I don’t think it is possible to make moving a pleasant experience. I have been in the Army since 1991 and this is my 10th major move. Today is the last of three days of packing and tomorrow everything gets loaded in the moving van.
Thursday is our weekly trash pickup, so last night we gathered up every bit of what we didn’t want and hauled it out to the curb. All kinds of stuff. Stuff that didn’t sell at the yard sale and we hadn’t given to the Disabled American Veterans Thrift Store. Old, deteriorating particle board shelving from the garage. A wobbly desk that had been cobbled together from two desk sets long ago. The wood dowel connections had been reinforced over the years with L brackets. A really old plywood shelf that came from my Mom’s house that was made probably before I was born. Those popup shelters everyone uses (especially on Field Day) with the one support that snapped when trying to open or close it. Tons of trash… empty Sears laundry detergent box, frozen food from the fridge (to include the bag of Gino’s Pizza Roles that I impulsively bought just two weeks ago at the store, thinking that it was something that I had been deprived of during my last year in Iraq and that I must, must have but never even was opened), old and expired medicine (some unused and never opened… once it was all piled together in the bag I felt like a hypochondriac), extra coffee mugs that I’ve carted around for almost two decades that never get used. The particle board 2-drawer filing cabinet that’s missing one of four casters and top drawer that never closed correctly (and it went with another desk set that got tossed about two moves ago). An MFJ HF balcony/window antenna (used once or twice). Lots of pieces and parts for various ham projects that never quite got off the ground (the attempt to make a 2M/70cm beam for satellite ops), painter poles (plural) used in various implementations for field operations to raise up wire antennas. But before we went to bed last night, a good portion of all the stuff we hauled out to the curb had been picked through and hauled off by some of the locals, prowling the neighborhood trash piles for good finds. More power to them. I wish I knew who they were ahead of time, so I could of handed the stuff directly to them… maybe even nicely boxed. What wasn’t hauled off by those folks was picked up this morning by the huge trash truck with the large iron claw. I love those guys!
I will say there is kind of a cleansing-baptismal-rejuvenational feeling of purging yourself of all that “stuff” that for some reason or another you just kept hanging onto. I guess that is one reason I enjoy the Army, the frequent moving. Although I’m not crazy about the actual process, I think the end result is a good thing. And I always catch myself making the same promises and resolutions every move – this new place will be different: I will stay better organized, I will clean more often, I will not accumulate junk. But this time I mean it. Really.