I like the butchered saying that goes: It’s not going through one door to another that’s troublesome, it’s the hallway that’s hell. Which is to say, yes, change is indeed difficult, but it is when you are in the midst of it that is the most taxing.
Dyan and I have never shied away from change, evidenced by our moves from our home in Manitoba out to Western Canada, and then down south for nearly ten years in Texas, to now Missouri, where we are making a state-wide relocation from the St. Louis area where we’ve lived since 2009, to the Kansas City area. That kind of change. And I do think it’s generally true that you can be a creature of individual habits, but still be willing to embrace large-scale change; the two are not mutually exclusive. In this way, the hallway is indeed stressful.
For the majority of our moves — in fact perhaps all but a few inter-city moves — the packing up of our home has been completed by others, relocation companies. They come assess the enormity of the situation; arrive with packing crews; pack things up; load the truck and transport. On the other end, they unload the boxes and do some minor set ups (the master bed, for example). But all of the unpacking, we do ourselves, and if you’ve ever moved this means months and months of living with boxes and unpacking. Even as torturous as it sounds, you do not want the movers to unpacked for you. We had this done once when we arrived in Texas and it was a mess. Mostly stuff gets placed on counters, table tops and the floor. Unboxed sure, but bothersome. There is little room to move and ziggurats of wonky belongings everywhere.
The relative joy of not packing is your relatively free of that particular labor (plus most are not endowed with that art form of packing to ensure things arrive in one piece); unpacking is where you constantly wring your hands over your materialism; over your potentially-harmful case of hoarding. The embarrassment. The guilt. All there. For you to unpack!
After witnessing the “violent rage” shown by babies whenever deprived of an item they considered their own, Jean Piaget – a founding father of child psychology – observed something profound about human nature: Our sense of ownership emerges incredibly early. But why do we become so attached to things? Christian Jarrett details the psychology of ownership.