Seventeen years of stuff: One moving van

Today is the day we pile seventeen years of goodies into a single moving van.  Two years after we decided to move, it’s finally a reality.

Loading the truck wasn’t that big of a deal. We gave away or sold as much of the furniture as we possibly could. The heaviest item was my piano.

Getting the curved sofa out of the bonus room upstairs to give to a friend was more harrowing than anything happening this day. Well, except getting a dresser through doors that are at 90 degree angles from each other. It’s not like wood bends.

We’ve spent the past three weeks sorting and boxing stuff. The total weight of items discarded at the dump (or to the recycler) exceeds 1,500 pounds. Donations – excluding the furniture – weighs in around 500 pounds.

How does one family accumulate so much stuff?

No one will weigh the loads being moved to the new house. Surely it exceeds the combined weight of the trash and donations!

We never would have made it on The Oregon Trail. (What other sort of allusion or metaphor would you expect from someone who has lived her entire life at points along the Lewis & Clark Trail?)

I’d like to think that this purging of STUFF has cured me of my hoarding inclinations. But I doubt that. Loading up the twelfth box of books curbs my Pollyanna outlook. (To be fair, I did donate a half-dozen boxes of books. I’m a writer, after all. Some of these books are reference materials.)

A bittersweet nostalgia follows me through the now-empty rooms of our old home. The boys pushing their cars along the floors there. Helping straiten the tuxedo for the first formal over here. Laughter during game-playing swells from the barren dining room.

Remember how we tried the Christmas tree out on every wall in the living room? Look at the mark along the ceiling. That’s from the tree that was still too tall when the boys tilted it upright after hauling it inside.

I shut the door for the last time. Goodbye, Second Place. Thanks for the great memories.

Box-filled rooms echo at the new house. How long before it feels like home?

Hello, Rotterdam Street. Are you ready for the Hughson family?

6 thoughts on “Seventeen years of stuff: One moving van”

  1. Oh, those bittersweet moving moments… We’ve never lived in a home for more than 6 years, and those were so hard to leave for all the reasons you mentioned below. I can’t imagine 17. And although I’m not a hoarder, moving for me isn’t easier because all I take with me from one place to the next are my memories of that place. That’s why that last walk through, that final door close breaks my heart every time, even if I’m really looking forward to the next place.

    I wish you many years of happiness and memory making in your next home! Congrats!!

    1. Thanks, Kelly. I’m glad we have finally transitioned to the new place. Yes, it is still an avalanche of boxes and insanity, but it is home. Eventually, my cats might even come out from under the bed 🙂

  2. We’ve been in our home for 21 years. I can’t imagine leaving it. But this is a new chapter in your life and one full of wonderful possibilities and the keeper and maker of new memories. I am happy for you. It will feel like home before you know it.

    1. We just finished cleaning out everything from the old place and turning over the keys. I feel – deflated, but as I sit here in my fantastic new office at my amazing new desk staring into a sunny day, it’s hard to feel sad.

  3. I can empathize with your experience. 🙂 Most of the boxes have been emptied here, but we’re still figuring out where to put everything so we can find stuff when we need it! Remember that when we leave a place, we never leave the memories behind—they come with us to the next home. And there are many more to be formed in the new one. Enjoy!

    1. It’s only been two days and we’ve already created some fun memories at this house. My sons putting my new desk together could be a moving highlight for me.
      The worst part: the lack of sleep and too much take-out food consumption is finally catching up with me – and still much remains to be done to make this place “feel” like “home.”

What do you think? Add to the discussion here.