So I've learned a few valuable lessons (relearned them, really) concerning this whole business of moving from one place to another.
I really... Really....... REALLY...... dislike moving. I hate it. It's a giant pain in the rump, and it's not even the fun sort of pain in the rump that you can chuckle about afterward. It's messy, it's emotionally exhausting, it's time consuming, and it's financially draining.
Did I happen to mention that I Really don't like moving? Yeah, I thought I might have.
When I moved back from Georgia several years ago, at daddy's request as his health began to fail, I settled back into the old family homestead and reset my roots, never intending to move again. I had lived all over this one city during the early portion of my adult years, while raising my older daughter. In and out of various apartments and rental houses spread throughout the Oklahoma City greater metro area, mostly in the Mid-Del suburb near where I grew up, close to where mom and dad and my grandfolks were all living. It was convenient during that time span, since it meant I knew the area well and was close to my babysitters for those times when I absolutely had to escape the pressure of raising a severely handicapped kid by myself.
Then grandpa died, and I moved into the house that the grandparents bought when momma was just hitting her teens. I'd half grown up in that house, and it was comfortable. Then momma died, granny the bat went off the deep end more than usual having lost both of them, and gave me that house. So what do I do when my oldest turns 18, and I have a real chance of starting over to an extent and getting my life back? Do I do the Intelligent thing, keep that house, go back to work or school to have something resembling a career, and settle in for the long haul? No - not me. I sell the house and high-tail it out of Oklahoma as quickly as I can put it into the rear view mirror. Idiot. I sell the house and all it's contents that won't fit into my tiny car at the time and I go.
Fast forward 10 months and .... let's see.. OK to PA, PA to MD, MD to GA, GA back to OK... four moves later, and I'm back at the old homestead ready to settle in again for the long term, determined to avoid moving around at all if I can help it. Short lived plan, as daddy had his stroke a year later, and 6 months after that I moved back out of the house to escape the constant threats from my brother. 6 months later again, and I've evicted my *coughgag* darling brother and moved back into the house, hopefully for good this time - or at least with the plan that I was going absolutely No Where until daddy finally died once and for all, and I could once again leave OK without having to worry about familial obligations pulling me back into this particular black hole in the center of the country yet again.
Fast forward several more years, some ups, a few downs, 3 failed attempts at various relationships of which one was a live in, several failed attempts at room mates to help keep the bills paid more easily, and a year spent with dad back here at home with me while he was on hospice and we waited for him to die (so much for that plan - he's still drawing breath in the nursing home) a nervous breakdown, finally pulling my shit back together (or so I thought) and beginning to get things back in order......... only to find that the financial problems started that my brother precipitated not long after dad's stroke are coming home to roost, and I didn't get them as straightened out as I had at one point thought they were. The house is sold for back taxes, and I'm once again in a position of having to move - much earlier than I ever planned to get out of this little hell hole.
The search for new housing has been a bust so far. I don't make enough money to satisfy most apartment complexes or landlords who have rental homes available. Those who are willing to overlook the fact that I don't have some sort of high paying job where I make tons of money take a look at my credit score and tell me "good luck in your search, but... "
The apartment that I thought I would be moving into - which, in fact, I should have been moved into by now with all my things put away, living comfortably and getting used to the new space - waited until the day before I was supposed to move in to inform me (when I called them to find out the apartment number, so I could have my utilities transferred) that I had failed to qualify in their application process. Great. I had a week left to get out of this place at that point, no means of finding another potential place and getting moved in that time, and zero options left.
Or so I thought.
Fortunately, the man in my life at this point borders on sainthood at times. We've been together happily as a couple for a bit more than a year, and things have never been better for me on the relationship front. Being the kind of guy that he is - one of the good ones - he had a solution in mind that I hadn't (and normally wouldn't have) considered. Move in - temporarily - with him and his room mates in their 3 bedroom house. So I went and rented a storage unit which all of my household items are going into, and got started packing things up.
Dear gods what was I thinking when I didn't just go rob a bank to pay the back taxes so this place didn't get sold??? (Oh wait - I was thinking "prison orange is not my color." That's what I was thinking.)
For the past 24 hours, since the storage unit was acquired, I've been going through and attempting to get everything packed up and ready to shift into the unit. And of course, separating out the few things that will actually be going over to the other house with me rather than going into storage. That's a short list, consisting almost exclusively of clothing and a few personal items. There are only 2 pieces of furniture on that list - my bed and my desk.
What I didn't realize until last night as I was sorting things out, and putting some of it in boxes to be moved into storage, was just how much accumulated Junk there is in this house. I never had a clue as to just how much sentimental crap remained that I hadn't quite managed to get around to chucking into the trash from mom and dad's tenancy of this structure as a home. The boxes of books, of photos spanning 4 generations on both sides of the family, miscellanea, and unsorted clutter that I had managed during the past 3 years to put out of my mind and ignore unless it was specifically in my way is....... a nearly overwhelming mass of mess. When I find a place during the next couple of months, I'm going to have to go through things much more carefully as I move stuff back OUT of storage, so that I can effectively toss out a large percentage of that miscellanea, and cut down both on the number of boxes needing to be moved, unpacked, and potentially repacked and moved again later, and to cut down on the sheer clutter of a lifetime's worth of collected junk.
It's surprising what sorts of things we'll end up keeping as sentimental reminders of some point in our life. However, I learned a lesson years ago (both from moving so frequently from one apartment to another, and from a procrastinator's email list on cleaning tips) - if it doesn't make you smile when you look at it, or doesn't immediately bring up fond memories when you hold it, it's time to chuck it rather than letting it sit around collecting dust and taking up space. I've been slowly doing that with mom and dad's various left over items for years now - but it's a time consuming process, when you consider that they had 30 years together in this house in which to collect things that were precious to them. I'm still finding stuff that I had forgotten that they even had. And my own collection of oddities, rarities, miscellanea, and nick knacks gets to take precedence in being kept - at least for the time being.
But either way, all of it has to be boxed up and moved into the storage unit during the day today. And I'm already sick and tired of loading boxes up with stuff and looking at the remaining mess still to be dealt with.