What’s a Packing Party?
Don’t take my word for this idea, definitely check out the Minimalists’ essay on Packing Parties. They really deserve the credit. Here’s the unaltered concept: act as if you were moving to a new place. Pack everything you own into boxes. Add the word party to the end, so you’ll have more fun. Later on, If you need to use something you’ve packed, go get it out of the box. After “x” days, whatever is left in the box is offered to friends, sold, or is off to a charity.
This might seem overwhelming. You’re probably picturing a mountain of boxes, disorganization, and frustration from constant searching. To make this manageable, I’m going to pick a room in our house. For example, I’m going to choose our kitchen. If that’s still a challenge, pick a spot at a time, whether it be a drawer, shelf, cabinet, even a closet. We have a variety of things that have moved across the state, dating back to our college days before we lived together. Our kitchen seems in some areas organized, other parts, it’s a mish-mash of everything.
This is only the beginning. Pictured: most of the kitchen (ran out of boxes), beginning of Blu’s clothes. I didn’t pack dishes into the suitcase. What do you think I am, some kind of monster?!
So now it’s all going into boxes. As I need something, I’m going to take it out of the box. My friend Sam mentioned this morning, “wouldn’t you deliberately find reasons to go into your packed boxes and use a lot of those things, so you could justify keeping them?” That’s a great angle I hadn’t considered. Our brains are stubborn, resistant organs. The answer will be no. I’m not holding on to anything just in case. If something is so niche, so specific, that it doesn’t get regular use, it’s going in the box, we probably don’t need it. Likely, it won’t emerge during this span of time.
Our silverware drawer after the end of the weekend. Starting to look better!
We cook pretty regularly at home, so if you’re worried that we’ll be left with is a few dishes, pots and pans, a spatula, maybe some containers, don’t be. What we use most regularly is slowly making its way back into our cabinets and drawers. However, what isn’t boxed up will be very minimal — a mixer that was a loving gift from my mother, which gets plenty of use, and some homemade pieces that my wife made. We’re being pretty strict about this. My wife came in and saw me packing and said, “you can’t get rid of that pitcher, it’s the only one we have!” Her next sentence was a quick realization that we haven’t made juice in it for several years. Nope. In the box.
It probably should be said: if this is something you’re doing and you live with a partner, you should probably do this in consultation and be on the same page. Set some ground rules. It might also differ if you have children at home, dependent on their age. Maybe it won’t. It’s helpful to know your own biases and attachments. We all have differing thresholds of sentimentality. We decided just to box things up and see where that leads.
Have you tried similar strategies? I’ll be exploring more strategies of ridding ourselves of stuff bogging us down, such as clothing, hobby-related belongings, and so on. Stay tuned tomorrow, where I’ll jump into some of the stuff I’ve been doing to clear my mind.
With Kind Regards,