I’m back from my road trip and back to reality. A week off from work seems like such a great idea until it’s that first Monday back at your computer and there are 337 emails in your inbox. In addition to a week’s vacation from work, I also gave myself a week of not obsessing about the details of moving.
Mr. Smith and I have signed a lease on the love nest in the sky and now the fun really begins. We are lucky in that Mr. Smith’s employer will hire a professional to do our packing and moving, but there’s still much work to be done on our part. We’ve been sorting, purging, and discussing what goes with us and what doesn’t make the cut. Then came my moment of panic. Was the apartment big enough??? Had we been hypnotized by the great view and not given enough consideration to the number of cupboards and closets? But then I had a tremendous epiphany. Maybe it wasn’t that there isn’t enough room, maybe we have too much stuff.
We both recently read The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell. After much discussion and negotiation, a journalist and her husband move from London to rural Denmark so her husband can accept a position with Lego. Helen sets out to document her experience and figure out whether Danes really are the happiest people on earth. I was particularly struck by her passage about looking for housing in Denmark. When viewing potential rentals and looking in the drawers and cupboards of the kitchen, she was amazed at the organization and tidiness. They had all that they needed, but not more than they needed. I kept this passage in mind when sorting through our kitchen and felt better and lighter seeing the pile of items that won’t be on the moving truck.
Sorting through just our wine glasses revealed that two people who have lived alone for over ten years somehow owned over 75 glasses between wine and champagne. Some were in boxes in a closet, but many were crammed on shelves in a cupboard and rarely used. The ones in the boxes hadn’t seen the light of day in our four years in New York. Sixteen wine glasses and eleven champagne glasses will be moving on to Pennsylvania. While that’s still probably more than we’ll need, sometimes baby steps are needed. In another step forward, I’m packing up some things that I truly don’t need, but am not quite ready to part with yet. I’m going to store those boxes in my sister’s basement and if they aren’t needed in the next few years, I will donate them to someone.
While I’m not ready to Marie Kondo my life, I will try to make sure that everything we take with us into our next adventure is either useful or beautiful. The decluttering and letting go of things feels right. Besides, a bigger apartment would just take longer to clean!!!
C’est la vie.