Friday, August 19, 2011

This Is Why I Can't Be A Crammer...

I feel almost completely drained from all the packing I’ve been doing.  I’ve packed a total of 60 boxes but to be honest, I’ve kind of lost count already.  It could be 62, 65 or whatever.  The point is, I’m still not done!!  I haven’t even packed any of our kitchen ‘stuff’…dishes, pots, pans and the ‘active’ pantry.  Yesterday afternoon, at around 5pm, I felt like I had reached my limit.  A sense of resignation washed over me and it was a familiar feeling.  I remember feeling the same way when I was a sophomore in college when, while reviewing for an exam in Analytical Chemistry, I realized I did not understand a thing.  And I am not exaggerating by saying that.  I mean it...not one thing.  At that point, I knew I had to drop the class.  It was just futile and I felt there was no point in trying any further.

I feel like that now.  I am beginning to think that we won’t be able to pack everything.  Given who I am, I tend to panic when I know I’m not able to finish something I set out to do and finish.  I like deadlines and I respect them.  So when I’m not able to make it, you can imagine how I morph into a young student preparing herself for eternal damnation.  As I pack our things, I could not help but think of the Biblical story of the multiplication of bread and fish.  Somehow, the ‘stuff’ just won’t freaking run out!!  I keep packing things but why is it that I don’t seem to be getting anywhere? 

Now it is crystal clear to me that we have waaaaaaay too much stuff.  And as it is, I've already donated boxes and boxes of clothes, baby gear and toys.  Seriously…Just how many bath towels does a family of 3 need?  And how many change of sheets and pillow cases?  We’re not a hotel or bed and breakfast after all so why, why, why???  It appears we're over prepared for guests...guests that don't really come that often.  Besides, where is it written that I should be a Martha Stewart when guests do come and stay?  Chances are, the only guests we'll ever have that will sleep over at some point will only be very close family and friends and these are people who won't mind 'hosting imperfections'.  These are also people who most likely bring their own 'stuff' (towels, toiletries, etc) so actually, I don't need to prepare for anything for them.  More importantly, how did we end up with all this?  And our pantry?  Have I been unconsciously preparing for the apocalypse?  I should be smart enough to know that if and when apocalypse does come, there really won’t be much point in resisting it and trying to survive eating canned goods and cookies that are so artificial they don’t have real expiration dates.  Why would I even want to survive if the rest of the world has been so  damaged and is incapable of supporting any life?  Lesson learnt….Never shall I overshop for groceries ever again!  That’s a promise!  

I would love to rant some more but I’m pretty sure you get the picture.  Surely we are nowhere near becoming like those families featured on Extreme Couponing or on Hoarders.  However, it’s still sad how 'stuff' takes over our lives.  We always think we need more and then end up wasting so much.  I came from a third world country and grew up seeing people who have so little, close to none and it shames me now that I'm surrounded by things that half the time I don't even notice are there.  It shames me how I'd given in to what I call 'misplaced abundance'.  It sure makes life comfortable, but it doesn't make it any fuller, does it?

What about you?  When you look around your house, what do you feel you have too much of?....household cleaners?....dvd's?....blankets?


  1. This is why I am glad I am old and decrepit - no one will let me do all that work. I get to watch while drinking wine and giving my opinion on how they ought to do it.

  2. i feel your anguish and frustrations joy ... kon and i have moved house twice during our being together and one of those moved only lasts us 3 mos on that propery, so can you just imagine having full time work then unloading stuff just in the evening or weekend and i did this on a daily basis only to be told that the house we were renting at that time is being repossesed and that we have a week to move out .... the unpacking and packing made me nuts good thing some of our stuffs are still in the box ... haaaay the process of moving can really drain you ... just take it easy and maybe ask help from friends or relatives and when you think you had enough, just stop and maybe play with noah to relax you abit ... good luck

  3. I feel drained just looking at the pictures. 8-)
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  4. I loved your reference to analytical chemistry! I hated Organic chemistry at school and no matter how hard I tried, I never could get one word of it!

    Back to packing, I ain't a hoarder, yes you heard that right. Even as a young girl when we shifted houses, my room got packed in 5 boxes! That's all... Just that my shoes took up one extra box. I am a shoe hoarder I believe! But I tend to give away clothes, don't buy too many clothes, I have loads of books and that takes up space. But when I look around the other family members, I think it has just passed on from my mom's habits. When we shifted our whole house of about 4 bedrooms was packed in around way less than 50 boxes... so it's kind of like a family habit I believe..minimal!

    Good Luck with your packing, more than packing, shifting and placing the stuff in the right place will be the tougher task! 

  5. It's also not any fun so that takes the productivity level down.  Let's see some may say we have too much food but we live in earthquake country so I like to keep extra around just in case.  We also have zero storage closets so all our decorations etc are in our bedroom closests and it's just messy.  I hate that.  GOOD LUCK!!!!!!  You can do it

  6. I have way too much stuff, and this is despite the fact that we have moved something like 10 times over the last 15 years.
    I have learned to give to the charity shops!

  7. 9 moves in 19 years for us.  Salvation Army is my friend. :-)

  8. I hear ya!  I'm not a hoarder too but still our things are never as streamlined as I want them to be. I feel your pain sister!  Hang in there.  And a glass of wine/bar of chocolate/illicit puff of Marlboro lights/*insert poison of choice* at the end of the day helps take away a little bit of the stress. 

  9. Look how neatly stacked all those boxes are. If I were your son, I'd build a fort =) Happy packing...and by the way. Check out Your Blog Award over at Cool Bean Mommas!

  10. I'm SO with you! I've lived in about 15 different places over the past 12 years--first as a student, then with my husband. Finally a small house with room for all my books and magazines! Then he left me and as I continue moving, I wish for the days when all I owned was a single bed mattress, some clothes, books and papers. Moving was so much easier then!

  11. catherine costantinoAugust 22, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Yikes - that kind of packing is my worst nightmare...I already told my husband that I am never ever moving again and these pictures depict my exact reasons why...YIKES
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  12. Oh I understand your pain, packing and unpacking stuffs just take forever ~ that's what I've been doing every year too,  really awful. I had stacks of books, even notes from my studies that I just can't get rid off so easily. My husband has been calling me a hoarder lol. Have fun with the packing though! :)
    Visiting from voicebox! Kathy

  13. I really feel for you, having to pack up so many boxes and still have tons to go. That's without the unpacking.  It's time-consuming, back-breaking, heartrending, messy, and often leaves you emotionally and physically a wreck. I wrote a piece about moving a few months ago and the toll it takes, the effect it can have on us. Good luck and God speed. 

  14. On "This is Why I Can't Be A Crammer..."

    I have to say we have too many DVD's. We also have quite a supply of extra canned goods in the garage, but we live in earthquake country, so that seems prudent. As I eat the canned tuna, salmon, sardines, etc. (I like to put these foods on top of a nice green salad with lettuce, tomato, and cucumber), I restock the supply in the garage. I have can openers in the garage, too, near the food.

    We also have a small eartquake kit in the trunk of the car, and a larger one in the hallway closet near the front door. It takes some effort to make sure I keep the canned goods in these kits up-to-date because time seems to go by so quickly, and all of a sudden we have reached the food expiration date.

    I have visited the Philippines a number of times, and the poverty there in some areas is heart breaking, most especially when I see young kids in the middle of traffic begging or selling cigarettes, flowers, newspapers, etc.

    Some of us have so much. More than we really need. I sometimes long for the day when I owned very little. When I graduated from college, everything I owned (except for the big speakers from an old stereo system) fit into my car. And I was happy. I would borrow books from the library (I read about 50 books in 1972), and return them when I was done. Not a lot of stuff in my small apartment.

  15. Mike B: You seem EXTREMELY prepared! Wow, I'm impressed. Now you make me want to put together an emergency kit...or room!!! ;-)) And yes, there are so many who have so little while some have way too much. We all need to evaluate and keep re-evaluating our values to make sure we're not contributing to the world's existing least not too much.


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