It's only when a person begins packing their life into boxes and leaving a home that the strangeness of one's life becomes apparent.
Sometimes that strangeness is demonstrated by unlabeled, little plastic bags of either baking powder or baking soda, which prompt friends to wonder about your pastimes as they help you pack up in the kitchen.
Kitchens are terrible rooms to pack. There are always drawers upon drawers of those seldom used pots and pans and eight million plastic containers with half-melted lids. And just when you think you have packed the last drawer, there is another box full of spices in a cupboard that was overlooked.
And at the end of packing, when all the borrowed and begged boxes have been used up, almost any container will do. The hamper is a quality early choice. Sheets, blankets and nearly any pillow case looks like a good bet when the "move out" time approaches.
Spring is one of the busiest moving seasons. And there are lots of places to turn for advice in packing one's life into cardboard. One particularly helpful note on a packing list available from a well-known mover is to pack the lamps in the lamp boxes. Nice.
Others are to try not to overload the books in larger boxes. The benefit comes in not having a horrendous backache the day after moving.
Perhaps it is the strange things that accumulate in the back of drawers -- like acres of cat food coupons and twist ties (And where are they when you can't find one to save your life in the kitchen?) that are particularly exasperating when the packing fever takes hold.
Once the contents of your life are reduced to a mix-match of containers in an empty living room, apartments and houses always look so spacious. And the interior of cars, which once looked spacious, are suddenly reduced to a cubicle for a driver and a few view holes for oncoming traffic. The plants that were too delicate to pack in a van are stuffed willy-nilly into the car along with every last-minute item that defied early packing -- like the TV you had to watch while packing.
In the days and weeks before moving out, the first boxes are neatly packed and closed. The last boxes look like a 2-year old was the architect and was battling a wind storm all the while.
But, perhaps, the most meaningful things are the tiniest items of your life that were lost months or even years ago and finally revealed themselves as new found treasures. Does it make it all worth it? No. But it helps.
And then there is all that new space to move into, if you are lucky. And the idea first comes to you to keep it that way. You'll even promise yourself to spend a few rainy Saturday afternoons cleaning out a kitchen drawer now and again. Right.
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