Cleaning out

This was in one of the many boxes I unpacked.

This was in one of the many boxes I unpacked.

I have the feeling you might be asking, “Where have you been?”

Would you believe I’m still moving.  I had no idea how much energy all of this would take.

Way, way back in the 1900’s I got a storage unit.  It started out small with things I needed to rotate in and out of my home.  Holiday things, seasonal things, things I wasn’t sure what to do with and it was all supposed to be temporary.  In a way it was, but in location only.  Over the years, I needed more space and moved units in the same building.  They grew larger and larger until it became the 10×10 one I have today.  Things stopped rotating out and suddenly it was more like a black hole where in was the only direction my belongings went.   A place where things I no longer needed and at times wanted were stored because I couldn’t let go.  My father helped me build shelving as the boxes mounted.   The monthly bill followed in growth.  There is no cap on rental storage units.  Increases are given to everyone no matter how long you’ve been there.   I was there for a very long time.  If I switched units today of the same size, I would save $120 a month.

My bad, I know.  The thought and act of moving from one unit to the next was a frightening concept and beyond my physical capabilities.  It was something I couldn’t accomplish in an afternoon let alone months of afternoons.  So, I continued to pay.

After I moved into my new apartment, my goal has been to empty the “garden apartment” as my dad affectionately refers to the storage unit.  Bring everything together under one roof and finally discard or embrace what has been stored there.  The task has been as enormous as I believed it would be.  Some boxes were packed with the knowledge that I would open them in a new home.  In those, I wrote myself postcards.  Hearing from my past self has brought a strange mix of laughter and tears.  I know what happens to that woman that was once me and some of it is ugly.  Some of it is wonderful too and past self wouldn’t have imagined any of it.  I wish my future self could write me now.   Tell me when to duck or relax in certain situations.  Of course, maybe I don’t want to know what future self knows either.

As I haul out the boxes and unpack I must confess, I should have thrown the crap out back in the day.  Only half is worth keeping and that is being generous.

I have a few more trips to make and July is my goal to finally be rid of the black hole.  Yesterday, I ran into Frank the superintendent of the building my storage unit is in.

“I’m leaving Frank.  Slowly packing things up.  How much notice do you need before I go?”

“I don’t need any.  Just tell me when the unit is empty.”

“OK, that’s perfect.  You know Frank, I’ve come to the conclusion storage units are a weird addiction.”

Frank chuckled and nodded his head.  “I know they are an addiction and that’s what keeps me in business!”

Yes, now I see the light of day.

“Hi, my name is Mae and I am a pack rat.”



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9 Responses to Cleaning out

  1. marydpierce says:

    Yes, I was wondering where you were. And, also, yes, I know of pack rats. There are three of them who occupy the space in our house, and one of them doesn’t physically live here anymore. I’ve been mulling over going the storage unit route, but I think a good purge is the better option.

    Good for you!

    • maesprose says:

      Don’t go with the storage unit. I can attest no good comes from it and you’re delaying the inevitable. Just send your unwanted back into the universe!

  2. LB says:

    Mae, I’m so glad to hear from you! I knew you were out there, and just hoped it was the busy of the most effective that kept you from posting and not a permanent leave from WP.
    It’s funny … I was just thinking last night that I need to tackle my basement…
    Good luck with that July goal! I’ll look forward to hearing more about your new home.
    By the way, a bunch of Monochromia photographers are meeting in NYC in October. Would love to meet you, too.

    • LB says:

      Typing on my phone … not sure why it corrected to “most effective”. I meant busy of the move

    • maesprose says:

      I’ve missed being here too! I’d love to meet you… let me know the exact dates of when you will be in town… Fingers crossed I will be here. I’ve been traveling so much lately.

      Tackle your basement. It’s always better sooner than later!

      • LB says:

        Mae, i wanted to let you know that I will be in NYC during the second weekend of Oct.
        Wonder if you’ll be traveling or home?
        Hope all is going well with the “de-ratpacking” 🙂

      • maesprose says:

        Fingers crossed you are going to be here the 8th and 9th…. if so, the answer is yes….

      • LB says:

        Actually I’ll be coming in on Friday the 14th. A bunch of the Monochromia photographers will be gathering and I’d so love to meet up with you, too. Arriving by train on the 14th and leaving on Sunday on the 16th.

  3. nancyspoint says:

    Hi Mae,
    I have never had a storage unit. This is a good thing as I tend to keep way too much stuff and a storage unit would only add to this problem, of this I am quite certain. Dear hubby and I have determined we will begin “the cleaning out of stuff” this fall. A good fall/winter project. I fear we may have said the same thing last year. Oh well. And now my siblings and I are cleaning out my dad’s house. It’s painful to sift through the mountains of stuff, which really represent memories. But it’s also lovely at the same time. Hope your move went smoothly. Or maybe you’re not done yet?

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