Gut Rumbles

July 19, 2003


When I moved out of my parent's house to live on my own, I hauled everything I took with me in the back seat of a 1968 Javelin. When I moved to Athens a couple of years later, I hauled everything in the same car. It took two trips to bring everything back a year and a half later.

When I moved out of my apartment in Savannah two years later, three friends with pickup trucks were needed to haul all the crap I had accumulated. I got married, got divorced and left that house with some clothes, a stereo and a 1964 Martin D-28 guitar.

I was right back where I started. I could haul all of my shit in one trip.

I met the BC and we bought a home together. We moved everything from her place to the new abode in one trip with a small Ryder rent-a-truck. Two years later, we moved to Effingham and I made TWO trips in a 28' U-Haul to transfer all of our belongings.

When we sold that house and moved to the mini-farm, we hired professionals to do the heavy lifting. It was just too much to handle by ourselves. By then, we had a lot of shit that wouldn't fit in the bed of a pickup truck.

I got divorced again and moved into the Crackerbox with two pickup loads of stuff, some of which remains unpacked in boxes in the garage. I was damn near back where I started again. I had to buy $4,000 worth of furniture and appliances just to make the place barely civilized.

Now I don't have room for all of the shit I have accumulated since then. How the hell does that happen?

All I know is, I never want to move again.


I'm in total agreement! One of my nieces asked me how many places I'd lived in my life, and I counted them up. I spent the first 18 years in one place with my parents, and have spent the last 14 in this house. In between, I lived in at least 13 different places.
We've accumulated so much stuff that frankly, I hope I'm not around for the next move! I spend my days throwing things away, or sorting them for recycling, and I STILL have too many THINGS! I'd like a simpler life.

Posted by: Buffy on July 19, 2003 08:46 AM

It's the same thing as with those clothes hangers; left alone in the closet with the door closed, they BREED. Houses are the same thing, only worse; they have multiple breeding compartments and a large collection of components capable of breeding that use those compartment whilst you are out of the building. With a larger gene pool, the variety of offspring is unbelievable! That's why we use the word "stuff", for it comes with the built-in ability to produce enough "stuff" to "stuff" any container!

Posted by: MommaBear on July 19, 2003 09:15 AM

It's only a little annoyance at first glance, but once you think about the amount of cash that has been wasted in the process of accumulating and then purging belongings, it gets depressing. I was going to clean out my garage today. Maybe it can wait until next week.

Posted by: FilteringCraig on July 19, 2003 12:15 PM

You can't seem to win on this. I've done the ruthless purge prior to a move and I try to keep the book collection size down by donations to the library and selling to the used book store. And what happens!! The half full can of carb cleaner becomes a dire necessity two weeks after you chunked it. A book you used to have that you want to re-read is out of print, etc.,etc., and so on.

Posted by: Toad on July 19, 2003 03:24 PM

If you think that sucks, try moving from one coast to the other. Three times. Oh, the lessons learned and lawsuits filed...

Posted by: Mr. Lion on July 19, 2003 04:38 PM

life would be so much simpler if we just subscribed to George Carlin's diatribe on "stuff"!!

Actually this is just a place for my stuff, ya know? That's all, a little place for my stuff. That's all I want, that's all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know? I can see it on your table, everybody's got a little place for their stuff. This is my stuff, that's your stuff, that'll be his stuff over there.
That's all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That's all your house is: a place to keep your stuff. If you didn't have so much stuff, you wouldn't need a house. You could just walk around all the time. A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it. You can see that when you're taking off in an airplane. You look down, you see everybody's got a little pile of stuff. All the little piles of stuff.

And when you leave your house, you gotta lock it up. Wouldn't want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff. They always take the good stuff. They never bother with that crap you're saving. All they want is the shiny stuff. That's what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get...more stuff! Sometimes you gotta move, gotta get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore.

Did you ever notice when you go to somebody else's house, you never quite feel a hundred percent at home? You know why? No room for your stuff. Somebody else's stuff is all over the goddamn place! And if you stay overnight, unexpectedly, they give you a little bedroom to sleep in. Bedroom they haven't used in about eleven years. Someone died in it, eleven years ago. And they haven't moved any of his stuff! Right next to the bed there's usually a dresser or a bureau of some kind, and there's NO ROOM for your stuff on it. Somebody else's s--- is on the dresser. Have you noticed that their stuff is s--- and your s--- is stuff? God! And you say, "Get that s--- offa there and let me put my stuff down!"

Sometimes you leave your house to go on vacation. And you gotta take some of your stuff with you. Gotta take about two big suitcases full of stuff, when you go on vacation. You gotta take a smaller version of your house. It's the second version of your stuff. And you're gonna fly all the way to Honolulu. Gonna go across the continent, across half an ocean to Honolulu. You get down to the hotel room in Honolulu and you open up your suitcase and you put away all your stuff. "Here's a place here, put a little bit of stuff there, put some stuff here, put some stuff--you put your stuff there, I'll put some stuff--here's another place for stuff, look at this, I'll put some stuff here..." And even though you're far away from home, you start to get used to it, you start to feel okay, because after all, you do have some of your stuff with you.

That's when your friend calls up from Maui, and says, "Hey, why don'tchya come over to Maui for the weekend and spend a couple of nights over here." Oh, no! Now what do I pack? Right, you've gotta pack an even SMALLER version of your stuff. The third version of your house. Just enough stuff to take to Maui for a coupla days. You get over to Maui--I mean you're really getting extended now, when you think about it. You got stuff ALL the way back on the mainland, you got stuff on another island, you got stuff on this island. I mean, supply lines are getting longer and harder to maintain.

You get over to your friend's house on Maui and he gives you a little place to sleep, a little bed right next to his windowsill or something. You put some of your stuff up there. You put your stuff up there. You got your Visine, you got your nail clippers, and you put everything up. It takes about an hour and a half, but after a while you finally feel okay, say, "All right, I got my nail clippers, I must be okay." That's when your friend says, "Aaaaay, I think tonight we'll go over the other side of the island, visit a pal of mine and maybe stay over." Aww, no. NOW what do you pack? Right--you gotta pack an even SMALLER version of your stuff. The fourth version of your house. Only the stuff you know you're gonna need. Money, keys, comb, wallet, lighter, hanky, pen, smokes, rubbers and change. Well, only the stuff you HOPE you're gonna need.

Posted by: Cyn on July 19, 2003 04:39 PM

After 11 years in the Army, if it hasn't been used in a year or so it gets dumped...Its amazing the level of crap one accumulates.....

Posted by: lip on July 19, 2003 06:39 PM

I'm with Lip. I move alot. We had a yard sale the last time and got rid of all our useless shit. Made a grand. Less shit, more space, and a grand in our pocket. I'm going to do this every time we move.

Posted by: Gordon the All Knowing and Self Actualized on July 19, 2003 08:53 PM

*Sigh*. I's just a packrat, I guess. The other day, my husband wandered through the house, and came back and said, in an accusatory tone "WHY, exactly, do we have 18 BOOKSHELVES?" "Why, honey, it's because I ain't had a chance to go out and get more!"

Posted by: Swampwoman on July 19, 2003 11:18 PM

Oh, please. We set a record for boxes with the moving company, when we moved from Chicago to Dallas.

650. That was JUST boxes.

Don't talk to me about crap. Home, home office, homeschool and THREE kids worth of crap.

Posted by: Mrs. du Toit on July 19, 2003 11:38 PM

She forgot the guns and ammo, but that's not crap.

Posted by: Kim du Toit on July 20, 2003 12:20 AM

I feel your pain. I feel awfully crowded in my 4 room apartment... and porch... and cellar storage area... and I rent a storage unit and keep some of my stuff at the office!

Posted by: Jay Solo on July 20, 2003 12:32 AM

But, you'll come help me move, right? Pizza and white zin are on me!

Posted by: Da Goddess on July 20, 2003 01:38 AM

Last fall I lost everything in a fire, I was reduced to a couple boxes from the garage, and my grill, and some really ashy burnt stuff I am trying to salvage, it hasn't been a year yet, and I already have more shit than I would ever want to move again, grateful to have too much stuff, but never moving if I can avoid it. It sounds like you have started over a few times, well you ought to be getting good at it, I was settled and enjoying my life when it was gone in an hour, I only wish I had a BC to blame.

PS I love to cook in my well seasoned iron skillet, does anyone have any tips on how to reseason it? I have scrubbed it for months but the silt ash, whaever you call it is still stong, maybe it's time to throw it out and get a new one?

Posted by: SASSY on July 20, 2003 02:05 AM

The last time I moved was just a year ago. I didn't have any furniture besides my bed and a dresser. Most of my boxes were books. I had 25 boxes with just books!

All my clothes, kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff and music fit into 5 boxes total.

I still don't have a couch or a dining room table, don't know that I ever will but I did actually go out and buy a desk and chair for the computer area.

I guess I've learned from moving so much that I don't really need all that crap....unless it's books.

Posted by: serenity on July 20, 2003 07:10 AM

Stuff? I live in a 13 room house...bigggg house! And I have "stuff" in every drawer, closet, cubby hole and attic!!! I have first edition books in the attic that I can't even get to because of all the "stuff" piled in front of them! If I could ever get to the "stuff" and organize for a yard sale, I could retire to the south of France!!!

Posted by: Barbara on July 20, 2003 07:43 AM

Sassy wrote: "PS I love to cook in my well seasoned iron skillet, does anyone have any tips on how to reseason it?"

The first thing is to completely un-season it.

WARNING: "Half the time I don't know what I'm talking about. And I don't know which half."

In order to un-season it, you ~might~ try putting in in the oven on self clean mode. This'll burn off the oils and much of the carbon that make a seasoned skillet such a joy.

Then, you'd have to re-season it. Sounds like it'd be easier to retire the thing and start fresh.

Posted by: Jim Gwyn on July 20, 2003 09:55 PM

There is no end to the adventures we can have if we seek them with our eyes wide open.

Posted by: Cleary Jackie on May 3, 2004 02:38 PM
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