It’s a noble idea. It really is.
Weeding through years of belongings: clothes, cd’s, sporadically used notebooks. Well intentioned cookbooks, cords and tools you justmightatanymoment need. Trinkets that even a closeted sentimentalist like you just haven’t yet been able to toss, photos endearing enough to frame.
You’ll give your best effort, and you’ll plow through the filling of donation boxes. You’ll feel accomplished. You’ll learn the name of the Goodwill guy who accepts drop offs on Wednesday afternoons. (Everyone, say “hi, Charlie.”) And you’ll move in to your new studio, all bright in shiny in your new perspective of living with less, and you’ll pat yourself on the back.
Except I’m here to tell you to hold your horses. Because you still aren’t going to have a clue about what you are doing.
You’ll realize that you still have too much, and that you don’t quite fit in your new space, and that unpacking will be a VERY slow process because you have to go through everything AGAIN, and this time it’s harder because all that’s left are the things that you really love. Your parents offer to store things in their basement, and while tempted, you will refuse, because that, to you, is taking the easy way out to avoid what you are trying to do here. (Except for two pictures that cannot be hung, one that is some sort of wine label montage and another of photography from the U of M campus. Because they are relics. Maintain some sort of standards, eh?)
You’ll realize weird things, like that you only have ONE shelf, which is already stuffed with stacks of toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex, tampons, and some ridiculously scratchy hippie napkins, high out-of-the-way for your cat, who has a penchant for ingesting wood pulp in any form. You’ll realize you have only ONE cupboard that the cat cannot get into, which you guess is where the cleaning poisons will have to go. You’ll realize this cat dictates a larger piece of your life pie than you ever planned.
After storing the Bounty and the Drano, you’ll realize you have no idea where to go to next. So you’ll sit on it, and let ideas marinate, measure, and stalk Target aisles behind starry-eyed freshman for dorm furniture “solutions” because it’s the only thing that fits.
And you realize that it is a process, one that cannot be rushed, because figuring out what works and doesn’t for you has always taken you a little longer than others. And you see a bit of curiosity in the eyes of people who have visited, wondering why you haven’t fully unpacked yet. Wondering what exactly it is you have been doing. And there really is no way to explain it, other than to shrug your shoulders, and maybe laugh a little about it, and remind yourself that you are pacing along just fine.
But you do know that you wake up everyday and find yourself feeling a little more at home. A bit more comfortable. You begin to naturally manuever the eight inches of slippery shower curtain liner that overlaps onto your tub floor because your shower is the appropriate size for a midget. You start to not think twice about moving your garbage can to microwave some apple cider or unplugging your coffee pot so you can chop a vegetable. You start to revel in the idea that, with a turn of the tv, you can watch a movie in either your “bedroom” or your “living room.” And you are still motivated, everyday, to continue this adventure, and you realize that a good week has gone by since you sat on your floor, disheveled, overwhelmed, and asking the ceiling “what the hell have I done?”
But still, of course, there are battles to be fought. For example:
The Bathroom Sink
Okay. One, those handles don’t match. Two, each faucet comes in exactly one temperature. The left is blazing hot, the right is freakishly frigid. Don’t mix that up. And dodging your hands between the two makes for fascinating entertainment. Three, that sink is clean. Those stains and cracks are circa 1973.
As you can see, ravioli, a single No Name steak, a Kashi, some bread shards, and a bag of fake ice cubes round out the spacious depth of my new freezer. Which isn’t even a freezer. It’s an extra space within my refrigerator. A refrigereezer that I can no longer can I fit my favorite standard go to’s, like an Amy’s pizza, real ice-cube trays, and a bottle of Bulleit. Sigh.
The close proximity of my Dining Room and my Bedroom
AKA: the closest I have ever been to breakfast in bed.
The Bathroom Sink
The new sink is too small for Carter to sleep in. And when sinks are your favorite place to sleep, this is the ultimate betrayal. The resentment is palpable.