Saturday, March 1, 2014

Post Traumatic Moving Stress

As a mental health professional by training I do not take Post Traumatic Stress lightly by any means.  Recently my husband and I realized that we were saving unnecessary items purely due to the residual stress from two international moves.  While our physical possessions have slimmed down, we were holding onto every cardboard box that those items came in. Full garbage bags worth of bubble wrap and more gallon sized plastic zip-bags than anyone could possibly need in their life time.  Because of this our extra closet was stuffed to the brim, not with stuff, but with the stuff FOR our stuff.

At first I didn't even realize the issue and told my husband that I wanted to condense the boxes and packing materials to try and create more room.  My husband smiled and said "you sound like your clients," and he was right.  We sat down and discussed why we felt the need to hang on to the myriad of packing supplies. By hanging on to the stuff we weren't allowing ourselves to fully feel at home and settled.  We had already signed our lease for another year and are not in a rush to move (thank goodness!).  If we need to, we will find new boxes for our things when we do face our next move and in the meantime we can part with a good portion of the boxes.  So we went to work:

Before: Every box is empty and being stored for a "just in case" situation

Sorting through the boxes

Boxes broken down, condensed and put out for recycling

A full shelf is now free and open, life just got a little simpler!

We got rid of 75% of the materials and only kept boxes for key items that would need some extra support in the event of a move.  The rest we took apart and put in the recycling bin.  The boxes we kept only take up one shelf in the closet (as opposed to both and being ceiling high!)and there is room to spare if our guests would actually like to use it! Moral of the story, there is always room for improvement.  If you find yourself trying to condense your things to increase space, it may mean that it is time to declutter to make enough room to live more simply.

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