Friday, May 15, 2009


The house is slowly, slowly starting to come together. There are a number of things I've realized about our family over the past two weeks as we've gone through the moving process, and I thought I would share three of them with you.

1) We have too much stuff. Way, waaaaay too much stuff. I don't know where it came from. Some of it I don't even recognize. I think the previous tenants in this house had household items that held our home dear to their hearts, and when discarded or lost these items followed some mysterious homing signal and dragged themselves hundreds of miles across wilderness and dusty roads to collapse, happy, in the back of our closet. You know, kind of like those animals in Homeward Bound, only not nearly as cuddly. Either that, or the stuff is reproducing at night by binary fission. I mean, what else could explain three irons sitting next to one another in my cabinet. Three. Who buys three irons?

2) Books do or do not count as stuff, depending on who in the family you ask. We have a lot of books. Our office at the new apartment currently has a pile in the middle of the floor that is about eight feet wide and about chest high. If you ask Jeremy what we should do with the books, he says that we should go sell some at the used bookstore. If you ask me what we should do with them, I say that we should build more bookshelves. In order to prevent the destruction of our marriage we've compromised. Jeremy is allowed to sell his and only his books back to the bookstore, but I get to go through the pile first and put back everything I want to keep. As a result we don't sell many books to the bookstore, but we do have an intact marriage, so this is good. Apparently book hoarding is written into the genetic code of my family-- my brother has a conversation with his wife on a regular basis that follows almost these exact same lines.

3) Once we got rid of a bunch of stuff (but no books), I developed this crazy compulsion to get new, better stuff to fill the apartment with. I've managed to mostly curb this urge, though I did get us a new shower curtain (needed) kitchen towels (also needed) un-shredded hand towels (very needed-- thanks cats) and this awesome squid lamp, which technically wasn't needed but was way, way too cool to pass up. And a couple of ceramic bowls that look like barnacles, also because they are cool. I found a new workbench, as my old one, a giant Formica table, won't fit in the office without removing a significant number of books. The old table is going into our storage unit, along with a good number of our other things. I'm still looking for a couple new end tables, too, and then there's curtains to find. In the meantime, I really need to stay far, far away from Etsy. It's bad for me.

So we'll pick up our U-Haul tomorrow and move the big furniture to our new place. That's when we'll officially start living there instead of in the house. I'm not sure when my Internet will be up and running, but I'll try to steal Jer's lap top and haul it down to the work center in the apartment complex office to keep up while we're waiting.



Sweet Lorraine said...

Your 2nd point totally cracks me up. Genetic book hoarding, indeed. About 6 months ago, mom and dad decided to sell a bunch of books. I freaked out and immediately rushed over to their house to rescue approximately 75% of the books they had already placed in boxes to sell. They are now living in boxes in the closet in "my" room (the guest bedroom wherein I do much of my wedding crafting and such. This is also the only room that is not obsessive-compulsively kept organized by Opie) because the only bookcase we have in the house is an iiiiitty bitty 1'x3' case from my dorm room. This is a Very Sad state of affairs.

Now I'm sitting here eying what corners could accommodate appropriately enormous bookcases.

In bringing this up with Opie, he says, "Well, we can only have so many bookcases.." Lies!

Yup. Genetic.

Ellen said...

Hello from Florida, I am up in the middle of the night, wired for our trip today. I LOVED this post, and so relate to it!!!! We also have way too much stuff/books, except it's mostly me, Dave isn't a hoarder (he's just lazy, so forgets to toss stuff). We are lucky to have lots of bookshelves and a basement, where I can store lots of stuff, the rest of the house is relatively clutter-free. We actually had a garage sale a couple of weekends ago, didn't make a lot but did get rid of some junk (aka other people's treasures).

Michelle said...

Books absolutely do NOT count as stuff - build/buy more shelves!!! The photo gives me butterflies in my stomach, and I wish I could read the spines.

Send me some Etsy faves if you have a spare minute - ha ha!

Lora said...

It appears to me that the place is looking rather good, you have excellent taste in decorating. Every time that I have moved it has amazed me at all the stuff there is so I know where you are coming from...especially about the books.

Anonymous said...

I have the exact same argument with my husband about books! Thankfully a lot of my books are at my parents house. He doesn't know yet that as soon as we get a house I'm moving 750+ books into it first thing.


merritt said...

Book hoarding is definitely genetic and I laughed so hard reading this because Alex and I are experiencing this dilemma RIGHT NOW as he prepares to leave for Baltimore. Yesterday (before I read your post) he went to sell some books at the little independent used bookshops near our house and I had a complete melt down because there were books I had not approved in the pile. I started talking about books as sacred and why it was so important for us to communicate about them, etc. AND THEN I read your post and snort-laughed and felt validated. Thanks, Cousin! xoxo

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