Unopened boxes

So I’ve started this decluttering project of mine. Beginning with the guest room. Well, at least that was the plan. You know that feeling? This urge that sneaks up on you, suggesting to do something different from what you planned on doing? Yep. This one. The procrastinator.

Since I made the resolution to clear out the clutter in my guest room I’ve spent an awful lot of time on youtube. I even thought of decluttering my wardrobe and books first. Following the KonMari method. That would make sense, wouldn’t it?

The things is, my wardrobe is already decluttered. Except maybe for a drawer with trousers I am reluctant to give away. And my books, well, same here. There are only four piles of them left since I switched almost entirely to ebooks. It’s a distraction that would take me one hour max.

So what is this all about?

I am DREADING the guest room. Why? Because it contains all the stuff that I don’t want to face. There is this huge pile of unpacked boxes in one corner, staring me right in the face every single time I enter the room. Even the arrival of guests a few months back could not entice me to get on with it and unpack them. I just put a huge blanket on top of them to camouflage the mess.

The simple truth is: I am scared out of my depth of opening the boxes. They contain my past life. The remnants of my marriage, photos, letters, cards and our wedding album. Plus lots and lots and lots of correspondence with friends and family from years back, when I was still young and oblivious to the trials that lay ahead of me.

Facing the boxes means facing the content – which means facing the memories, the joyful and the painful ones, the embarrassment, the immense grief and regret that goes along with some of them. There is no way of unpacking the boxes without plunging right into the unresolved, undigested, messy chapters of my life.

Facing the boxes is facing myself.

So I watch youtube videos instead. Like this one. On procrastination.

It’s one of the best explanations I’ve ever seen on this sneaky thing. Not to mention it’s also pretty funny. Currently, the instant gratification monkey has my steering wheel firmly in its grip. Rational decision-maker is standing by, scratching its head in despair.

The tricky thing with this decluttering project, like with all the other projects on my bucket list, is that there is no clear deadline. At least this is what we’d like to think. Tim knows better. And so do I, really. But hell, is it hard to get started.

Time to do that meditation again, the one I mentioned in my last post.



Feature image © Tim Urban

15 thoughts on “Unopened boxes

  1. Love the video. Bring on the panic monster!
    … I’m coming over tomorrow to check on your progress… and will expect a clean bed for the night and closet space 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Q. What’s the best way to eat an elephant?
    A. One Bite At A Time.

    What if you broke it down and said . . . “this week I will deal with one box.”
    Then try to pick the one that will be the easiest.

    And two quotes to consider:

    You must empty yourself of the past to receive the present. ~ Zen Parable

    When one door closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us. ~ Helen Keller

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you’re right. One (small) bite at a time. I like that you say ‘this week’, not ‘in one day’. My only concern is that the room won’t be ready when Val comes over tomorrow to check on my progress. 🙂
      I also like the zen parable. It’s precisely the reason I’m doing this. But it’s also precisely why it’s quite hard. Working on it, though. Thank you for your encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I chuckled at “I just put a huge blanket on top of them to camouflage the mess”. I hope it wasn’t a bright orange blanket. As Val mentioned, we will be back to take notes on your progress. You’ll be fine. It’s good cleansing for yourself as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was so terrified at the thought of Val (and you) coming over tomorrow to check on the mess that I actually started decluttering! My goal was to do one box, no more, no less, as Nancy had suggested. And guess what…? I did the longest purge I have in a while. Would still need a blanket (beige) but not as large as then… 🙂 Thanks for the little nudge. Looks like that was all the I needed!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Perhaps rope a friend in to help? Far less daunting, huh? Any photos you really aren’t sure about, and old letters… what about scanning them? Then you’re kind of cheating a little, but they’ll only take up space on the cloud.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, friends! I had one over for another part of decluttering, old furniture, bags and knick-knack. She really kicked my butt and it helped. The letter and photo part I find harder to share with a friend as it must be really hard to understand the emotional attachment to some of it. But maybe that’s the whole point. Puts it into perspective. As for the scanning, I thought about that too. I’m a bit reluctant to put so much very personal information in the cloud but I might go for an external hard drive with some of it. For a start. Thanks for your encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m trying the KonMari Method too, but facing things I’ve always wanted to get rid of. Seems like the opposite problem. For me, there’s so much. For you, there’s so much meaning. Good luck with facing all of this! You can do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d love to have your problem 🙂 In theory I know what I want to get rid of, and why. It’s just the actual act of doing it that is hard, because it means saying a final farewell to all the symbolism it holds within. Good luck with your decluttering project, too!


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