The Joy of Unpacking

Now that I am in my new home, I have had the wonderful task of unpacking everything again.  It is a bit like going to the supermarket in this country:  You put your stuff in the trolley, you empty it onto the check-out counter, you pack it up in bags, you load it into the car or carry it home, then you have to unpack it again and put it away!  It can be exhausting.  This time I am unpacking things that have been stored away in my garage for the last seven years, let alone the last six months!  It has been said that if you haven’t used something for a couple of years, then it should be given away.  Easy for some people to say.

It may be like that with some items, but not with clothes, as we all know that trends go in cycles.  Though it seems that we are stuck in the 80’s again!  I feel as if I am getting another lease on my clothes this year.  When I was working as a retail therapist, I was required to wear clothing we sold in the shop and so a lot of my clothes didn’t see the light of day for nearly a year.  I am looking forward to wearing them again, as soon as the weather improves!  When my friend came to stay with me, I had her go through my wadrobe with me.  It seems that I don’t really need to get rid of anything!  In fact, I had downsized most of my clothes before I moved and I needed to purchase some new ones! 🙂

I let Amor help me unpack items for my kitchen and managed to give a couple of boxes to the charity shop.  That man is ruthless, but it is easy to be that way with other people’s things.  He is not allowed to help me unpack anymore.  This week I have been slowly going through the boxes and have, of my own free will, taken more items to the charity shop.  It is weird seeing an item you have owned for over 20 years sitting in a charity shop window, looking better somehow.  Amor warned me not to buy them back.  As if I would!

I found other items that I forgot I had and which will be put to good use.  It was like seeing an old friend that I hadn’t seen for a while.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I need to work out what from my old life is going to fit into my new one.  So far, it seems that I may have to get new sitting room furniture and a dining room table.  😦  My new home is just that bit smaller.  I am really sad that I will have to lose the table as I have had some great meals with family and friends around it and it isn’t really possible to make it smaller without damaging it.  However, I can manage with it for now, pushed up against the wall under the dining room window, until I find the right one.  I also need a new bed!  My old bed frame was just too big and I left it in front of the house for someone to take away.  It was still there the next day, so I put a sign on it saying it was free, really!  That’s when it went.  That’s how good this neighbourhood is.  You can leave things out and no one will take it unless you say they can.  I had someone ring the doorbell just to make sure it was ok to take something even though the note said so! 🙂

I am finding it very exciting opening boxes that I have no idea of what is in them.  I have managed to fill up two large boxes of paperwork that I am no longer required to keep and which are destined for the shredder.  Some of the paperwork was about a difficult time I had been through with a previous partner.  I thought I would be upset or emotional about it when going through them, but it wasn’t so.  I felt pretty neutral and was able to dispose of most of it.  Why not all of it you might ask?  Well, some of it is pretty interesting reading and could be useful reference material for a book or film.  Who knows?  I kept the juicy stuff.  It reads like good fiction.

I have had over 20 years of living in London.  I have three children.  Most of their personal effects reside in the garage of the flat they live in when not at University.  They can sort their own things out.  Over the years, I have saved pictures, pottery and cards that the children gave me.  Some of it has been very difficult for me to throw out.  Some of it I haven’t seen for years.

I really enjoyed opening the boxes containing photos.  I took most of the photographs with a manual Canon camera.  I have taken some very good photos with that camera.  Being a mom and staying  at home to raise my children was the best job I have ever had.  There were many photo opportunities.  It is interesting that I am comfortable about taking pictures of my family, but I don’t like taking them of other people as I feel it to be an intrusion.  Hmmm!

I also save cards.  Not all of them, but the one’s I like the best and especially from the children.  Most of the cards are from my daughter.  They all have hearts or xxx’s on them and tell me that she loves me.  She is very thoughtful that way.  I don’t have that many from the boys, but they are very funny and endearing.  I had a good laugh opening up that box.

The best box was the one containing the baby clothes that the babies had worn home from the hospital.  They are so tiny that they look like doll’s clothes.  I found their first pair of shoes, the box with their teeth for the tooth fairy, some baby hair, and the wristbands they wore in the hospital.  It is hard to imagine that people that tiny would morph into the lovely adults they are now.  One of my friends had made a baby shower collage book for me  before my eldest was born that was absolutely hilarious and that I had forgotten all about, although I have never forgotten about her.  I also found the diary I kept the first year my eldest arrived.  I was supposed to give it to him when he turned 21, but it was packed away for 7 years!  I read that with tears of joy and laughter.  By the time the twins came along, I didn’t have the time or strength to keep up a diary.  I tried, but failed, so I took a lot of photos instead.  My sentimental items are now re-packed in sturdier boxes and will live in the loft until I die or the children have room for them in their future lives.  I put the photos out into the dining room cupboard and have given myself a project to do something with the rest.

I have opened most of the boxes that I need to right now.  The books, cd’s, dvd’s and videos will have to wait until I can find the right furniture to put them in.  I will enjoy opening up those boxes when I can as I know that there are some books that I might want to read again or films to watch.  I left my old, very large (not flat screen) TV behind at my old place and I am not getting a new one until I land a job. I will be getting a smaller one eventually, to go with my smaller living space.  All that is left for me to do is to unpack my office and set up my computer.  Once that is done I can get on with living in my new home and finding out what we both need.

Now, where did I put that box of shoes and handbags?