I cannot look at another suitcase. Finally 2 weeks of packing and unpacking we are finally settled into our island home for the next 5 months and excited to be here. But, the transition was brutal. I seemed to have developed packing narcolepsy. If it’s not a “thing” it should be. Too much to do and no gusto to do it makes me sleepy. My 4 day window to get it all done was crammed into 2 days.

Exhausted, somehow the prize was the  4 hour road trip to the ferry and then the crossing . It was a delicious passage and I cherished the limbo.

But, as we pulled up to our house, the thought of lugging the suitcases and unpacking seemed even more brutal — so I didn’t do it. I just left those bags and once again I was happily snoozing pretending that this was perfectly fine behavior.

“Hey honey, I tripped over your shoe bin on the way to the bathroom and I was thinking, those suitcases haven’t seen any action … what’s going on?”

“No worries, I’ll get to it — the Celtics are on tonight so maybe I will do it then.”

“You said that the night before last.”

“Well that was a great game, I couldn’t focus on those dumb clothes — our team was on fire!”

Bill was looking a little unnerved as he cherishes order in the house.

I kept pretending and avoiding but on day 5 Bill said he was going to the Celtics game and would be back the next day. 

This was it — on my own with no-one to blame but myself, I started to tuck in once again and put on my audible book. It was so good I could barely move off the bed.

I peered out from under the sheets unable to avoid looking at the piles of stuff, my thoughts searing with self-loathing..

I took stock…

“I have too much stuff — How did I get so many shoes and sweaters? I don’t need all these. I wear the same thing every day.  Why can’t I just give them to someone who would appreciate them. All I need are my Berkinstocks and yoga pants, my walking sneakers and jeans — oh, and maybe my favorite blouse. Honestly, I should have no more than 6 outfits in my closet and yet here are these suitcases, full to the brim, overflowing with old favorites that I consciously packed and didn’t give away.

Well that’s not entirely true. When I left, I  managed to fill 3 hefty bags of clothes and donate them  — but now,  I’ve still got too much. I cannot possibly wear all this stuff!

But no amount of chiding and self shaming got the job done. After another long nap of avoidance I started to come to life slowly – I put on my audio story “Lessons in Chemistry” and something shifted. I began pruning through my shelves and drawers tossing what I no longer loved into a big pile.  The book was transporting me and the task at hand wasn’t so boring and relentless. As I  started to put stuff away,. I tackled my underwear, sock and bra drawer. It was miraculous. Just by listening to a good story I found joy in the process. Soon I was totally absorbed in the unpacking and the book as well. It was all quite calm and pleasant and went on for a few hours.

“By George I’ve got it! — I’ve tricked my brain, created some fun and entertainment and low and behold — 5 more hefty bags to give away to those who need it and some pretty tidy underwear drawers.

Who knew? The book saved me. I don’t know if Marie Kondo has gone the Audible route but I may have to share this joyful strategy with her. I think she’ll love it. My husband sure did.


My New Trick For Turning The Dreaded Unpacking And Clothes Purging Job Into Joy was last modified: by

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