The Things We Pack, and the Things We Don’t

We are 17 days away from the big move, and packing is starting to kick into high gear. A month out, I tried to divide the job into 4 weekly packing categories: things we use all the time, things we use a lot but could live without for a time, things we use occasionally, and things we don’t currently “use.” This last category includes things like anything decorative or hung on the walls. It includes holiday items from non-summer holidays (i.e. – all of them). I spent some time last week laying our walls bare, readying for the jobs to get harder and harder.

This week we are focusing on books, movies, non-favorite toys, picture albums, and other things we use from time to time, but can probably pack away without too much consternation. Next week we really have to buckle down and start making the hard choices. Can we live without these for the next two weeks? Some clothes will be packed, and perhaps some dishes. Alexa might find herself in a box by the end of next week. Packing is not an easy business.

Of course even after I have categorized everything in my mind, there are still other ways to think about all of our “stuff.” Because there are the things we pack, and the things we don’t.

“Daddy, if the new house is bigger, why do we have to get rid of so much stuff?” Ruby asked me, as we rummaged through the piles of stuff in her room, looking for things to put into the Goodwill box. And I told her that moving was a great opportunity for spiritual cleansing on the physical plane. I told her that, since we were going through all of our stuff anyway, we might as well use the time wisely and thin out the things that don’t fit, don’t work, or don’t get used anymore. What I was thinking was, “I’m not packing this damn stuff up twice, once to move to the new house, and then again to take to Goodwill!” but I tried to paint it as a positive fortuity.

So there are things we are not going to pack. We sold some things at the co-op yard sale. We threw some things away. We donated some items. The work of weeding is not yet done, but we have begun, which is sometimes the hardest part. On this side, the things we are packing to take to the new house, and on that side the things we are setting ourselves free from. Two piles. Two categories. Two possible lives, with one final vote. At times it is scary to toss something, but at other times, I have to confess, it feels great!

But there is another category that I did not take into account originally, a group of things that we do not pack. These are the very most important things in the world, things with which we can take no chances.

“I’m not packing Bear,” Ruby informed me very suddenly, as we stood over a box that Bear had packed himself. In it was his spare fur, his toys, and his other accumulated items. “I’m going to carry him with me on moving day…so nothing happens to him.” This was probably a good idea. I don’t know that Bear would like being in a box anyway; he might try to escape. He has been left behind before after getting out of whatever he had been put into. Better not to risk it.

Bear Packing his Box

So I must amend my original list and add a fifth stage. As we wind down from “things we never use” to “things we use every day,” there is another, later category. There are the things we do not pack at all, because w can’t bear the thought of losing them, even for a few moments. Pun totally intended.

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Posted in Bear, Daddy Bear, Moving, Packing, Parenting, Ruby.

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