The shelving is up (pictures forthcoming), and I’m now replacing the contents of the closet. For the most part it was easy; the huge pile of stuff has dwindled to just a few errant boxes of flotsam and jetsam. But this last little bit is taking forever. Almost like zeno’s paradox, each box I sort through seems to take twice as long as the last.
Some of these boxes haven’t been touched since I moved in. After the exhaustion of moving, I punted on the boxes labeled “random crap” and shoved them in the closet “for later.” More than a year after moving, it is taking all of my willpower not to do the same now. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s one box that hasn’t been touched since I moved out of my apartment in Brooklyn, long before RD and I got married.
Going through each box is exhausting. Each one contains various relics I’ve completely forgotten about until the moment I open it; at which point I can’t imagine parting with. Some things are easy: old bank statements can safely be shredded and discarded now that the information is available online. Others are tougher: college artwork (some good, some not so good), trinkets given to me by good friends, and various objects that might be useful someday.
Triage on this stuff takes a lot out of me. I part with a lot of small items, rationalizing with myself that although this pin / pencil / whatever meant a lot to me at age 15, it’s just a piece of plastic crap now. The friendship it symbolizes is the enduring thing I should keep. As a result, I’m unable to part with the items from friends I’ve lost touch with. It goes in a bankers box marked “memorabilia,” full of old papers and photos that I plan to scan into the computer “someday.”
Some of it is neat, and doesn’t take up much room, but I’ve got no idea where to put it. Included in this are MRI photos of my brain and neck; the former from a medical study I participated when I was unemployed, the latter from a neck injury sustained while washing my hair. During the brain scan, the MRI tech complimented me on how still I held my head, and asked if I would be willing to participate in other studies. I got my head scanned a bunch that year.
I’ve whittled it down to two bags full of papers “to be filed,” a stack of papers I’ve already sorted but have no idea where to file, and one 8 x 10 box of “random crap” still to contend with. With each trash bag I fear I’m throwing out something I desperately need. Something I’ll curse myself looking for down the line. But given how long I’ve managed to live without while it languished in a box, I suppose that’s pretty unlikely.