When I packed up my belongings in England, I was unaware that I would not see them for another eighteen months. To cut a long story short, which is not my forte, my last decluttering exercise was when I left Radlett for my short stay in Shenley, England. The plan was to hold my goods in storage for six weeks and then ship them to Texas, upon my command. The plan was mine; my belongings were in the hands of people who did not, it would appear, share my plan. Upon arrival in the USA, I emailed the removal company, and they emailed me back, very quickly. I could not have my goods sent to me until I became a Citizen. Not fully convinced, I agreed to keep my chattels in storage until I could research the rules. Looking back, the retirement of the girl in charge of my account may have been directly due to her commission on the storage facility, which was obviously much cheaper to hire in six month increments. Naive as I may have seemed, there was little I could do as I was here, and my ornaments were there. With a physical address somewhere in the north of England, and no one other than 'your personal contact' being able to deal with 'your account', I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Eventually, three account managers and sixteen months later, I found someone who knew what she was doing. The first person was not completely incorrect. Without going into (any more irrelevant) details, everything needs to go through customs, and shipping an entire household requires paperwork. As my husband was a Citizen, my new account manager said it would take about six weeks for me to receive my boxes. They arrived, as promised.
As I really am a creature of habit, and enjoy my creature comforts, eighteen months is a long time to be without knick-knacks. I only had two pieces of furniture; a small cabinet, and a coffee table shaped like stacked books. The rest of the boxes contained clothes, Samantha's shoes, and of course, my ornaments, crockery and cutlery. Wanting to make my house a home, I did go shopping for necessities. Condiment containers in the shape of a chef were vital; plates that look like a piece of lettuce were a must. Jugs that resemble fruit and vegetables cannot be left on the store shelves. My house became a home, and then my 'home' arrived.
However, I digress. I had decided to take the proverbial bull by its horns and start to box up my ornaments. My housework was made slightly easier as there was less to dust, but the spare time was taken up with packing away the items I no longer needed to dust. Although I managed to fill a great deal of boxes, I didn't seem to have made a dent. Suddenly, collecting odd shaped mugs from everywhere I visit seemed to be a futile exercise. My thirty two State magnets are currently refusing to become unstuck from the fridge, but my three large cloth gingerbread men (known affectionately as 'my boys') left their home, on top of the appliance, and were unceremoniously placed in their temporary, windowless, cardboard abode. I could not afford to be emotional! However, a sensitive collector of useless objet d'art can only decrease so much before becoming completely disillusioned. Upstairs beckoned.
Samantha and I had spent a long time clearing and cleaning her room. Boxes and bags were piled into the corner and we found the floor....in March! The plan was for her to clear everything out of her garage, and replace it with the boxes and bags from her room. I even bought her a couple of storage units for her new flat. The plan was mine. Apparently, it appears the plan was not hers! It is now October, and the bags and boxes were still in her room, although they were not in the same neat pile we had made in March. Like me, she enjoys her creature comforts and has taken various things to her new home, but not in the boxes. Instead she has systematically gone through each box and taken the item she needs, which always seems to be at the bottom. Always in a hurry, there never seemed to be any time to repack. With my new plan in action, and with flat packs and tape in hand, I entered the abyss. I was sure I did not have any emotional attachment to anything in the 'cave'. It took me several hours to pile everything into the boxes, and close them up. I didn't use a whole roll of tape for each box, but enough to cause the inability to open quickly. Had I taken time to sort and balance what went into which casket, I would still be in the room at Christmas. 'Where is....?' will now receive the same answer. (I have practised it...out loud.) 'In a box. You want it, take a box home and if it is not in there, take another one'. I am hoping there will be something that she really needs, that will be in the last box!
I am still astounded that my daughter has any clothes to wear. Clearing the wardrobe, I could have opened up my own (large) Victoria's Secret store. She could have played the facebook 'bra' game on her own! Unfortunately, she has just collected another life time supply of t-shirts from the conventions, so the boxes marked 'tops' are no doubt destined to remain unopened and unmoved.
I am not sure when, where, and indeed if we will move this year, next year, sometime never, but the danger once again lies in the fact that I am without my 'home', and I fear something will fling itself into my shopping basket, desperately needing a home on my bakers table.
Admittedly, today I was quite remiss. The weather was too nice to stay indoors (stop me from being my mother!) and I spent my afternoon reading, and swimming. I countdown the weekends to Thanksgiving, as the temperature drops too far for me to enjoy the water after the end of November. Occasionally, it dips earlier so I take advantage of the warm weekends. That is my excuse! My house does look rather empty. My mother would say it looks tidy! My house looks decluttered. My mother would say it looks tasteful. Dana is more comfortable. He says he now can't get into trouble for using the 'just for show' cups!
I am not completely overwhelmed by the thought of moving, as making the original move from England to the USA was the 'big one', and I welcome the challenge as Dana and I will be chosing the house together (all together....ahhhh), but I choose not to think of the details on a day to day basis. I do not want to have to report details of my breakdown as being....another story!