Thursday, July 7, 2011

Life In A Box

I like to think of myself as someone who is not materialistic.  I believe that the most important things in life are things that money can’t buy.  Family, friends and the love that we share.  That’s why when we decided to move I didn’t think transferring our stuff from Medina to Waterloo would be that big of a deal.  Boy, was I wrong.  Apparently, even though I think of myself as not being materialistic, I have accumulated a large amount of stuff over the years.
In anticipation of our move Ingrid and I began ridding ourselves of unnecessary goods  in January.  It began small with the two of us opening a drawer and seeing what was inside and pulling a few items out.  We were looking for things we were willing to part with it.  Of course we had to talk about it first.  An example conversation might of have gone like this...
“Do we really need this ice cream scoop?”
“No, but we might.”
“But we always use the one with the thumb lever.”
“We might need it.”
Back in the drawer it would go.
We had a variety of conversations like this involving bowls, clothes, toys...endless toys, papers, books, etc. etc. etc.  We actually got rid of a bunch of stuff this way but soon realized that was slow, painful, and not the best way for married people (or anyone for that matter) to work together.  So we did the sensible thing and did nothing for a while.  Then we did the really sensible thing and asked one of our friends who is well organized to help us.
As an aside here I would like to report that we had many options when seeking help.  For some reason it seems that all of our friends have very organized least more organized than ours.  Our friend (I’ll refer to her as Nikki) that helped us  has a home that is a marvel of organization.  Whenever we go over to her house we are always impressed with the fact that it always looks like she just finished cleaning.  One of my favorite things to do is open her version of a junk drawer which is always neatly organized.  Inside there are a few pens, a pad of paper, a few up-to-date coupons, schedules all in the same place every time.  I would compare this to our junk drawer but I was unable to open it.
Nikki helped us a great deal by organizing how we categorized our stuff.  Basically pack, sell, or give away.  Since then we have been going through the process of deciding what possessions of ours will make the cut.  Anything that does make the cut is packed into a box and stacked into one of our “designated areas” for later shipment to the Great North.  In this process Ing and I have had many conversations about what is practical when considering what will come with us.
Me: We don’t need that. (Holding up a JC Penny set of casserole dishes) It isn’t even open.
Ing: I want to keep it.  You never know when you need them.
Ing: It’s hideous.
Matt: Yes.  But wonderful.  (I was referring to a clay sculpture I made in elementary school. See photo below)

What I have learned in this process is that some of the most important things to us are absolutely worthless to anyone outside our immediate family.  Things like kids drawings, photos, a book made by Ing when she was in elementary school, baptism shoes, and the like.  None of it is worth what it will cost to move to Canada but it will come just the same.  It’s a representation and a bookmark for our memories.  We’ll put our life in a box, transport it over the border, and unpack it again in Canada.


  1. I have been thinking about asking a friend from church to help us organize, and we aren't even moving. Sooo. Muuucch. Stuuuuuuffffffff.


  2. I laughed so hard!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for including me in your story. I miss you already... "Nikki"

  3. You better have kept that sculpture...