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The first step of selling a house is to pack up and store half of what you own. We thought we did that back in May before showing the house, but it turns out we filled a fair amount of a storage unit with much less than half of what we own. Oops.
I really need to get back to it. Part of the reason I’ve stalled is that David and I are veryvery different. Sure we have a similar worldview and values, but when it comes to packing, we are oil and water. Captain Von Trapp (before his heart of ice melts) and Fraulein Maria. Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. (I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to which one of us is which.)
This is a dramatization based on a true story.
The Process According to Alicia
Alicia: David, can we please throw out this VHS tape that you recorded a Bruce Springsteen performance on? We’ve never watched it in the ten years that we’ve been married.
David: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Why don’t you respect my things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Alicia: We have three garment bags and only use one. Can we donate the two we don’t use?
David: Those are perfectly good garment bags. There’s a chance we’ll use them in the next 40 years, so we better hang on to them.
The Process According to David
Alicia: Can we please throw out this heirloom knick-knack from your grandparents?
David: It represents my favorite memory of all time, and now that my grandparents are gone, it’s especially important for me to hold on to it.
Alicia: I let you have a single, grainy photograph of your grandparents last week. And now you want to keep this junky thing? Ugh!
Alicia: Shouldn’t we get rid of this bed?
David: You mean the bed we sleep on every night?
Alicia: Yeah. We’re supposed to downsize before showing the house, and we can spend the next six months on the floor.
David: Please can we keep the bed?
Alicia: Okay. Why won’t you let me pack things we’re not using??!!!!!!!!
We’re not quite that irrational. But almost. In short, as the primary packer and general hater-of-stuff, I am prone to give away or throw away many much things. David appreciates the usefulness of many much things, and as not the primary packer prefers to keep it all.
(But that’s not completely fair. He did get rid of the Bruce Springsteen VHS.)
This is the actual way packing (or lack thereof since May) has worked so far:
I open a cupboard containing an answering machine (whose last message was recorded in the house we rented 8 years ago), attachments to the vacuum that we don’t ever use, and 50 new lightbulbs. Then I shut the door fast and go check out facebook to see if anything interesting has happened in the last five minutes.
We’ve taken several loads to the local donation drop off spot, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we’ve got rabbit stuff. We put a package of 3 lightbulbs in a cupboard and BOOM! The next time we open that door there are 50.
It doesn’t help matters that we’ve already had some stuff in storage for four months already. I keep having to fight the urge to just give away everything we’ve got in storage. If we haven’t needed it for four months after all…
It’s probably unwise to donate *everything* in the storage unit. I packed up all our winter coats, mittens, hats, etc. back in May in order to make our closets seem spacious. (They really are pretty spacious, but it might be hard to appreciate it with 6 pairs of miscellanous snowpants and coats of various sizes tumbling out of them.) Speaking of snow pants, I’m going to need to go retrieve those guys from storage sooner rather than later. But after we get those out…
We still don’t have a set plan for December, but I’m pretty Hakuna matata about the whole situation. Something will fall into place. I think we might have gotten an invitation in passing to California and maybe Virginia. Have you seen the Midwest in winter? If not, it’s exactly like this:
Except with less singing and more ice monsters. Better be careful about any housing offers, because come this December we might actually appear at your door.
My uncle dropped off a few Cadillac packing boxes– ones from U-haul. They have handles and are made of a classy, thicker cardboard. So now I don’t have an excuse to keep avoiding the packing. Maybe I’ll start today with the lightbulbs.