The Unpacking Process

September 03, 2014

so i got all moved in on sunday to my new apartment.  such a pain, and i was happy to have monday off!  but since it was the holiday weekend, we had a bunch of other obligations.  basically, john and his brother unloaded everything into the living room/dining room of my new place and then we took off to various labor day parties and rewarded ourselves with all that furniture lifting by drinking other people's cheap beer and eating things other family members cooked for us.  it was wonderful but now i'm stuck with the arduous task of unpacking boxes and arranging furniture.  the furniture is set for the most part.  hawkeye doesn't function well without her couch and water bed, so those were the first to be set up.  (i wish i could say the apple tv/netflix is set up as well but of course, internet set-up snafu.  quelle surprise, at&t.  quelle surprise.)

but damn those boxes.  i packed them perfectly, of course, and i know what's in each one.  i don't have too many things, either.  i just don't want to do it.  clothes and kitchenware, it's really just sitting there waiting for me.  and i simply do not want to put pots and pans back in cabinets or figure out how to configure my clothes into this new closet.

so far, everything i've unpacked is staying.  almost.  there's a couple items (1 small box of things) that don't fit the space any more so those are going to 1 year storage in the best free storage facility in town... mom's attic.  moving on to the dreaded kitchen and clothes boxes (there's only like 6 total, i'm just being lazy), i decided to do even more purging as things come out of the box.  i was pretty ruthless with things going in so i imagine there won't be a lot but i don't think i was as ruthless with clothes as i should have been.  still striving for that 40 hanger closet and yeah, i'm not even close.  more like 80+ hangers and lots of things in drawers.  which is just too many things because i want a minimalist, capsule wardrobe.

before i dive into the last boxes, i decided to do some more reading.  i love reading articles and blogs on decluttering and organizing.  even though i'm already excellent at it, i still like reading other people's tips.  this is also a wonderful, educational, and totally productive procrastination technique.  most tips don't apply to me though, at least not any more.  some people hold on to clutter for sentimental reasons.  or because it was cheap or free or they just don't know where to start.  that's not me.

as i learned from my procrastination reading of blogs, my biggest hurdle, which i still have to remind myself of often - my home is not a storage space for other people.

i'm not keeping martini glasses because my mom likes martinis and comes over maybe once a year for one.  i'm not keeping a full set of bedding for a twin bed i no longer own because it fits the couch and occasionally people sleep over (a blanket and pillows are fine, it's a cushy couch.)  i'm not collecting any more wine corks because once tara's roommate needed them for cork art but i never actually remembered to give them to her.  i'm not keeping the flats that are too small for me but that fit meredith in case she comes over and doesn't want to wear heels out all night.  p.s. meredith moved to california last summer.

those are the things that are making a swift exit out of those boxes and into the donation pile.  or going to thredup if they're nice.  because then i make money to buy more clothes.  vicious cycle.  regardless, i'm going to start unpacking those boxes.  probably, as you're reading this, i already started.  i'm sure of it.

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23 comments

  1. What a great perspective to have! I need to remember that my home is not a storage unit for other people, too. Thanks for the great reminder!

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  2. I moved to my apartment in China about two weeks ago, but I'm not completely packed (ugh). That's the goal today! Why is it so hard??

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  3. I like that, you shouldn't hold on to things bc MAYBE someone might use it. I hate storing things!!

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  4. I'm terrible at keeping things I'll never use, "just in case." TERRIBLE.

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  5. I could never have only 40 hangers... I have too much shit and I can't just throw it out. Plus I hate folding clothes and putting them away. If it can be hung, then it gets hung.

    Anyways, glad you are all moved in :)

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  6. Oooh, I love the idea of not keeping things just for other people's use. We have so much stuff for "in case we have guests" ie my father-in-law and sister-in-law. They visit maybe once a year and can surely make do with just the basics. Thanks for the perspective and good luck unpacking. I totally thought of you as I threw my crap into boxes with the vaguest description ever and how I wished I had your packing skills...

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  7. I have to unpack immediately. I get too much anxiety with everything in boxes. I also notice that when I unpack...I still get rid of things that I thought I needed when I packed. But, the last 4 times I have moved...I unpacked EVERYTHING the day I moved. I'm a bit crazy. ;)

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  8. I am definitely guilty of the same things! None of us eat popcorn (yeah, we're weirdos) but my sister loves it, so I have a popcorn maker in my cupboard....even though last time she came over for a movie night was almost 2 years ago! haha! Horrible!

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  9. I still have a couple of boxes to unpack. Abbey hasn't done anything to her room. Her bed is set up and she is living out of boxes. It drives me insane.

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  10. Unpacking is almost as bad as packing- especially kitchen stuff. Good luck!

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  11. Ugh, Vicious cycle indeed. I have only allowed myself a "one in one out" rule in my closet - so whenever I buy a new shirt I have to donate an old one.

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  12. So what happens when your Mom makes the rule that she's not storing anything for other people...and you have to go pick up the boxes you store there? :)

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    1. haha good point!! the secret to mom's attic is that she never knows what's up there! If she ever did thoroughly clean it out, I'd be in trouble ;) Where will my artificial Christmas tree go?!

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  13. I don't envy you. Working stuff into a new space if tough, and in my case I usually get it wrong the first time and within a week or a month I find a way it will work more efficiently.

    I need to do major wardrobe overhaul when I switch my clothes out at the end of the summer and stop holding on to things that only sort of work. I'm updating a lot of stuff this year too, so I need to get rid of the old.

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  14. michael is really really good about keeping things to a minimum. one time we cleaned out my closet and we got rid of like 8 garbage bags full of stuff. i actually couldn't beleive I still had some of that stuff. But what if I need it later or someone else might want it?! it's such a struggle!

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  15. Such interesting perspective! I'm more of a KEEP ALL THE THINGS kind of gal. Once or twice a year I'll have a Hoarders panic attack and get rid of a ton of shit, but usually things start to accumulate again. Good luck with the unpacking.
    Also, I am writing this from my hotel room in Chicago. Maybe we can meet up for a cocktail?

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  16. So true, I have a few extra sets of bedding for guests etc. I need to remember this and start donating or tossing.

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  17. I love that you aren't keeping things just in case or for someone else! I am horrible about that! I really need to go through my closet and be honest with myself. REALLY!!!

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  18. I love unpacking. Except that I'm lazy, so it usually takes me awhile to get around to it. But I love finding a new place for everything. And getting rid of stuff. I love getting rid of stuff.

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  19. Unpacking has to be the worst thing ever! I have no problem packing stuff, its the unpacking I have anxiety over!

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  20. I'm in the middle of the unpacking purgatory as we speak :) We got rid of a good amount of stuff but I'm also realizing that it was just not enough too!! I would love to have the perfect small wardrobe...I'm not sure if I could do just 40 but I'm working towards paring down.

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  21. I'm in the middle of packing up my apartment (spoiler) and am purging everywhere I can. Talk about liberating. I love the idea of not being storage for someone else! www.crazytragicalmostmagic.com (in case it comes up as no-reply)

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    1. It's so nice to have all your own space reclaimed!! How's it going?

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