I thought about briefly stealing "Minimalism Mondays" from Monika of Rocaille Writes, but as someone who's lived the student life her entire (brief) adult life, I don't have a ton of stuff. I've also already gotten rid of a whole whack of things: old clothes, my woolen winter coat (what a joke that was. I knew better, too), the stilettos I was never going to wear, over 70 books, a handful of old textbooks (as interesting as my textbook on spies and espionage was, I'm never going to read it again), old notes, birthday cards...as it turns out, if it's paper, I will probably save it.
I did find $20 in a graduation card on my desk, though. Win.
Anyway, I've been decluttering like mad and realizing that it's had almost no effect on my surroundings. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: when two people live in a cramped space, everything always looks cluttered. Everything is out in the open because we can't put it away. (Though, thankfully, my partner has started the process of moving his things to his sister's where he will be living once I return to batshit-nowhere New Brunswick. We got rid of his hockey bag and his bike yesterday and it suddenly feels much emptier in here.) I'm trying to accept that it's going to get worse before it gets better, and also somehow I have to find my way to the back of the storage closet to get out the Rubbermaid bins I saved from my undergraduate days of moving all of the time.
Theoretically, I should be good at this. I went to school to learn how to organize things. I was a professional packer (of groceries) for five years. I am good at tidying and packing. I am! I love packing! I like orderly spaces! I get a thrill out of the perfectly packed box or bag and then delight in labelling it.
But a little less than four weeks out, I'm stalling. There is the practical side of not boxing up everything too early, and the fact that there's nowhere to put said boxes, and really, I will be home for most of this time anyway. It's not like the last time I moved, when I was frantically trying to finish my thesis, box up my life, and convince my partner to please go sign a lease so we had somewhere to sleep on May 1st, 2013. I have time and space and I can't do any further non-packing preparations until I actually have an address to move to (I'm viewing places on Saturday, pray with me that I leave with a lease signed).
But I've hit a kind of moving wall. I want to do more, and there are small projects that I could take on: further culling of my wardrobe, further weeding of my books, continued removal of things I don't really need, like a stack of ELLE Canada magazines.
So I've been spending my time watching even more Gilmore Girls and dancing around to Taylor Swift while I do standard, normal chores.
I think part of my problem is that this is the point in my life where I should be starting to discard the student things and transition to more permanent adult items...but this is a contract job, and I will only be there for a year, thus prolonging my stay in the land of address instability. There are things I want to get rid of, but I know I will need them later and I don't want to buy them again when I know I'm not settling anywhere yet.
There is also a further problem: I'm moving from a city of 300 000 to a town of 18 000. Anything I want/need should probably be purchased here, before I go. While I'm not a stranger to the town life (I lived in a town of 5000 + 5000 students for four years), I have gotten awfully spoiled these last couple of years. There's going to be a lack of Starbucks in my life, for example. And I don't go to Starbucks very often, but I like having the option, you know?
Liz of Beauty Reductionista wrote a very thoughtful review of Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I started this book, found it to be somewhat condescending, put if down and haven't picked it back up. But on reading and re-reading Liz's review, I think I may well have to pick it up. It's not my sentimental attachment to my things I'm worried about, it's my sentimental attachment to this place and this particular arrangement of my belongings. And surely, I could use a kick in the pants right now. In my own way, I am resisting this move, not because it's not leading me somewhere that I want to go (and I am very excited about this move, don't get me wrong), but because it's another ending and another round of packing up and saying good-bye to the post office clerk I see weekly and my favourite pubs and my favourite walks and my seat on the waterfront and no longer will I live behind a grocery store - something that has spoiled me forever, I think. I love my stupidly tiny kitchen and the bathroom with the heated floors and the patio with the decidedly unglamorous view of Canadian Tire.
Though it's likely not the right fit for me right now, who knows? Maybe Marie Kondo will help me deal with the task of packing. Or at the very least, help me direct my stress shopping from things like candles and body scrubs to rubber boots and shower curtains.
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