I was talking with a friend of mine a while ago and she asked me, “How does it feel to be packing up and moving out?” I told her it feels great, but I didn’t feel like I was giving the full answer to that question. I thought it would be as simple as packing, organizing, and moving but I went through a few stages of work & emotion during the process.
The first thing I did was to go to my local stores and ask for cardboard boxes they weren’t using. Many stores told me they have a box crushing machine they use to recycle so they didn’t have any. I got lucky though and I was able to snag about 6 boxes on my first trip. I just kept on going back to my lucky stores until I got all I needed. I also used a few plastic bins I had from college. I was excited to be running around and starting my packing process. Also, the packing supplies were totally free and if there’s a way to save money in any situation, I’m there! I had done a bit of online shopping for my apartment so those boxes came in handy, too. MyFirstApartment has another post that offers a few more options for finding packing boxes and Alex has posted about a green packing solution if you’re a grossed out by using store give-away cartons.
When I got my first set of boxes, I started to pack immediately. I figured since we’re transitioning into summer, I can pack away my winter belongings and not miss them. Surprisingly, I found myself throwing out a lot of things with that round of packing. The amount of disgustingly worn boots and mismatched gloves I found under my bed and in my closet was embarrassing. It felt great to clean up though. Then I decided to tackle the bottom of my closet. I don’t even think tackle is a strong enough word to use, maybe excavating is more like it. I was down there for hours separating the wants & needs from the garbage. This is where things started to get tricky for me.
I found so many memories in my closet. Pictures, ticket stubs, maps, party/resort bracelets; anything you can think of, I found. (Except food, I’m not that messy.) These memories made the process much longer than it should have been as I reminisced every time I picked something up. I went from happy to sad to annoyed, to confused, back to happy again. All of this discovery left me with one thought; I’m starting another life. Soon, I’ll have another closet to stuff memories made in the apartment it’s housed it. It was kind of surreal.
As time went on, I packed up my books (which took up 5 boxes themselves), important papers, CD’s, electronics with the exception of my laptop and iPod, DVD’s, and my personal kitchen ware and appliances. After that round of packing, my room started to look very bare. The only things that were on my dresser were my hair/skin products and my record player. I couldn’t let go of my vinyl, not yet. I think this was the point when I knew there was no return. Even though I know I’m always welcome in my mother’s home, I started to feel like a stranger in the house. It almost felt like I had come to stay until I got back on my feet and I’ve overstayed my welcome. I feel stupid for feeling that way but I just started to get used to the reality that I wouldn’t be living there anymore.
The last things I have to pack are my everyday clothes/shoes, toiletries, and linens. That’ll be done when I have a U-Haul scheduled to come to the house. Looking at all that I’ve done so far, I can’t believe I own so much stuff! My basement is lined wall-to-wall with boxes. But when I look at those boxes, I feel a different emotion every time. They excite me, make me nervous, and anger me when I stub my toe on one of them. Overall, they’re a great sight to see. They’re the symbol of complete independence, adventures, and new beginnings for me. I’m sure I’ll be feeling a whole new set of emotions on moving day but for now, I’ll just ride the boxes and bubble wrap wave.