So much is exciting about moving to a new location. There are new living spaces to decorate, new restaurants to sample, and new hikes, runs, and rides to reconnoiter. It’s a clean slate, it’s starting fresh, it’s a new beginning. Or is it?
When we moved to Germany, we only brought with us five suitcases. Of course we had to buy furniture, a person must sleep on something besides the floor. And we had to buy things used to cook and eat with. But these are all things we could easily dispose of in case of a quick exit. Over the years however we took empty suitcases to the US and brought them back full of our favorite things: artwork, cookbooks, books. An English teacher cannot be separated from her Norton Anthologies for too long or she loses her special powers.
Yet somehow those five suitcases multiplied into a crazy assortment of clothes, appliances, housewares, paintings, furniture, toys, books, and stuffed animals. We were always careful not to accumulate vast amounts of things, after all, you can only fit so much into an 80 sq meter apartment with very little storage space. So how did this happen?
By moving you become acutely aware of how much stuff you actually have. When you are packing it, you desperately look for things you can leave behind. And when you are unpacking it, you chastise yourself for not throwing away more. I think the kitchen closet box will be the last to be unpacked. Why in the world did we keep every power cord, cable, empty Fleischsalat tubby? Well we might discover later, that those things come in handy.
Then there is the problem with where do you put things. Your things fit perfectly into the crevices of your old residence. Now that you are in the new place, you have to find a new nook or cranny to fit your stuff. And as you know, once you put something somewhere, it must stay there. Otherwise you will forever go back to that first place where you put it, only to find that you put it somewhere else.
Although this apartment has a huge amount of storage space, most of it is in hanging closet form. You would think the designers of this apartment thought that the residents would want to get dressed in the hallway every morning. The bidet is in one bathroom with the shower, but the toilet is down the hall in a different bathroom. So if I am in need of the bidet, I must walk with my trousers around my ankles, down the hallway and around the corner, to get my backside all tidied up. The one butt kitchen will also be hard to get used to, but this will keep me out of the kitchen and out of my husband’s way.
The moral of this story is of course…don’t buy stuff! And if you do buy stuff, you must be willing to take on the responsibility of owning said stuff. You will at sometime in the future have to:
-throw it away
-decide where it goes
Or even possibly:
-go to Ikea to buy more stuff to put all of your stuff in
Categories: Living and Working in Germany