Junk shelves, random boxes, and “to do” lists are subtle ways to keep us organized by deferring the eventualities of cleaning. If pursuing perfection paralyzes progress, getting around to completing these cleaning tasks should just be a matter of time and interest, right? Throughout my moving process, I’ve discarded anything that doesn’t enrich my life, with some lingering questions: How many of this item’s collection do I want to keep? All or none? Maybe one?
Now is not the time for these ponderings.
I’m not a fan of boxes of random things and I know these boxes of random toys will be nearly impossible to sift through casually, but the immediate need is to store rather than sort. These are all items I find valuable enough to want to keep for at least one more move iteration, but not valuable enough, per se, to spend the time to casually catalog. There’s a Pokémon toy or two in there, but how many do I want to keep in the next place? And the place after that?
Those sorts of far-reaching, future-predicting questions delay progress.
It’s good to keep in mind that my next apartment won’t be my last apartment, so my focus should be on maintaining a certain degree of order. The problem is I thrive on a certain degree of chaos. Chaos is fun, challenging, and rewarding. So, as I’ve been sifting through my collections, I’ve been placing toys in one of two large boxes:
- These random boxes that are just full of anything.
- The more carefully curated boxes, which will be easier to sort through later.
Let’s take Masters of the Universe as an example.
I’m keeping all the MOTU toys roughly together, and roughly listing which box they’ll be in for the next 6 months to 2 years, because that way when I eventually rewatch MOTU, let’s say I stop caring about the series. If I know I have toys in say boxes #1 and #3, then I can more easily gather up everything and sell what I don’t want.
That’s the ideal, but it takes more time.
If I don’t have that many Pokémon toys, it’s easier to just throw everything in a random box to make short-term progress, and the amount of time investment I’ll have later on will be less as well because I probably didn’t have that many anyways.
Here’s where the broader applicability of that comes into play:
In life, we often spend too much time spinning our wheels on developing certain processes for one-off situations. Pursuing perfection paralyzes progress. Last night, I bagged and boxed up a small batch of MOTU toys I found, after I already sorted through a majority of my MOTU collection. In the past, I would have went back to that other box and put everything all together. No point, in part because that box is already in storage, so instead I should keep some semblance of order within the more-organized boxes.
The random boxes will just be a long-term “to do.”
|Sources: My moving experiences.|
|Inspirations: I’m spending less time writing so I can spend more time moving. I spent nearly the entire day yesterday purging items from my wardrobe then came up with this two-box system. I had the one box but progress was slow because when you have large collections of things, you tend to mull over the intricacies, conditions, and qualities of certain items. By the time this essay hits publication, I should already either be moved or have my late-stage plans to move out, which wouldn’t be possible if I were spending hours deciding whether I liked the condition of a certain action figure or, honestly, writing fiction. That, I can defer.|
|Related: Other Moving Zeal essays.|
|Photo: A box halfway full labeled “ZTRA1” for “Zeal, Toys, Random.”|
|Written On: November 30th [27 minutes]|
|Last Edited: November 30th [15-some minutes] – The first draft was a mess. This final draft isn’t much better, but at least there is more clarity about the need for a clutter box and a de-cluttered box.|