The limbo box

On January 1, 2012, I started the official process of moving into my mom and stepdad’s house to live with them while I “got back on my feet.”  It took me months to move out of my then-husband’s apartment, one box at a time, by myself, to my car, and one car load at a time to my mom’s.

I am tired of carrying boxes.

I have a lot of stuff that I don’t use, but that society insists I need.  This post is about some of those things that other people think I need.

I have been going through boxes and boxes that I brought from my previous apartment, and re-packing the things I think I will truly use, and leaving behind a really impressive “yard sale” pile.  If it doesn’t sell, I’m taking it all to Goodwill, because I am tired of looking at it.

My mother was observing the process when I found a small bulletin board and commented, “How many of these do I really need?” I have four. I mused on the subject, and decided to only take one small bulletin board with me to the new flat.  Then I announced I didn’t need it, and I would put all four into the yard sale pile.  My mother immediately defended the bulletin board. “You’re going to want that!” she insisted, “You can put it next to where you pay your bills!”

I had already decided that all bill-paying supplies and office supplies would be kept in a one-drawer end table next to my couch.

I put the bulletin board in a box.  She looked on disapprovingly.

When I found my iron, I announced that, since I hadn’t used it in years, I wasn’t going to take the iron or my ironing board either.  If she disapproved of my bulletin board discard, she was at arms about the iron.  “You need that! You are going to need that! When you don’t have one and you have to go spend $20 on a new iron you are going to wish you had kept that! Listen to your mother, I know best.” (She actually said that).

I continued to insist that I wasn’t going to use it, but she was very determined I should keep it.  I suggested a compromise: I would keep the things I thought I didn’t need and she thought I did in a box at her house, and if I did wind up needing them, I could come get them.  She agreed.  Bulletin board, iron, ironing board – all into “stuff limbo.”

 

4 thoughts on “The limbo box

  1. Rebecca Foxworth says:

    Put a date on the box. One year from now. Tell your mom that if it’s unopened on that date…it gets tossed.

    I iron random wrinkles by running a curling iron gently over the spot while it hangs.

    Anything needing serious iron gets sent to the $1.50 cleaners. As a result, I don’t buy anything that needs serious ironing.

    • Caitlin says:

      What a great strategy. I would have never thought of a curling iron! I’m trying to buy clothes that don’t wrinkle much, and my wardrobe is pretty friendly to that. Thanks for your comments!

  2. Sarah T. says:

    Stopped by from Miss Minimalist. Thanks for sharing your post over there. I’m reading through your past entries. This post resonated with me very much. My mother is the “store it just in case” type as well. She is the reason I have so much of what I do- the fine silverware in a special box, crystal bowls, a huge stash of fabric (for when the kids need a costume- you know how expensive fabric is nowaday??), and the list continues. I’ve been slowly getting rid of what I don’t like or use, but I am going slowly for my mom’s sake. I already gave back a china set she collected enough of for each of her kids to have a complete set. That was hard for her, but she’s learning that we have different tastes and that mine are just as valid as hers. *sigh* this is theraputic. Thanks for letting me comment! Blessings to you!!

    • Caitlin says:

      Thank you for commenting! I have the same problem with some family gifts… before my uncle died he and my aunt set out to put together one set of antique glassware for each niece (total of four of us). I now have two and a half boxes of antique glass that I’ll never use, but I feel terrible getting rid of it. It’s in storage at my mom’s house at the moment. Yikes! Good luck to you, and thank you for your comment🙂

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