Packing boxes to move is the gateway to hell

(WARNING: If you’d prefer not to read a whiny post, please feel free to continue scrolling…I’ll understand even if that does reflect that you are a fair weather blog-reader person…)

As I was packing books after Hurricane Katrina, I managed to curtail my pity party by reminding myself that tens of thousands of people had nothing left to pack or what they owned could fit in a brown paper lunch sack or they couldn’t pack because they were still pulling fish and assorted creatures out of their furniture.

The actual moving day started with Ken and I waking up at three in the morning and ended hundreds of miles later after midnight. We went to work the next day zombie-like after spending hours watching the movers play furniture Tetris in the three storage rooms we had rented. Since we were moving from a Hurricane Katrina area to a post-Hurricane Rita area (we’re bright, I know…), storage was at a premium. Even selling your firstborn male child (or offering to buy someone else’s) couldn’t get you space.

TIMEOUT FOR THE “HOW I MANAGED TO FIND MINI-STORAGE SPACES” story: Setting: the salon. I’m in the chair with so many foil wrappers sprouting out of my head (if you’re a male, just know this is an extreme and expensive torture we women subject ourselves to in the name of avoiding looking like your mothers instead of your wives) I could be dangerous in an electric storm. I am mewing about not being able to find one square inch of storage in the entire city, that I am laughed off the phone when I ask about storage, when the cute chick cutting my hair says, “Oh, I just moved out of my space last night.” I almost fell head first onto the floor trying to dive into my purse to grab my cell phone. “The number. What’s the number?” I’m shaking my cell phone at a woman wearing a holster of assorted sharp scissors; probably not the wisest approach on my part.

I call; they want me to drop by to give them a deposit. I explain my situation, though I also explain that I will gratefully and willingly arrive looking like ET’s frenzied aunt if it meant I’d get the space. No problem; they’ll take a credit card. Whew.

Since they didn’t have two large spaces, we rented one large and two tiny ones. No problem. Or so we thought…


When the two moving trucks finally arrived at the storage warehouse, we discovered that the three storage spaces were not in the same areas of the warehouse. Of course. Then there’s just something about having other people handle my stuff that makes me a bit bumpy. It’s part knowing what it costs to replace certain items and/or the sentimental value. It’s also part wondering what exactly possesses someone to choose a job that involves picking up heavy, cumbersome, and unwieldy items for a living.

Our stuff was in storage for ten months. During that time, we lived with our real estate agent, then moved to a friend’s home, then rented a home while we were remodeling (another blog…) the one we pray someone buys soon.

Not one time during those ten months did I utter the words, “I sure miss my coffee table.” I did come to realize that, with the exception of family items and photos, it was all stuff…stuff crammed into three storage warehouses. And the lack of it did not paralyze me. If anything, the lack of it made me more aware of its insignificance.

Now, less than a year from the time we unpacked all that insignificant stuff, we’re having to repack. The back of our home is burping cardboard boxes. The “why are you keeping so many %*@# books” rhetorical question is surfacing again. Answered by, “For the same reason you’re moving fifty pounds of golf balls and nine hundred DVDs.”

I really, really, really do not want to do this.

A part of me says I should fling open the front door, sell what I can, donate the rest. Start over. Start fresh. Realize God did not mean for me to spend my life dusting doo-dads (okay, maybe I should say having doo-dads that should be dusted).

For example, when we moved into the house we built pre-Katrina, the decorator brought a thingy in that drew Ken’s attention because its dangling price tag was leering at him.

“What’s that?” he asked.

“It’s an acanthus blahblahblah,” she said.

“What does it do?” he asked.

” It’s going to fill this space.”

” But what does it DO?” Translation–things that cost more than a sleeve of golf balls should DO something.


Maybe if I really removed, I’d have less to re-move.


2 thoughts on “Packing boxes to move is the gateway to hell

  1. Having moved about 15 times, I sure don’t envy you. And having to pack bags every weekend, and traipse back and forth to Houston, I can honesty say, I hate all forms of moving. Big moves, little moves… it doesn’t matter, it all stinks. You can not imagine — not in your wildest dreams–how much I’m going to miss you. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a writer friend I could just hang out with. It’s been fun, but we didn’t do it nearly enough. Can’t wait for conference.

  2. I’m moving right now as well, so I know exactly how you feel. It surprises me how much of my belongings really aren’t neccessary at all. A good portion of the things I own I use once and then never touch again.

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