BOXED IN : A Haunting Story about Cardboard Containers and Procrastination

*cue spooky sounds*

 

There once was a girl who lived in an apartment building…

Many a year was spent dwelling within the safety of it’s walls, enjoying the noncommittal furniture and the complimentary hot water, tolerating the kitchen cabinet that just WOULD NOT CLOSE.

But alas, the time came for her to gather her belongings and set off on a perilous journey toanother apartment building.

There were warning signs for this: a written notice, a signed lease, the ever-turning pages of her countdown calendar; but the girl was foolish, she did not heed these warnings.

The days slipped by, her inevitable demise looming in the distance. She tried to deny it at first. 

“That pile of clothes I’m supposed to donate certainly isn’t THAT large,” she’d assure herself. “I will have plenty of time to organize my closet and pack up my books.”

She was, of course, entirely wrong.

*end spooky sounds*

 

So, I moved out of my old place recently.

“Big deal,” you’re probably thinking. “Everybody moves, get over it.”

Well, Judgey, you’re right. Lots of people move. They put everything they own into boxes then move those boxes from one bigger box to another, newer, hopefully slightly nicer box.

BOX.

The kicker here, is that this usually happens over the course of a weekend, maybe for some poor, unfortunate souls, even in a 24-hour period.

As horrid and sweaty and awful as those move-out scenarios are, they are standard. This story, however, is not of the ordinary variety. For you see, I finished moving out last week, but I have not lived in my old place for over 2 months.

That’s right. You read that correctly. TWO MONTHS. Allow me to explain…

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Actually, the explanation isn’t all that exciting either.

“So then why are you telling us this sto-“

BECAUSE, JUDGEY, it’s therapeutic. Ok? That’s why. Long story short, large property management companies suck. Majorly. They are suck-tastic.

They do not, however, suck at their jobs when it comes to making obscene amounts of money in ridiculous and immensely irritating ways. Herein lies the reason my former roommates and I were tied to our old place for an extra month, even though we weren’t living there anymore. But I digress…

My frustration, paired with my natural aversion to moving things in boxes (backpacks and duffle bags are acceptable, just not freaking boxes) is what really sealed my fate.

I had an extra month, right? That meant I could move only the essentials into my new, clean, organized living space and then I could sort/donate/downsize the rest of my junk. Start fresh. Right?

Nope. So much nope. All of the nope.

See below for a pathetically accurate portrayal of my sort/donate/downsize “process.”

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For a month and a half (plus like, ten more days after that) I was Ariel. I was so Ariel it was insane. Then, when I realized I only had like, 48 hours to move ALL OF THE THINGS that I hadn’t dealt with yet out of one box and into my new box, only then, did I embrace my inner Grumpy Cat. Trust me, friends, it was much, much too late.

This resulted in a few things, none of which I am proud of:

1.) Not sleeping for 46.5 of the 48 hour move-out period.

I wish I was joking. I reeeeeeaaaally do. I’m not. In my procrasitnator’s regret/panic session, I held onto consciousness much longer than any reasonable person ever should. Ever. Kids, don’t try this at home (or ever…because, you know, sleep is good for kids or whatever).

On an unrelated note, thank you God, for coffee and discount energy drinks, oh and for not letting my heart explode. Much appreciated.

2.) I can now add “bed-frame and mattress dismemberment” to my list of special skills.

“Dismemberment” probably sounds like an exaggeration. It’s not. Fun fact: 9 out of 10 building managers (or the corporate offices they’ve sold their souls to) are really good at charging tenants for nonsensical things like  “landscape beautification” (the manager planting a garden out front), or “hallway repairs” (vacuuming) or, in my case “excess waste removal” (charging $200.00 to remove a broken, twin-sized bed frame from a row of industrial dumpsters).

I spoke with my financial advisors (my piggy bank and my pile of student loans). The consensus was that I did not, in fact, have $200.00 in the budget for garbage. Who knew?

As I sat there staring at the old, lumpy mattress and the beat up, particle board that defied physics and supported said mattress, I found myself growing a bit nostalgic…

Just kidding. I tore it to shreds. No really, shreds.

See, part of the “we will charge you for this” section in my lease demanded that there were “no excess items or pieces of furniture” sitting next to the dumpsters. My reaction?

“Challenge accepted.”

So, after taking the frame apart piece by piece, I also dismembered the actual mattress – a process which I sincerely hope none of you ever find yourselves in.

May God have mercy on your fuzz-covered souls if you do.

If you’ve never found yourself in a sketchy alley at 4 AM, covered in mattress fuzz, dragging garbage bags full of shredded fabric and bits of particle board to miscellaneous dumpsters like a Criminal Minds villain, you have yet to reach your darkest potential.

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This predicament was a new one for me, and I am rather familiar with predicaments. I am  not proud, but I was victorious.

The remnants of what was once my bedroom have been scattered throughout the city. I will never reveal their location. In my overtired (verging on delusional) state, I found myself laughing about it on my way back home that morning.

“Bed? What bed? There was never a bed.”

3.) Trading my sentimental soul for one that purges her life of everything but books and clothes.

I don’t think I’ve ever despised things as much as I despised the things I threw (quite forcefully) into boxes and abandoned in the Goodwill drop box at 1 AM.

They weren’t bad things. It wasn’t their fault they had accumulated in every corner, empty cabinet and dresser drawer in sight over the course of two years. It wasn’t their fault they hadn’t been dealt with sooner.

I hated them anyway.

Surely, they will bring someone else some happiness. They will find themselves useful once more. They will serve some wonderful purpose in someone’s life. That life will most definitely NOT be mine.

***

There are surely a few other things I shouldn’t be proud of, but let’s not go there. I’ve got to keep SOME mystery alive in this relationship we have here.

On an entirely happier note, I’d like to send out some thank yous. Mostly, to my two former room mates, who worked with me to clean our old place so thoroughly that they could open a freaking hospital in it.

Also, thank you to the friend that stopped by during the height of my hysteria to adopt some larger pieces of furniture. Please don’t underestimate how momentous this was. Not only did she take things (which as you may have heard, I hate) away from me so I wouldn’t have to dismember them, she also talked to me like I was a human even though I probably resembled some angrier version of the Tasmanian Devil that was covered in sweat and mattress fluff. Also, she hasn’t run screaming from my life since then. In short, she’s a saint. Someone get this girl a medal.

Finally, and this last one isn’t really a thank you so much as it is an “I’m sorry,” but to the random guy that just wanted to go on leisurely bike ride at 5AM that morning and ran into my deranged self in an alley instead, well, thanks for not calling the cops.

 

***

I probably didn’t need to tell you about all of this, but it just isn’t healthy to keep these things boxed in (ha! see what I did there?)

Friends, if you’ve taken anything away from this, hopefully it is that you should not, under any circumstances, do as I do. Also, if you ever need help tearing furniture apart at three in the morning, you know who to call – someone else.