Monday, December 3, 2012


When we moved from Atlanta last year, we knew we couldn't just park the U-Haul in the front yard and unload it directly into the house here. This cabin was already fully furnished, right down to sheets on the bed. We'd have to integrate the Georgia stuff slowly while sorting through dishes, linens, you name it, and deciding what to keep and what to jettison. We rented a storage unit in town in October 2011, backed the U-Haul up to the door, and shoved everything off the truck into it. The process took a little longer than anticipated (doesn't everything?) but this past week we were finally put the last of the boxes into the car. No more storage unit.

The only problem, of course, is this place hasn't gotten any bigger in the past year. We also haven't really thinned things out much. Oh, a few boxes of dishes and miscellaneous household goods have gone to the St. Vincent de Paul store, but mostly what we've done is rearrange things. Organized them. Stacked the cartons neater so they fit into a more compact space. Nonetheless, we're still stuck with four or five U-Haul  Small Boxes stacked in the front hall while we try to figure out what to do with the contents. Two are labeled "dishes from china cabinet." I no longer have a china cabinet -- that was one of the items we did jettison in Atlanta.

I do, however, still have all the clutter and weirdness that used to live in it: the souvenir Coke can I picked up in DC one of the years the Redskins won the Super Bowl, my complete set of never-used Lord of the Rings goblets from Burger King, two Nestle Quik rabbit mugs, several hurricane-type drinks glasses from Macados in Blacksburg, a Copper Country dairy quart milk bottle, and a lot more stuff I sort of hate to acknowledge owning. You know, weirdness. This stuff doesn't fall into the category of "fine collectibles," nor does anything of it coalesce into a recognizable coherent collection of any sort.

You can justify having almost any amount of stuff if it's a "collection" -- there are a lot of people out there who will dedicate multiple rooms of a house to a "collection." Beer cans, Hummel figurines, Christmas pixies, you name it, if you own more than a handful, you can call it a collection. If I had a gazillion pieces of Nestle Quik advertising junk, it would be a collection. My Little Debbie dolls are a collection. Two mugs, on the other hand, are just weird. Ditto the lonely Redskins Coke can, especially when I loath the Redskins. And when you get a lot of little weird pieces, none of which relate to each other much, you start sliding into what can only be termed hoarding territory. So why am I keeping it all? Good question. At least the rabbit mugs are cute. Now all I have to do is figure out where to put them.


  1. It is not just stuff. It is little pieces of your life that for some reason stuck to you. You have my sincere sympathy.

    I couldn't move my stuff. Like my 17 coffee cups, that each one had a memory of some kind. The souvenirs from all over the world...

    My oldest is the unsentimental minimalist and she was stuck with the boxes which she disposed of out of my sight and so I didn't ahve to bear the pain.

  2. "Now all I have to do is figure out where to put them." Just use them to furnish the addition. See how easy that is?

  3. I certainly share your problem. When my mom moved out of her house to go into a senior citizens' apartment building, I kept about 12 large cartons of "stuff" that I felt I couldn't get rid of. They reside against one wall of our basement. Then she died a few years later and the last batches of "stuff" that had sentimental value ended up in boxes in my attic. And don't even get started on the "stuff" that my husband and I have managed to collect during 25 years in our house. We have no children. To whom are we leaving all these mementos that I can't bear to part with? Sigh... probably when we sell this house I will have to be ruthless.

  4. I understand. I have been getting tough with myself about getting rid of those sorts of things.


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