Intro to unpacking a lifetime of boxes

September 1, 2014

We moved. Again.  th-2

First, we moved in 2008 from a 2100 square foot home in Illinois to a hotel room in Windsor, CT. You can read all about that at

When we finally realized, after 17 months that we weren’t going to sell our house, and when my husband’s employer realized this also, we moved again.

The moving truck brought our 2100 square feet, plus basement goods, to our new 1200 square foot loft apartment in Enfield, CT. So, of course, it didn’t all fit into the apartment. We rented a 300 square foot storage room for the overload. Those of you who are math whizzes can calculate that we had about 600 square feet of stuff that still didn’t fit.  th-4

Some of that (garage stuff) went to a barn in Massachusetts and then to the garage of a good friend. But the storage room was filled to the brim and almost inaccessible.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Realtors never want you to keep all your stuff in a visible place–like your actual house, so most of our stuff was moved to the basement, which meant that when the mover came the first time, every box that went into the 300 square foot storage room, got marked: Basement. That story is one of the posts at

Now we have moved again. Around the corner. To a little foreclosure I call The River House.  th-2

This time we have moved almost all (still have the storage room temporarily) the 1500 square feet of stuff, into The River House of 1600 square feet, 800 square feet of which are unusable right now, because we have gutted the first floor for necessary renovations.

This means most of the stuff is now again in boxes and bags and taking up residence in the upstairs 800 square feet, the garage, and what I refere to as   IMG_0684   The Party Room, which is a basement room we will eventually use for entertaining and another guest/bedroom area with a Murphy bed, wine bar and its own bathroom. And, since it is inaccessible from inside the main house, it would make a great B&B type area.

This room needs a lot of work. So for now, it, too, is completely inaccessible, with boxes, floor to ceiling. I have a wild imagination that when the first floor is complete, the boxes in this room will magically fit into other areas of the house, and the contents will be free at last to enjoy their forever home, as the cat rescue people term a permanent home.

So here I am again with about 1000 boxes and bags ( haven’t really counted them), which I refuse to take another six years to unpack. So I will be cataloguing my unpacking for you, and my goal is to have it all accomplished in 100 days. I just hope I don’t spend more time writing about unpacking than unpacking. Writing is way easier.

But, here is one teeny problem: Unpacking with no place to put the “stuff” results in merely moving loose stuff around and still not having a place to put a lot of it. On the pro side, I can at least view stuff, sort stuff, get rid of stuff, and, if necessary, repack it with better labeling.


2 thoughts on “Intro to unpacking a lifetime of boxes”

  1. Your article really captured the frustration of moving to a smaller space, an experience many of us have shared!

    Your grat article really struck a chord! We are now packing our belongings to move from Barcelona Spain back to California! We don’t yet have a new address, but hope to settle in a 1,200 sq ft condo in South Orange County. We have sold our cars, half of our furniture/appliances, and have photos of remaining furniture and personal goods posted on the Internet.

    Shipping of our 40-50 boxes is scheduled for late September. The ocean voyage takes ~30 days, so we will be hanging out with friends until we have our belongings and a new address.

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