... is that everything you own HAS to go with you.
For people who are not sentimental hoarders, they may find this is no problem. Old junk? Throw it away!
For people who ARE sentimental hoarders, like myself, this is a Big, Big Problem.
First off, just because we have all this stuff, doesn't mean we want all this stuff. It's quite overwhelming, actually. Memories everywhere, and no fortitude to throw any of it away. I think, actually, negative desire to get rid of it.
Fortunately, I'm not a shopper-hoarder. I don't go out and buy a lot of stuff and then never take the tags off any of it, or leave it in the original shopping bag... No, my stuff is accumulated through a lifetime of interaction with other people, who shove things onto my being, and which I am then incapable of disposing of.
Moving all of that is just about the biggest pain in the rear you can picture. Not just the packing, the mountain of boxes, of sheer stuff... but the pain inside that goes with parting with any of it.
I did good, real good, packing up my house. In fact, I threw away twenty trash bags, and donated four boxes, including a giant box of stuffed animals and another of clothes.
I am not going to lie. When the garbage men took away that first huge load (I did it in a few so they wouldn't get stuck with everything at once and so I could slowly make my way through the house), I had a moment of teary panic. I had to tell myself, "You can't climb into the back of that dumpster truck, nor would you want to. It's disgusting. The stuff was trash. If it wasn't, it is now. Let it go."
Contrary to the mantra that, "It gets easier", it doesn't. It really doesn't. I think, if anything, you develop a stronger and more impulsive grip on things you still have. It's like all your mania was spread over all these things, and with half of those things gone, you have twice as much mania for the remaining things. But I managed to pack, and ship all my stuff away, and leave a lot of it in a landfill (sad face) back where I came from.
The thing about not being a shopper-hoarder, is that at least my stuff hasn't increased since then. But it's still too much. We moved from a three bedroom house with a full basement to a two bedroom apartment on the second floor. We're swimming in boxes, and truthfully, I think most of it's mine.
I probably know, that most of it's mine.
So I made a pledge to myself that went something like this:
"I will throw away one thing, everyday, until I have an acceptable amount of things."
It may sound strange, but I am a minimalist at heart. When I moved to Japan, I took two suitcases. The airport stole one. I survived just fine with one suitcase... for three years.
Now, of course I bought things while I was in Japan. And a lot of those things ended up shipping back home with me (ugh). But the point is, I felt free, happy, and unencumbered. I loved that. (I missed the half of my stuff that didn't make it... but... hey, whatareyagonnado.)
Today I should have throw away my 24th "thing". I've "thrown away"... two. One was a book that molded (BIG SAD FACE) and the other was a wallet that technically I gave to Andy because his fell apart, but I'm counting it anyway.
So today, I made the heart-string-pully decision to catch myself up and I started going through boxes. A few of the things were easy, but when I could open a box and just go, "Nope, nothing in here" and close it... I'm in for a rough time. So here's the things I threw away:
1. Kinex Big Ball Factory Instruction Manual
2. Kohl's Internship Lanyard with attached bracelets, nametag and pin.
3. Stuffed cow doll. Present from high school friends.
4. Marching band saxaphone lanyard (to hold up sax while playing and marching).
5. Tiny stuffed dog with elongated velcro arms.
6. Gameboy Advance Pokemon Ruby instruction manual.
7. Waitress money collection/book thingy.
8. Starcraft Strategy Guide.
9. Brood Wars Strategy Guide.
10. Guard's Uniform shirt.
11. WoW Burning Crusade instruction manual.
12. City of Heroes quick start guide (they closed it down!!)
13 - 15. Gargoyle statues
16. Stuffed claw machine dog.
17 - 18. 2 Portal MTG decks.
19. The figurine from the top of my graduation cake.
20. Toy skeletal dragon.
21. Lipton bottle I was using as a pen holder
22. Old Starter ballcap with the Chinese symbol "star" from an ex when I was in high school and that will never fit my fat head again.
So with the moldy book and wallet, that makes twenty-four and I am all caught up :P