When I first began this moving blog, I truly wanted to use some of my experiences to help someone else through a move from all sides of the spectrum. But, the truth is...moving is different things to different people. Some move all the time and don't even think a thing about it, others put down roots so deep that the first time they move it's like a mighty oak being ripped from the earth by a horrible storm. I am somewhere in the middle of the two...
As I sat and wrote down so many things I have been through, it was a little like unpacking some boxes that have been in storage for a while...you find some treasures you had forgotten about and are thrilled to see again--and you also find some old, useless things that you just don't need anymore. It's been fun to do, however, and very cathartic. I would highly recommend you pull out some old "boxes" you have in storage, unpack them, and then deal with the stuff so they won't just take up space in your life.
A few years ago, I made a decision that I would no longer keep so many sentimental things as I had done for so many years. Going through all of that stuff was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I never have been a true hoarder, however, I could totally relate to those who, because of some traumatic event in their lives, felt the need to keep things to feel safe. When my mother passed away, since she lived with me, all of her things were in my house already and it took me many years to even get into some of that stuff. Every time I touched anything I would just fall apart. Getting rid of things made me somehow feel that I was getting rid of parts of HER. I just couldn't bear it.
Living with the unpacked boxes of things ate away at me, but, i dealt with it by avoiding those things and just pushing it aside for "another time". When it came time for us to leave that house, I had to face it. The house we were moving into was barely over half the size of the one we lived in and the storage was even less. I had to put on my big girl pants and face it head on...and so I did. One box at a time. Digging through forgotten things...putting aside things for my sisters, getting rid of things none of us wanted or needed, and allowing myself to keep a few things for future generations--or at least for me to look at again some day before I leave this world. I cried. I wanted to give up. I was too tired, too sad, too EVERYTHING to do it, but, with the help of my daughters, I did it.
I will tell you--when it was all done, I felt amazing. Like this huge cloud had been lifted off my shoulders--like the rain on your tongue after a drought! And, I vowed I would never let things go "unpacked" without knowing exactly what was in a box again. And, I honestly haven't--except for a couple of things I had to face this move--which I already have. Tears were spilled again, but not an all consuming force of emotion this time. This time, I knew how it would feel on the other side first, so it was a bit easier.
I tell all of you this because when you move, you need to unpack most everything you need as soon as you can. (Not seasonal things like holiday decor or gardening things etc). Don't store stuff because you are avoiding the work of finding a place for something. The truth is, when you are forced to find a place for something--if you can't--then you learn you may have moved an item you really don't need anymore. So then you have to deal with it once and for all. Sure, there were items I got rid of--a few things that I wished I hadn't--for a moment--and only 1 item that I actually DID replace later. But, even then, it was worth it. I have moved at times where I never unpacked certain things in a move--and still feel weird about that now! I don't want to look back with regrets. Just forward with expectation.
So unpack your life with sweet abandon! Don't keep all those knick knacks and pictures in boxes hidden. Bring out the things you love to see--that make you happy--and get rid of anything that doesn't. Yes, you may keep a box of "keepsake" papers or pictures, but limit it to a box or two if possible. Seasonal stuff of course can be packed up part of the time--but let go of the rest. Live your life NOW. While you can. No regrets. Once you do it physically, you'll learn to "let go" of emotional boxes as well. Just think of how WONDERFUL it will feel on the other side!