My Life in Boxes

Once again my life is in boxes. I’m drawing great comfort from writing lists – lists of things I have to buy, clean, pack, replace.

I’m going to try to sell some of my things at a car boot sale. It’s the middle of summer but I’m picturing myself wearing fingerless gloves and clutching a thermos of tea. I want to make sure that my belongings go to good homes this time.

Just before I left Switzerland my dad came to help me clear out my flat. We took everything that we could carry to a refuse tram at the end of the line. I threw all my crockery into a skip. Chairs and books and glasses too. I had a little chest of drawers on wheels. Those wheels were fine for moving it around the parquet flooring in the flat but it turned out they were not designed for road use. Half way to the tram stop they broke off. We carried it the rest of the way between us. When the tram came, I got on with a couple of chairs. As my dad lifted up the chest, all the drawers fell out onto the ground. The doors closed and the tram rolled away, leaving my dad standing alone on the pavement with a little pile of wood at his feet.

Less than a week before I had to leave and I still hadn’t found anyone willing to take the bed or the sofa. I managed to find someone who wanted the television and the TV table. He hired a car to pick them up and I convinced him to ferry me to the dump with the rest of my furniture. The bed wouldn’t fit in the car so we stamped out the slats and smashed the wooden frame to pieces on the street.

The whole thing was such a waste. I remember sitting stunned on the terrace in Spain with my one suitcase of belongings by my side, saying “it’s just stuff.”

But it was my stuff, and I regret wasting it, which is why this time I’m doing it differently.

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8 thoughts on “My Life in Boxes

  1. Awe. Poor you. It’s so unsettling moving house – whether it be over country boundaries or just down the road. Baring furniture is like baring your bones in the street. Take care of you and good luck with your move – onward to new adventures!

    • Thank you, Laura. Clearing out can be quite therapeutic. This time I’m being careful not to throw too much away.

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