I’ve lived in my apartment for over five years. Five years! The thought of it is overwhelming. I don’t know why. I lived in the house I grew up in for eleven years before I headed off to college. I think, though, that I’ve always considered a house as a place to settle, not an apartment, so I’ve thought of my apartment as a pit stop on my way to somewhere else.
And by the way, that reasoning is ridiculous because the thought of taking care of a house – paying the mortgage, investing in its upkeep, being tied to it – doesn’t actually sound like a winning bet to me, especially in the current real estate market. Nonetheless, my pit stop is coming to an end.
The funny thing about that is, even if it’s a five year stopover, you still tend to collect stuff (and I’m purposefully call it “stuff”). I’ve noticed that I’ve collected quite a bit of stuff in my five years here. I mostly feel this way because I’ve presented myself with the task of getting rid of it all before I vacate at the end of February, which has started to feel slightly insurmountable. I’m barely going to have all my gear in hand by then, nonetheless prioritizing disposition of all my stuff.
As I always do when I sense a mountain of a task in front of me, last Sunday I made a list, a long list, a comprehensive list. I documented every piece of furniture, kitchen supply, personal belonging, etc. that belongs to me and what I’m going to do with it. This is especially important since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which is a great opportunity to load my car and begin taking some things down to my mom’s house. It’s a three and a half hour drive, so I’d like to take advantage of the planned trip.
My mom has been gracious enough to let me store my belongings at her house during my trek. My mom, who more or less refused to let me move home after college, pushing me to stand on my own two feet. Now she’s bending over backwards to make sure I can’t stutter myself into any excuses for not hiking the A.T. She may not think I’m beautiful (personal joke, terrible joke, probably not the best place for it), but she always supports me and bolsters me. How could I not be grateful?
So I made my list.
If everything goes according to plan, before February is out, I’ll be practically camping in my bedroom, having sold my dresser, wardrobe, bookshelves, and bed. Those items will see their mugshots on Craigslist starting in the beginning of January. I prefer to have plenty of lead time so that I’m not subject to a proverbial fire sale toward the end of February in a fit of desperation.
My older sister lives in Florida and was recently telling me, “You know the economy is suffering when things aren’t selling on Craigslist.” She has a point, but luckily the economy in the D.C. metro area is still humming, at least enough to get a good price for (high quality) used goods. Cross fingers that I’m not eating my words come March 1.
In the immediate future, as in next week, I will use the Force to masterfully pack up my little 2001 Ford Focus with all varieties of bulky belongings. And when I say Force, I mean my friend April. I’m a terrible packer. OK, that’s a little harsh. Once somebody shows me the most efficient way to pack a particular space, I can replicate it, but the sense of space and shape doesn’t come naturally.
Luckily, April’s awesome at organizing. Double lucky, she’ll be driving down on Friday (after working midnight to 8am for Black Friday) to join in the festivities (extra car for packing!). We tend to absorb people into my family, and since we’ve been roommates for over four years, April’s become part of the chaos. In fact, I’m pretty sure my niece and nephew like her more than they like me. Did I mention the count for Thanksgiving is up to 20 people plus 2 (large!) dogs? And there are more people confirming every day. Yeah, chaos.
Anyway. So together we’ll load up my bicycle, large box of crafts, steamer, clothes drying rack, foldable papasan, large lounge chair, microwave, stereo, and some art (and maybe some dirty laundry, for good measure. What? I despise waiting around for the pay machines to be available in my apartment building) to bring to my mom’s house. Oh, and let’s not forget the chocolate turkeys! No, never forget those!
Little by little, I’ll get myself moved out of this apartment so that, come March, all I’ll have left on my plate will be to hop, skip, and jump onto the trail.