Monday, July 04, 2005


I am in the middle of moving. We’re literally moving just down the street, to another apartment in the same development. I’m excited about the new place—it’s much bigger, it has more “upgrades” than my current unit, and I will have my own washer and dryer, so I no longer will have to constantly bug the supermarket clerks for quarters.

Even though I am glad to be moving, I am not having fun this weekend. I hate the whole process of moving, even though the end result is usually pleasing. I hate having to put my entire life into boxes. I hate all the cleaning. I try to think of it in a more positive light. Even though I hate all the cleaning and sorting involved, it’s good to go through everything and purge things that aren’t necessary, random things I’ve been dragging around during various moves that I really don’t need.

I’ve thrown away a lot of stuff, including about 500 pages of photocopied journal articles I’d used for my senior thesis, and birthday cards in which the senders hadn’t written any notes, just signed their names. There are boxes of things that haven’t been touched since I moved into this apartment three years ago: a box of snapshots and cards and other small things from my wedding, and one of miscellaneous cords, many of which are probably from electronic equipment that’s been tossed.

Yesterday I found a large manila envelope that had slipped behind the shelves in my closet. It was a random collection of stuff:

  • A yellow notepad, mostly used
  • A copy of my senior thesis
  • A photo Christmas card from my half-brother’s family, from several years back
  • A photo of me and my friend Mark at Porter College—taken in July 1998 according to my note on the back
  • A black-and-white photo that my friend Lynn took of me on the carousel at the Boardwalk in 2000
  • A dollar bill
  • Six pennies
  • Print outs of classifieds from the Washington City Paper from my apartment search when I was first moving to Washington
  • A copy of the first issue of the New Yorker to come out after September 11th
  • A hot pink Post-it note: “Call Jeff: B-day 7/22”*

I clearly haven’t looked at this envelope since I left Santa Cruz. Some of it I like—I saved the card, the photos, the magazine. But I’m unclear on how some of it ended up making the move, like the Post-it note (I moved in August, so I didn’t really need the note about Jeff’s birthday at that point) and the ads.

At any rate, the move is taking more time and energy that I’d planned. I’m trying to be philosophical, though, about the whole (miserable) process. Brian has entered some sort of organizational euphoria as he unpacks our kitchen stuff, trying to find a place for everything, repacking things we don’t really use (or that he thinks we don’t need to use) because I won’t actually let him throw away most of it. He repacks it all into carefully labeled boxes that will go up into the attic. I am trying to think of the process of moving in the same way: I will weed out what I don’t need, eliminate things that are no longer necessary, put aside what I am uncertain of, to deal with at some point in the future. I can see some benefits to having a philosophy of life that purges what is unused and organizes everything into carefully labeled boxes. I’m just not sure if it’s an appropriate philosophy for me, personally. And I still hate moving.

*That’s coming right up, isn’t it?. Happy birthday, Jeff!


Jeff said...

Thanks! You're the second person to wish me a happy birthday so far. One of my former housemates inadvertently called me a month early, so she had a lock on the #1 spot.

Lauren said...

July 22 is a popular birthday. I know two people with that same birthday already. Apparently my birthday is pretty popular too. I just found another person last night who shares my birthday. That makes 4 people I know personally who have the same birthday as me. Bill Clinton and Coco Chanel were also born on Aug. 19th.

you know who said...

Wait, you didn't find the Orange?

Jennifer said...

Congrats on having your own washer and dryer! And good luck getting through your boxes. My friend and I call that "editing."