Archaeology 101

The Wife and the Girl Child are gone for a few days to visit family! Respite and calm… though I’m missing Girl Child. I’m also starting in on figuring out what stuff stays and what should come with me when I find a place to live.

I was in the military for a bit… and they have this nasty tendency to ask you to move halfway across the country every three or four years. While disruptive (especially to the kids having to change schools and make new friends), this frequent moving had a little known (until now) benefit…

When you have to move, you tend to clean out your junk piles and throw stuff away. You actually get a pretty fresh start at each new place with just the stuff you really wanted to keep in the long run….

But, my last assignment lasted much longer than four years and, because there were jobs here, we decided to stay in the area when I got out of the military. What that means is that my pack rat genes have had full application over the past [mumble, mumble] years. I’m finding stuff I hadn’t seen in 10-plus years! Unfortunately, those same pack rat genes that caused me to save that ‘treasure’ also causes me to say, “Hey, I haven’t used this for 10 years, nor missed it for 10 years… but let me keep it anyway! (I might need that set of 1995 Time magazines sometime).” [SMACK!!] I need to smack myself to pitch the stuff. I’ll likely be asking for volunteers to continue to do the smacking… line forms on the right… no pushing… please… there’ll be plenty of me to smack around…

So, after a couple hours with little to show but slightly rearranged stacks of ‘stuff’, I’ve reverted to grabbing a Scotch and sitting down for a few to type this out…

One room down… and the easy one at that… and only six rooms to go…

… and then will come the return of The Wife and the negotiations between what she thinks can go and what I think should go will begin …


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15 Responses to “Archaeology 101”

  1. daisyfae Says:

    i’m gonna have lots of boxes sometime in mid-September. where should i drop them off? wanna come to a garage sale this weekend? huh? huh? i’m getting rid of three lava lamps, a Slim Whitman CD and about a gazillion “happy meal” toys from when the kids were young…

    Press on. One room at a time. Scotch. Repeat as necessary…

  2. Stephanie of Stopbouncing Says:

    “Excuse me stewardess, I can handle this.”

    At least you’re doing things in the correct order, I tend to clean out AFTER I move, prompting a “What the hell did I bring that along for?!”

    Teenage Stephanie was a bit of a packrat. I feel your pain.

  3. The Unbearable Banishment Says:

    The Buddhists are right. Not having any (many?) possessions can be very liberating. Disposing is cathartic. (That’s not meant as a dig at The Wife.)

  4. Dolce Says:

    I’m drowing in stuff. I cleaned my desk out today. Just the bits on top. Where the actual desk is. A bit. I can now see the wood under fairly neat piles of stuff.

    I can never move house again.


  5. kyknoord Says:

    Noooo! You can’t toss stuff out just like that! Effective landfill design depends on people being hoarders.

  6. Rob Says:

    Well, I was never in the military, but I did move somewhat frequently, so I’m with you on how frequent moves inhibit the accumulation of stuff.

    But, been in this house for going on thirteen years now and that danged “piling up” has been occurring. Been trying to tame it and have made several trips to the landfill this summer. But, that’s just the garage…

    Good luck. It’ll feel better when it’s all done.

    @daisyfae: A Slim Whitman CD? Can you mail that to me? 8) jk!

  7. anniegirl1138 Says:

    I condensed my life into a U-Haul trailer last summer and moved to another country.

    Purging is liberating!

  8. silverstar98121 Says:

    Well, I think I’ll be here the rest of my life. But you can only accumulate so much stuff in 600 sq. ft. I have to purge occasionally so that I can walk between the piles.

  9. Parenthesis Says:

    silverstar: unfortunate pairing of words there, purging, piles … hee hee 😆

  10. leavingevangeline Says:

    Yeah, I’d be no help. I’d probably tell you why that stack of Time magazines from the 90’s was important to keep around.

    I mean, seriously! You never know! The day after you throw everything out, you watch “Antiques Roadshow” and realize you just tossed $20k in the trash!

  11. azahar Says:

    I agree with Annie that purging is very liberating and that changing countries definitely helps.

    Good luck and stay tough!

  12. Rob Says:

    Hey gnukid! How are things going?

  13. thegnukid Says:

    daisyfae – can i just start with Scotch and see where it goes from there? anyway, i’m guessing my ‘half’ of the belongings won’t really be, so extra boxes may not be required. i’ll keep you in mind though.

    stephanie – “Airplane!” one of my all time favorites… i’m actually doing a bit of both… sorting before and when that gets too nasty, boxing it all for sorting later. packrats can’t be cured, i’m thinking…

    unbearable – there is a sliver of my soul that asks me to just start totally fresh. but, again, packrats can’t be cured… but i did smile at disposal of The Wife, irrespective of your intent…

    dolce – what? there’s actually wood (hur, hur, hur) under all the papers on my desk? i thought that was just old, brown papers down there…

    kyknoord – oh, but if i don’t, what will future generations build their homes on? they need the fill to make for a solid foundation of junk.

    rob – i’ve been letting myself get distracted way too easily… off seeing friends who demand to be supportive in person and the like. but, it awaits, so will get back to it…

    anniegirl – hmmm… you’re making me rethink that ‘start over from scratch ‘ philosophy….

    silverstar – isn’t that how you make extra rooms? stack up stuff to create a guest room… another stack and there’s the study… another… okay, no.

    parenthesis – i only have one word: ewww. but thank you for the smile…

    leavingevangeline – exactly!! i look at the trash that sells on there and think i could at least get half of that on e-bay… now, the fact i never actually get it posted on e-bay is another issue…

    azahar – thanks for the wishes and i’m trying to be tough… liberation can come in many forms.

    rob – good and not… letting myself get distracted too much from the task (and even from blogging/commenting)… avoidance syndrome… need to get back to being me… (and thank you for asking… means a lot).

  14. leavingevangeline Says:

    Do you have any grilled cheese sandwiches with the likeness of Christ on them? Whatever you do, don’t throw those out.

    Oh, and if you have any paper clips…you could trade up to a house by utilizing Craig’s List. I’m sure you’ve heard the story.

    So, see? You really shouldn’t throw anything out.

    BTW- I’ve missed you! You’ve been gone for ages it seems!

  15. donstuff Says:

    Our family motto seems to be “Buy high and sell low.” Or, as Steve Martin wrote, “How to turn a million dollars in real estate into one dollar overnight.” Stuff is just stuff – however, that Slim Whitman CD…

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