|With thanks to|
for the "free to use or share" artwork
I practically dislocated my shoulder patting myself on the back when our packers announced we had only 120 boxes. We moved to California with over 400 boxes. Not quite six years ago. With two kids rather than three. After I purged about three rooms worth of belongings in preparation for that move.
Well, folks, I'm unpacking now. Including the boxes from the storage unit, which of course the packers didn't count, I think we still came in under 200 boxes. But I'm sitting in my office looking at THIRTEEN BOXES OF BOOKS (not to mention the ones in other parts of the house) and I'm thinking maybe I could have done a little better.
Now, I have experienced purge regret. In a burst of enthusiasm when I first encountered the Zero Waste Home I purged a ridiculous number of shoes. Later that same season I found myself wishing I could have half of them back. There is one particularly adorable pair of wedge-heeled loafers that I will never be able to replace that would have gone beautifully with some wide-legged jeans...
It will be interesting to see how much I unbox that I could have left behind. Now that the kitchen is in functioning order I will start trying to take pictures, and once we find my husband's camera I'll even try to make them good pictures.
In the meantime, look around the space you're in and find fifteen things you can part with. Imagine yourself unboxing them after a move (preferably when you're looking for something vital, like the bath towels), and think what you'd feel like if you opened a box and found that item looking at you.
If it hurts to think of parting with it, then imagine yourself using it. While unpacking my kitchen boxes I found all my canning equipment and immediately got excited, picturing myself as once again the Mad-Scientist-Mom whose favorite holiday reading was make-it-don't-buy-it cookbooks. I envision teaching my children confidence and self-sufficiency while we labor over bubbling pots together. (This is dangerous, by the way; my daughter will now only eat salmon and broccoli prepared by moi.)
I'm unpacking more than just boxes. I'm unpacking the life we intend to build here, from the practical to the playful. When I'm knee-deep in packing paper, with many more boxes before I sleep, it helps to remember that bigger picture.