Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Do cardboard boxes come in 10x20 ft versions?

So we're smack-dab in the middle of moving week...which basically means I have no right blogging when I should be packing.  That said, things are looking pretty good.  I think I'll plan ALL our future moves with a storage unit for a month prior, as I've loved moving bit-by-bit.

After several stumbles and weird turn of events, we're *finally* (fingers crossed) officially moving into a place on Saturday.  Moving OUT on Friday, which means sleeping in a hotel overnight. A few of our plans fell through (like, a lot of them)... but at the 11th hour, Craig's List pulled through for us.

I'm not sure what our family would do without Craig's List. It deserves a National Holiday, it's so awesome.

The good news is, we're not staying in a hotel the entire 6 weeks.  The moderately bad news is that the sublet is a one-bedroom condo...so it might be a smidge cozy.  Ah well.  Thank gawd we love each other.  And Andrew is always snuggling someone, so he takes up very little space.

Right now, we're sleeping on a blow-up mattress and sitting in sport-chairs and beanbag chairs.  Quite dorm-like.  But I'm drawn to it in a very strange way.  The simplicity of it all.  I think it's so tricky to find calm in the chaos of little ones, that the sight of large open rooms seems soothing.

We keep bringing car loads to donate...giving away things right and left...and still there is SO MUCH CRAP.  I don't get it.  We're Suburban Minimalists.  We have everything we need, but we purge all the time.  Where does all this stuff come from?  By the time you give everyone a spring coat and winter coat, sandals and sneakers, suddenly you have a big old pile of shoes and coats.  Not to mention Star Wars figures and TinkerToys in every corner of the house. 

I suppose that's one tiny drawback to having all these little persons to love.  Lottsa crap to move.

I keep telling myself: "Would I need this if I were living on a boat?"  The idea of a toothbrush and a sundress really appeal to me.  Barefoot.  But that's this idealistic notion of what life looks like...because truth be told, even if I lived on a boat I'd need:

- Sunglasses
-Sunscreen
- Lemon juicer, because I'd crave lemonade constantly on a boat (yum!)
- Lemons to make lemonade
- Glasses for my lemonade
- Hat so my hair wasn't flipping everywhere
- My computer and wireless card, so I could stay employed to PAY for the boat
- Toilet paper

You get the point.  Life just comes with Stuff.

I was reading about this celebrity (Mad Men, I think? is that a show?) who lives in a hut in the woods.  No bathroom.  I was thinking...yeah, who needs a bathroom out in the woods?  And then read on that he goes to his neighbor's house if he needs the bathroom.

Excuse me?  I think that's called being a mooch...not minimalism.

I also heard about the missionary who has just one box of belongings for her whole family.  And thought, Oh doesn't that sound peaceful? And then look around at what we're shoving into our 10x20 storage unit...and actually, if we weren't saving it, we'd have to buy or borrow it on the other end of our travels.  Surely she has to do that too, right?  I mean...how does she cook?  A broom for sweeping? 

We have given away oodles upon oodles of things.  Our kitchen has about 25% of the gadgets and tools we used to have.  Dehydrator, gone.  Juicer, buh-bye.  Dishes and pans and extras of our gazillion mixing bowls are now (hopefully) being used by the re-housed families through our church.

But still.  We have Stuff.  Our Vita-Mix.  Set of pots and pans. Plates.  Utensils.  No way could we edit our life down to one box...or else we'd have to cheat and do takeout.  And I'm pretty sure that's not minimalism.

So my realization, 24 hours away from the Real Move, is that I'm embracing the fact that Stuff is just going to be a part of our lives.  We don't have to fit into a cardboard box to have it not be our focus, because in this family, Stuff was never really the focus anyway.  That's not our struggle.

Managing time so that we're not overloaded?  Yep, that's our struggle.  But we'll work on that next. ;)

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