Monday, December 04, 2006

Stuff, Inc.

Seven heavy boxes arrived on my doorstep recently, more or less completing a process that has been going on for over 4 years -- namely, the dissolution of my life States-side, and the re-uniting of me and my oh-so-precious STUFF.

Let's talk about what's in some of these boxes. What have I felt so attached to that I was willing to box it up, haul it to a storage facility, pay over a thousand dollars in storage fees (of course there was other stuff then, too, most of which has since been thrown away), haul it back over to a friend's garage two years later, then go through it all and box it up AGAIN, to ship to France to the tune of another cool hundred or so?

Well, let's see. Today I unpacked a box of old files that for whatever reason I felt I couldn't throw away. Among them were

- student loan documents from the early 1980s (paid off in 1995)
- telephone and electric bills from 1997 to 2002
- bank and insurance pamphlets from 1999 (quite thick, too)
- several large half-empty notebooks (the half full being mostly doodles, with some half-hearted attempts at a personal budget)
- address books full of people I don't know anymore
- French and Spanish phone cards (some of these are in fact sort of interesting, but I'm not a collector)
- a police report from when our guitars and laptops were stolen in Valencia, Spain (I guess that has some historical value)
- old coins (pre-euro) and keys (why why WHY do we feel we need to keep metal objects even if they are no longer useful?)
- heavy three-ring binders carefully divided into sections which are tabbed and titled - but have no other contents except blank looseleaf paper
- CDs that were given to me, which I've never listened to, and which I will never listen to (I'm referring of course to the French single, "Miss Camping," by Boris)

I pride myself on being a fairly organized person. And I actually do go through my files once a year and weed out unnecessary items. But I guess even the most organized person can fall prey to the disease of clutter. Of course Francis Bacon wouldn't call it clutter, he'd call it art. But then, he's not around to argue, is he? Posted by Picasa


Blogger Alexis said...

I just moved to a new apartment and can relate to the boxes of things that are not needed but for some reason are always there! This time around I just labeled such boxes "crap" so that when I open them I can tell myself again "why the hell did I pack this?"

Great blog ;-)

6:02 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

This is so funny! I laughed at keeping the college loan records, the keys -- I've got all that same stuff in my closet. Slowly I'm beginning to trust the online world to keep my records, though that idea is of course quite fraught and even sounds like the beginning of a Philip K. Dick novel...

6:12 PM  

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