Uhaul moving boxes

The kids were both in school, mine starting soon, and the schedules for Fall were in place. Everything was going smoothly (read: as planned) – we even had exercise routines and we’re actually sticking to them. It was like the perfect suburban moment. And then … we saw something. It was a glimmer of freedom, all shiny and sparkly. So we pounced on it like a kitten: completely invigorated and totally clueless of what was to come. Yep … we bought our first house. We bought into the American Dream that has thus far eluded us in this sizzling economy. Out of the blue, a series of little amazing moments lined up and we ended up with a home. Yes (right?)!

And here we come to the wonder of the balance of life. The first difference we noticed was that it was ours, all ours! We danced, we pranced, and then we realized: hey, this place is empty. Where’s all our stuff? Back at the old place.

Oh boy … and the moving began.

The rationale that you can just take a car load every time you go to do something at the new place (i.e., painting, fixing, building, mending) fades to bleak after the seventh or eighth load of stuff that you’re still not sure why you have (all this crap) in the first place. I mean really, do I need three identical vases ? Uh … no. Do I need two different sets of the same tools? (ok, ok, they are his – but I didn’t want to be too genderist, either). The motorcycle leathers from my oh-so-bitchin-cool-pre-mommy days? Probably not.

The truth is moving is both horrifying and wonderful at the same time; it’s living the yin and yang. The horror of having to stick every little thing you have ever bought or inherited (wise or foolishly) is overwhelming to even the most persistent of us. The wonder is how much stuff you can actually sort through, recycle, through away, and get rid of with a feeling of, “Woohoo!!! That’s off my plate.” We are truly realizing the difference between the convenience of having some things, and the over-burden of maintenance and space hogging with others. Why do I need to allocate space to things I may not need for five years? I don’t. Chuck it, recycle it, get it outta here.

It’s brought a whole new dimension to buying for me. Why are we so excited about buying new things? We are such a consumer motivated society here in America, that you nearly HAVE to have a huge home to accommodate all of your crap. My new mission is reduce! Reduce! Maybe everyone has this realization when they move … but this is the first time I’ve moved with a full family, so the countless plastic doo-dads have undone me. I can no longer permit all these things to remain un-recycled. It’s time to sort, sift, and toss. Goodwill is my new favorite place and so far. And although I’m sure I’ll slip and slide into consumerism, the veil has been lifted. Now I simply spend all my cash at the hardware store. Hello, home ownership!

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