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Organized Packing: Ignorance is Bliss

I started packing yesterday. I’ve been dreading those first boxes for a while now, knowing that as soon as I opened the first one and began filling it with the bits and pieces of our lives that have collected in the corners of this little rental house over the past two and a half years, chaos would become the permanent guest until someday in the far future. ‘Chaos’ and ‘far future’ may not be quite right, but that’s a little what it feels like. ‘Unrest’ might be better and ‘near future’ is hopefully more accurate.

I will not start earning a paycheck in my new job until I start teaching this fall. And because Mark does not yet have a job lined up in Minnesota, we don’t really know how soon we’ll have a source of income once we sever ties with our current jobs. Two and a half years ago, when we were in a similar situation, the stress nearly sent me through the roof. Mark nearly sent me off to the loony bin. (Or if he didn’t consider that option, he probably should have.) I am pleased and pleasantly surprised that this time around, though I am mildly concerned about our source of income for the next few months, an overwhelming sense that God will provide pervades my heart and mind.

We’ll see how I feel in a month when income really does stop. I may be eating my words.

Mark’s sister and brother-in-law and their two adorable kiddos are coming to visit us this weekend. They graciously offered to bring a trailer down to cart a load of stuff back up to Mark’s parents’ house, where the majority of our stuff will be stored for the time being. I’m so thankful for Mark’s parents, who are allowing us to take over their basement with our accumulation of earthly junk. And I’m so thankful for my parents, who are allowing us to take over their basement with our…selves.

But…. (I heave a huge sigh here.) I’m not super excited about being homeless and out of control of my stuff and home for some undefined period of time. For one thing, I will not be excited about the excessive amounts of hamburger meat that I’ll find at my parents’ house and I’m sure they won’t be excited about sugarless baked oatmeal for breakfast. For another thing, it’s simply disorienting and confusing to not have a home for a lengthy period of time. Mark and I managed to do it once before: we packed up all our earthly possessions except for the few we’d need and put everything into storage for three months. (Mark’s parents were gracious enough to give their basement over to our stuff then too, I might add.)

Even as organized as I thought I was last time we had to pack up, we still managed to permanently displace half of our hand towels and washcloths (which, since we only had four sets, left us critically short of towels to offer guests). And I still shudder to remember needing that one item and trying to rummage through the mounds of boxes in search. And all that despite my numbered and color-coded system.


So, this time, I’m prepared. We are not only going to be numbered and color-coded again, but I’ve made a spreadsheet. A colored, numbered spreadsheet. Disorder and chaos will quake in their boots when they see this spreadsheet.

Control is a funny, tantalizing thing. All this ‘organizing’ of our packing and this spreadsheet might just be a way for me to feel like I’m in control in this stage of upheaval in our lives.

But I’m not going to analyze it too far. Organizing and color-coding my boxes makes me feel like I’m in control. Ignorance is bliss!

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