hutch, closet, armoire, and drawer in sight. Packrats of the world unite!!

Over the past few weeks we've been going at it with both guns blazing. The living room is done, the kitchen cupboards have been cleared out (an entire bag of recycling, a full garbage bag worth of organic material for the green bin, and another bag full of not organic/non recyclable waste - insane), and both bathrooms have been purged of the half full bottles of raspberry bubblebath purchased for me five Christmases ago by a kind coworker who knows little of my bathing habits.

All in all the purging process has been wonderfully cathartic. At least I know that what we're taking with us will stay at the new place, and the true junk has been separated from the quasi-junk that I simply can't force myself to part with just yet.

We haven't been the best friend of the landfills though - we've made more than our fair share of contributions, unfortunately - but we're doing the best we can by donating and recycling where applicable, and leaving the bigger pieces outside for the ghetto scavengers that troll by and pick up the detritus of our lives. Absolutely fascinating to put out a wide assortment of blankets, ugly photo frames, old stereos and the like, and watching how fast they walk off down the street. Then again, who wouldn't want a piece of diva history? ;)

Tonight the obstacle of choice was the filing cabinet last used in first year university. Four blue bags full of paper later, I'd finished and had yet again unearthed all sorts of treasures - my high school transcripts, university report cards, photos and letters from old boyfriends (Hubs got a real kick outta those), and best of all, five 5x7 black and white photos of my mom when she was five or six years old. Adorable! What a fantastic find. After the move I'm going to get them reframed and give them back to her. I'll also make copies for my sister and me so we can hang them on our respective walls for all the world to see.

Moving or not, I highly recommend you all set aside some purgin' time in your lives. I realize it's not spring yet (I seem to harp on this fact, don't I?) but there's nothing wrong with a little winter cleaning. You never know what treasures of your past you may unearth. Or you could find yourself confronted with a big box of crap. Fingers crossed for treasures.

And that's your daily dash. How's your diva doin'?

2 comments on "Pack vs Purge - A Diva's Dilemma"

shoe_gal said...

I'm a pack-a-holic. I am of no help. Happy moving.

Janny said...

We moved in May '06, and we still had unpacked boxes from my move the year before that!! I am such a pack rat, it's unbelievable! Kinda scary too! My mom is like that too though, so I know it's genetic! We are both getting better at it though! And you are right, you can find some AMAZING treasures! I found a bunch of pictures my mom had packed for me when I left for college, I now have a wedding picture of my parents (GOD! My dad had HAIR!?) and a few baby pictures of me! It's kinda neat!
We still now have some un-opened boxes from that move, and I want them to be done with (or at least emptied, sorted and re-packed properly!) by May of this year! I know we aren't moving just yet, and I can't stand trying to find stuff all the time! Still haven't found my favorite Christmas video! It didn't feel like Christmas this year, believe you me!
Anywho, this is starting to look like a blog entry of my own, just wanted to say you are very right about this! :)
- MOH_Janny




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