A Story of 3 Suitcases

Tomorrow, I leave for France.

Today, I pack.

I may have packed and moved out of my apartment by the end of August, but after living out of suitcases for the last 6 weeks, my belongings are – at best – scattered. I did my best to pack my things in such a way that I could access what I needed throughout these weeks without too much trouble, but inevitably there were things I needed that had to be dug out. Not to mention that when I was packing, it was 90° and humid. Not exactly in the proper mindset for thinking through what I would need when it dropped from 80° to 50° in just 24 hours. (#NewEnglandProblems)

The last few weeks have been an exercise in ingenuity, trying to figure out how to wear the same 2 reachable long-sleeve things on repeat without people at work noticing. Also, as a girl with an admitted shoe habit, wearing the same pairs over and over has been borderline cruel and unusual punishment. Continue reading

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Things to pack when packing your life (to move abroad)

I hate packing.

I could be going on the most glamorous vacation and when it comes down to the packing part, I’m miserable. I get stressed out simply thinking about what I need, and what if I forget something, and oh, now I’ve packed too much, and wait what if we do something fancy? What if it rains? What if it’s hotter/colder/wetter/dryer/weirder than I expected and I don’t have the right things?

I get all caught up in all the possible eventualities. Ultimately it never really matters, but in the thick of it, it feels like it’s all so important.

And so, when you’re packing to move to France, and not just packing for vacation or a move down the street, it inevitably gets exponentially more complicated. And stressful. Did I mention I hate packing?

Here’s what to pack when you’re packing your life (to move abroad!)

Some of this is sensible. Some of this is silly. All of it was important in making me feel whole and human and helping me survive my arrival in France. Continue reading

I packed a thing I need, and other stressful thoughts

Today, I woke up at 3am and realized that last weekend, amidst the frenzy of packing, I packed the Title for my car.

The title is the thing that proves I own it. It also allows me to sell it. That’s a thing I intend to do since, you know, I’m leaving the country and have no need for a Massachusetts-bound vehicle or the insurance bill that goes with it.

The movers come tomorrow.

For a full grasp of the severity of the situation, here is a (slightly) dramatic reenactment of the state of my apartment:

Continue reading

Things that are hard

  1. Deciding which pieces of furniture are worth storing
  2. Figuring out what size storage unit is appropriate
  3. Finding time to make 3,000 phone calls to movers and storage places while you have a full-time job in an open-plan office surrounded by people who aren’t supposed to know (yet) that you’re going anywhere
  4. My jaw muscles from clenching them 24/7 for weeks on end
  5. Keeping this secret that I’M FREAKING MOVING TO PARIS
  6. Finding energy to pack more things after a full, busy day at work
  7. Getting rid of those shoes you’ve always really liked but never really wore but like, what if you want to wear them someday, but are they really worth adding to storage just in case?
  8. Thanking my mom enough times for helping me pack every weekend
  9. Thanking my dad enough times for driving my rejected crap to Goodwill every week
  10. Making time to see all the people you want to see and should see and need to see before you leave

Continue reading

A series of concerns: My stuff

I first started writing this post months ago, when I was first mulling over the how’s and why’s and whether-or-nots of the moving to Paris decision-making process. It was my first foray into how I might deal with my things. A framework for it, at least.

“Do I get a storage unit? Do I sell it? Do I stick it in my parents’ basement and hope they don’t mind?”

These were the questions of the day.

The answer, inevitably, was a storage unit. And also sell it. And also stick stuff in my parents’ basement.

Much to my chagrin (and the pleasure of my parents) getting my own storage space for my things was the only logical solution. There was no way the basement of my parents’ downsized condo would be a reasonable place to put my whole life’s worth of stuff. While a good size, it certainly doesn’t have space enough for my furniture and armchair and bins clothing and boxes upon boxes of kitchen stuff (that’s all your fault, Mom).

But I also had to decide what was worth storing. I don’t know about your part of the world, but storage units can be pricey. And when you’re storing everything you own, indefinitely, it gets pricier. I had to make some tough choices about what I felt was worth it to me to take up space in that precious _X_ unit — and what could go.

When I moved into this apartment 2 years ago, I had the unfortunate, now-ironic, thought process “Hey, I’m going to be here for a while, and I’m an adult. I’m going to treat myself to real, quality stuff!” And so, in the name of adulting, I bought nice TVs and moderately expensive furniture, and generally higher quality items than I would have, had I known it was all being abandoned in 2 short years.

So what makes the cut and what gets cut? That decision could only be made after carefully juggling square footage, cost, and volume of stuff. If I get this  size, then I can afford to eat every month, but I can’t keep my mattress. If I get this one, then I don’t have to get rid of my chair, and I can mostly eat…

It’s a delicate balance. The TVs did not make the final casting call for this fall’s production of My Stuff: A Storage Saga. Neither did a few other pieces of furniture. My chair stays. I love that chair.

And now, to keep packing.