Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Perks of Packing

I moan and complain about packing, (I've done it every year at least once since I was seventeen, so I'm entitled to a little grumbling)but there are elements of the whole process I truly enjoy, and now that we are all packed and ready to go (waiting for our taxi to the airport, actually) I thought I'd focus on those for a moment.

I like collecting all my things together and getting a sense of my own taste. I inevitably feel a little surge of happiness at all the pretty things I've collected, and also the urge to use them all more often.

(I once read that we only wear about 30 percent of our wardrobes. Want to test out this statistic? Once you wear something, reverse the hanger on the bar of your closet and the direction your shoes are facing. This will quickly reveal which things you wear again and again, though you probably already know. This suggestion was meant to help de-junk one's closet, but it actually inspired me to try some more adventurous looks and venture out in the things I might not have otherwise. This might defeat the purpose from a clutter control perspective, but from a sartorial perspective it was a great success.)

Nothing reveals your priorities in life like packing up a household. There are things you are willing to go through a lot for, and others you can easily toss. For me, those priority items are 1)Art 2)Clothes 3) Books. No matter where I go, I end up accumulating more of these items than any others. And I'm less able to part with them as well.

(Here are the greeting cards we had made. More on those in posts to come.)

I like the challenge of packing things as efficiently as possible, like a real life game of Tetrus. This is slightly sullied by weight restrictions when packing for air travel. In every single suitcase, I could have fit more, much more, sometimes as much as ten pounds more, but had to stop at fifty pounds to avoid the additional charges. Slightly maddening when you have more stuff and more room but can't put the two together.

But most of all, I love to unpack. Its so satisfying to arrive and put your stamp on a place. This gratification will have to be delayed in our case, since we are entering another gypsy period, but I am looking forward to that sweet sweet day when I can line all the books up on the shelves, hang the art on the walls, put the shoes in the closet and the clothes on their hangers and feel Home Sweet Home at last.


Anonymous said...

it's true though, i think i have more stuff that i've worn only once or twice than those that are my normal staple wardrobe.

West Bremerton flowers

amy said...

Good luck and safe travels. I agree that packing and upacking can be very rewarding. Whenever we return to the US, it will be interesting to unpack a huge storage unit of stuff that we haven't touched in years. I truly miss my 1960s retro dining room set, but I am sure there is lots of stuff I won't think about for years or need when we return.

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