Tuesday, 20 November 2007


I'm good at project management, I've done it for years and been paid - often handsomely - for knowing how to do it.

Why then am I in bits about getting all this stuff sorted? I'm surrounded by "stuff" and I have to determine what stuff is worth packing and what stuff should go to the tip. Some of the stuff has no intrinsic value but means something because it's part of my lives - stuff that I've carried since I was a child, stuff that means something as a husband and a father and stuff that has been part of the latter life as a bloke alone. I have things that measure my success as a person alone - I'm proud of not having broken things or of having clothes that I've managed to wash and iron alone. These might seem silly tests but by such tests we measure how we've managed, the metaphysical question of "How am I in the world". The person I was when I moved in here on 18th October 2004 is gone but should I save some trace? Is memory better than artifacts?

Have I picked the right place to move to? Is it the right move?

My father remains my hero - he was a quiet man who occasionally said things which I try to aspire to and one such thing was "That's what being grown up means" - he used that whenever I said that something was difficult. Right now moving is difficult, beyond the physical packing and going, because it means I have to assess where I'm at and where I'm going.

Which stuff do I need?

5 careful considerations:

Echomouse said...

The first time you have to deal with these feelings is very hard. But after getting it sorted, you'll look back and realize it wasn't worth all that anguish.

Over the years I have thrown out or donated so much stuff ...moved so many times. I still managed to hang onto the most important mementos. It fills a couple boxes (not including photo albums). But I mean, the really important stuff. The rest is just stuff. Donate it. It makes it easier somehow to donate things. At least you know you're not discarding it, you're giving it to someone else who needs it. I do that a lot.

Hope that helps. And I hope the new place is fabulous!

Nogbad said...

I'm a hoarder so it's difficult but you are spot on - dump the stuff!

Thanks Mousely - you are trulym wise despite living in an igloo ;-))

Buggles Balham High Road said...

Dumping/donating stuff is very liberating. The memories of all your roles in life stay with you without 'things' but by decluttering the mind clears.

I didn't know I was a hoarder until this year as I've had my cottage re-renovated and I had to clear out stuff and I was shocked at the things I'd kept.

Have a happy move Nog.

bluefluff said...

Maybe decouple the physical move from the psychologial move? Putting the artefacts into boxes, that you needn't even unpack at the other end, could give you space to discover whether you want them in that life or not. I'm not sure how you can know, before you get there, what will be appropriate & what won't. When you've settled a bit, you can decide whether the boxes get unpacked or dumped or donated (less likely to be the latter, in the case of stuff with only personal/sentimental value?).
But then you'd expect me to urge caution ;-)

The Wrath of Dawn said...

It can be done. Evidence here.

That was what I donated to the Epilepsy Society's charity shop last August and I could barely tell you a thing that was in those boxes and bags now. I didn't actually move house, but it feels like a new house with all that crud gone.