Creativity Found In Fresh Starts


Written by Sarah Stone & Photograph by Paige French

Actors are nomads: you follow the work until you're out of work, and then you follow your spouse until you find work again. Rinse and repeat.

I like moving. I like unpacking. I like tucking furniture into corners and hanging pictures on walls. And when all is neat and tidy, I want to Instagram every vignette and sit on the couch and wallow in my good taste.

But you know what I hate? Everything that comes beforehand: the sorting, the purging, the packing. I hate taping up a box wondering if I labeled everything. Is the colander in there? Did I write it on the box? Will I be able to find it in a month?

I never feel organized enough. Everything is chaos. Also, did I ever dust while we lived here?

It's possible that my distain for the pre-moving ritual is more than just a dislike of packing and feeling out of control: I am embarrassed by how many possessions I have – how much stuff I think I need.

Our first move was done with a pickup truck. Our second move demanded two minivans. The third required eight mini-van trips to a storage space. Number four caught us off-guard with the need for a 10x10 moving truck, and this fifth move forced us to use a 10x16 moving truck.

More, more, MORE!

I've moved a lot. I've been through this purge plenty of times. But I always come out on the other end “needing” so much. Yes, I do need a full set of pots and pans. I can't live without three vintage wool blankets. Why should I have to part with my almost-complete Doris Day movie collection?

It's those collections that really get you.

But this pre-moving ritual of sorting, purging, and packing does something I am grateful for: it gives perspective. Sentimentality has a place, but it shouldn't fill ten boxes. I can make do without a food processor. Maybe I should give away those cheap rugs I've had since 2009 (even though the dog loves them). I probably don't need five sets of sheets.

Perspective makes way for a fresh outlook. An uncluttered life. A clean start.

So I will open the windows, put my hair in a topknot, and begin to sort. Because I'm moving in two weeks.