March 24, 2013

KNISELY: Whose junk is this?

— You will never catch me on an episode of “Hoarders” for two reasons: 1) I am not a pack rat and 2) I’m a bit of a neat freak.

A week ago, I would have taken that sentence to my grave as a solid truth. Now, having started packing up my apartment for my move, I’m not so sure.

Off work for the week, I commandeered boxes and packing tape in hopes of putting a good-sized dent in the packing. But then the reality of just how much stuff I had started sinking in. Well, caving in is probably more accurate.

I have a lot of stuff.

I can’t emphasize that enough.

I have a lot of stuff.

What’s worse is I’m not entirely sure where some of it came from. More than once this week I muttered to myself, “Is this mine?”

When packing the items in my entertainment center, I set aside a handful of DVDs that can’t possibly be mine. And it’s not like I have a large collection and have lost track of what I’ve purchased. Besides, I would never buy a Snoopy video. I am not a fan, so why on Earth do I have a Snoopy video? (If you’re missing one, please call me instead of the police. I’ll give it back.)

Unlike Snoopy, most of the stuff I found was, in fact, my own. I just didn’t realize I had so much of it.

One thing I really loved about this apartment when I first moved in was the abundance of closets and storage space. Do you know what I hate most about my apartment right now? The ample closets and storage space. Do you know what those things are? Places to hide stuff. Lots and lots of stuff.

I have more towels and blankets than one human could ever use. And don’t get me started on the pillows. Oh, the pillows. Do you know how annoying it is to pack decorative pillows? You don’t want them to get messed up in the move, so you put them in a box. But then you can only get two to a box. That would be quite a few boxes of nothing but pillows. Seems like a waste of boxes. But if you put them in trash bags, you run the risk of them getting accidentally thrown out. Plus, trash bags don’t stack well in the back of U-hauls. So if you’re keeping track of things I hate this week, feel free to jot down pillows. So, now we have closets and storage space, and pillows.

So, while I’m wavering on not being a pat rack, I still stand behind being a neat freak. I have a rule about packing: Nothing gets packed that hasn’t been cleaned. It tends to drastically slow down the packing process, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. A friend I was talking to (read: whining to) questioned why I didn’t clean as I unpacked instead. If only I could, I told her. I just can’t bring myself to put dusty knickknacks in a box. Besides, it’s a bad idea to bring dust from one house into another, I told her. Who knows what new strands of dust would be created? Look at the spread of ash borer. It’s much the same. (OK, maybe not.)

Sadly, I’m just getting started and probably should have started earlier. I guess I underestimated how long it takes to pack other people’s clean junk into boxes.

Misty Knisely is managing editor of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at or 574-732-5155.


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