Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cathartic (Apartment) Cleansing

What you are gazing upon above is a "before and after" snapshot (click on images to see closer shots) of two days spent cleaning out our apartment. It's Christmas break (feels like we are back in college) and we decided to take advantage of it by beginning the process of cleaning out our closets (both literally and figuratively) of everything that we will and won't be taking with us to the new apartment. (Never mind you that we will be staying with her parents for a few months as we decided to pass on renewing our lease and instead opt for living with the 'rents' in order to save some dough).

The blessing and curse of our current apartment is the unbelievable amount of closet space it afforded us. Of course, it also afforded us the opportunity to save everything and just throw stuff everywhere (as you can see by the before picture of our master closet). As our new apartment doesn't have nearly as much space and knowing that we have tons of crap we don't really need, we used this exorcising exercise as an opportunity to be brutal and get rid of EVERYTHING we don't need. Amanda found herself saying goodbye to old purses, outfits, shoes, makeup, cards, and more. I was tasked with going through our book collection and discovering just how much crap we had that 1)we never read and 2)read and would not only never read again, but would be embarrassed as to have part of our permanent collection. So with that, i went through the books, organizing and creating piles, and found a nice selection of about fifty that we can soon donate to a local salvation army or library (whoever does pickups gets the books!) In organizing everything (especially the books, we even created a section of the closet that is dedicated to books that have yet to be read, we both agreed that we wouldn't buy any new books until we've read all the ones that we own...for me that's about 20, for her it's about 3), we discovered that moving and packing will be much easier, as everything is organized and just needs to be boxed.

There is something cathartic in cleaning your apartment, forcing yourself to say goodbye to things that you think you want, but realize you don't. It also gives you a chance to go through all your old things: pictures, love letters, short stories, childhood memorabilia, that you only look at when you are moving and won't look at again until the next time you do. Sometimes, you find the unexpected, like my grandfather's old porno collection from the 1960's that look like a laugh-in factory photo shoot as done by Hugh Hefner's camera lens.

But despite the dust you inhale and the inevitable allergic reactions (if one is so prone), it is a truly wild experience where you are forced to ask yourself: what do i really need? Is this really important? Am I EVER going to use this, look at this, read this, wear this, think of this again? For the majority of what we did, the answer was actually no.

Before this weekend I was a little freaked out about the actual move (I'm still freaked out about the whole construction and co-op application thing), i now feel like it will pretty seamless as we know that everything we are taking are things that we actually want to take.

And for the record, we each did keep a little box of random things that we don't know what to do with, but we're keeping anyway.

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