Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sorting out my possessions: the storage container condundrum

Storage container

I am bad: look at my lovely Michael Teperson bag in its lilac dustcover just flung on top of Godknowswhat, my Pierre Hardy gladiators just peeking out, squished beneath a Liberty shoe bag. This, I must admit, is the condition of the New York storage container I had back in March, just before I left for California.

The container was too small to allow me to pull cases out to repack them each time I dropped by, so I just lobbed stuff in there as I moved out of my apartment. When I got back, I hauled it all out and moved to a unit with shelves so I could at least get stuff in and out.

I braved the storage facility yesterday and, after a four hour forage, I managed to retrieve a capsule winter wardrobe. I also managed not to drop anything on me this time, which is A Good Thing, as I am still nursing an unhealed hairline fracture above my ankle from the beginning of August when a crate came crashing down from on high

I do feel daunted when I go in there: it's a small sized room with a shelving unit, and it's at least three quarters full. Where did all this stuff come from? I lived in my own home in London for eight years and have those contents in storage over there. How can I have so much here?

Most importantly, over the course of a year will I have paid more than the contents are worth to store them?

But then I started rationally examining everything and it's not quite as bad as it seems. I've avoided buying any big ticket furniture over here, and much of the stuff has come from England gradually over the past 2.5yrs, so it's not as though it's all duplicates of things I already owned.

And, once you discount the huge case & garbage bag that contain towels, linen, duvet & pillows, the very large box of kitchen equipment, wellies, the floor length evening gown hanging from the ceiling, the two boxes of beauty stuff via work, approx a hundred coathangers, a stack of Vogues, the printer, my wine, a crate of cables & wiring, books, and a few large lamps, mirrors & fans, very little of what is left is what I would class as miscellaneous crap. Of which I usually have a lot. In fact, this time, I only seem to have one small box of it.

Pleasingly, I have also filled an enormous case with clothes, books & shoes for The Salvation Army, and a trashbag with knackered old shoes. The former because no one needs to keep airport novels or clothes they are too old or fat for, & the latter because it occurred to me that I really am too old to wear shoes once the heels have broken down, or the toes become scuffed beyond repair, just because they are comfy, designer or gorgeous. Or a combination of all three.

Maybe I am finally shedding my squirrel tendencies.