July 30, 2007

The Problem With Stuff

The problem with having stuff is that, at some point, you'll have to move said stuff. And moving that stuff requires an obscene amount of boxes, newspapers, tape and, if you're going to get all fancy, bubblewrap. Not to mention good old hard labor. Our problem? We have lots of stuff.

It's officially t-minus twelve days and counting until our great big move. It's under control although it looks as though a gigantic UPS truck exploded in our house (look what brow did for us). Throughout the process so far, I've been surprised and embarrassed by some of the crazy shit we've seen. How did we come to own this stuff? I'm not sure.

  • 4,205 coffee mugs, including several which display advertisements from the late 1800s and look as if they were made and used when the ads were still in circulation. Also, insanely large Marvin The Martian and Tweety mugs;
  • Cell phones. Not just one or two old cell phones but cell phones out the wazoo (somewhat painful, as you can imagine);
  • At least four dozen wine glasses. I'm sure even hardcore, wine-drinking alcoholics don't have quite that many wine glasses;
  • Inappropriate cookbooks. Given that we're vegetarians, it's somewhat perplexing that we had a copy of One Gazillion Ways to Cook Chicken and Pig Ass: 101 Recipes With Bacon. Okay, okay, so these aren't real titles but you catch my drift, no?
  • Three copies of Tropic Of Cancer and four copies of The Hobbit. I've read neither, nor do I care to;
  • A beeper from a job I had ten years ago;
  • A copy of the 2002 issue of Playboy featuring Tiffany (I'm a lech);
  • Kodak's first mainstream digital camera, circa 1996;
  • Enough computer cables to circle the globe seventy two times;
  • VHS copies of It Came From Outer Space, Teenagers from Outer Space, The Monster from 20,000 Feet, Destination Moon, This Island Earth, and Debbie Does Dallas. One of these is not like the other...;
  • A yearbook from a school neither Beth nor I attended; and
  • A box of remote controls to things we no longer own.

This, of course, begs some inevitable questions for you. What's the oddest thing you've stumbled on one day that you can't quite believe you own? What one thing are you most embarrassed or secretive about the fact that you own?

Come on. Answer. It'll be fun.

Posted by Chris at July 30, 2007 6:26 AM

I have "The Exotic Bakers Cookbook", which I bought at a used bookstore, which kind of squicks me out even more now that I think about that.

Posted by: Jessie at July 30, 2007 7:57 AM

Someone gave us the ugliest Santa Claus statue ever, many Christmas's ago. I keep thinking that I will re-gift with it but then can never bring myself to give this horribly nasty thing to anyone.

Posted by: Debbie at July 30, 2007 8:09 AM

ok. i'm not a commenter usually, but I had to pipe in.

Last weekend I cleaned out the 2nd closet in our room. We don't use, we open the door, we toss stuff in (literally) and then let the mountain of stuff push the door closed. So you can imagine the chaos that was ensuing inside. Part of the reason why I never clean it out is because we always hide birthday/x-mas presents in there, and you never know what you're going to find RIGHT when the kids are peeking over your shoulder.

In it, I found a box with an unopened ovulation test, an opened but 1 stick still unused pregnancy test, and a box of condoms. Also in the box, Harry Potter books on tape.

Posted by: raine at July 30, 2007 8:35 AM

Madonna's "Sex" book, which was given to me by a roomate. Now that I have kids, I can't quite leave it out as a coffee table book although after reading through it again, I can't see why I ever thought it was a cool thing to own.

Posted by: Wack-a-do at July 30, 2007 8:41 AM

It was not Debbie Does Dallas, it was Orgy House Party. Perv.

Posted by: Mrs. Cactus at July 30, 2007 9:00 AM

of all the ridiculous stuff i own, the one thing that i worry about should i meet an untimely death is people finding my penthouse letters books. yes, plural. eh. what can i say? extremely cheesy, good for laughs, but also, well, useful at times. i'm doing a bit of packing myself as you may know and i think i've decided it's time to get rid of the books. amazing what you'll finally get rid of when faced with the "do i really want to pay to haul this 3,000 miles?" not surprising, the answer is usually a definitive no.

Posted by: patricia at July 30, 2007 9:18 AM

You just would not believe the clothes I have that I haven't worn in years. I donate and donate, but I think there is a weird thing happening in the attic where the clothes are just multiplying by themselves. I just wish they multiplied in my size and a better style.

Posted by: Maribeth at July 30, 2007 9:20 AM

Timecop on VHS. I just saw it in the basement this weekend... and this is POST-MOVE. I watched it once. In the 90s.

I think you'll find that somewhere near the end of packing, it's preferable to adopt the attitude of "I dont fucking care where it goes or whether we still want it. Put it in the closest box and let's get the hell out of here."

Posted by: Brad at July 30, 2007 9:23 AM

We're moving the same day as you guys to our new house and we've already freecycled 3 boxes full of crap. Insane.

Posted by: Much More Than A Mom at July 30, 2007 9:49 AM

I feel your pain.

But I have to ask... Tiffany? Over the Debbie (um, I mean Deborah) Gibson spread? Really?

Posted by: mingaling at July 30, 2007 10:11 AM

We had one of the first video disc machines - you know, the ones where the disk was the size of an old LP Album. (C'mon, you aren't THAT young, are ya?) Well, the machine died years ago, but when we moved 3 years ago I found... (drumroll) ...all 20 movies we actually bought for the video disc machine. yeah. Wish I had that money back.

Posted by: sue at July 30, 2007 10:38 AM

Well, I found an old VHS tape of Olympic figure skating, but nothing *really* weird so far. We've been moving all weekend, and still have today and tomorrow to go! Whee! :P

Posted by: Heather at July 30, 2007 11:22 AM

I have several boxes full of trophies with little plastic gold rabbits on top. I used to show rabbits and even though these things are hideous and worthless I can't force myself to chunk them in the trash.

Posted by: Travis Erwin at July 30, 2007 11:27 AM

We moved over a year ago and the weird stuff we found was Brandon's snorkel gear. He doesn't know he has it still.

The odd thing is that everything survived the move and accounted for except one item that went mysteriously MIA, my...er...toy.

Posted by: oakley at July 30, 2007 12:25 PM

I can't say I stumbled upon anything odd in our recent move. Okay, I did. A ziplock bag full of Snicker minis...the NFL version! You know, the wrappers were different NFL logos? I have an entire ziplock bag full of Philadelphia Eagles Snickers. It's odd but I know why I've kept them for over two years and I don't plan on throwing them away. Or divulging WHY I have them. Ahem.

Also, send a few of those wine glasses our way. We only have two left and really, drinking wine from coffee mugs isn't very sexy :D

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at July 30, 2007 12:28 PM

dare i say??????? 2 videos..."learning the ropes" vol 1 and 2.........stashed in a bag with a pair of handcuffs...and a few other odds and ends i don't want to mention... i swear the older i get... the more embarrasing it becomes... but... i'm also afraid to put them out on the lawn if you know what i mean... we have "people" who just travel the streets on garbage day... and in my mind, i can't bury them far enough not to be found... i can just picture it... i'm "gone" and they are auctioning of the contents of the "old woman's" house... "and in this bag we have..."

Posted by: the unicorn at July 30, 2007 12:38 PM

The weirdest thing was something that I didn't even know I owned until I moved. I was moving out of an old brownstone that I lived in -- it was one of those way cool places that had floor to ceiling (high ceilings, at that) cupboards. Well, if I stretch then I may break 5'0" so I had never used the top shelves in those cool cupboards but, being a weenie, felt that I had to at least make an attempt to clean them before moving. This is what was up there: 1 gay porn video, 1 roach (of the smoking variety, not the crawling variety) and.....drumroll....an x-ray of some guy's head and neck. Weird, huh?!

Posted by: JamesMommy at July 30, 2007 12:44 PM

Two years ago we went from 4000 sf with a 5-bay garage and full basement to 2000 sf and a barely two-car garage and no attic or basement.

What you're describing sounds like a cakewalk.

Please donate those old phones to a battered women's shelter.

And shut up about my 1974 bikini (hope springs eternal!) and my varsity letters. My heirs will wonder about the strap-on stuff, and I won't care by then.

Posted by: bhd at July 30, 2007 12:55 PM

I think The Professor is in This Island Earth...that one is a keeper.

Posted by: Harrylips at July 30, 2007 1:20 PM

Not me, but my mom told me yesterday that while cleaning out some of her dresser drawers she found a purple bong that she had once confiscated from my brother...like 10 years ago. Why does she still have it is what I'd like to know!

And I don't envy all the books you're going to have to move. They are heavy!

Posted by: laura at July 30, 2007 1:40 PM

I can't say I have found anything more interesting than you described but the cords and remote controls sound VERY familiar to what we found in our last move.

Oh and when we got new carpet in May, I cleaned out a closet and found four Target bags of Halloween candy. Thankfully my husband wasn't home when I found it so I was able to drop it all in the trash without a scuffle over why we didn't really need to keep it all.

Posted by: donna at July 30, 2007 1:44 PM

Let's see...

Well - when we moved into our house, I discovered in the top of my closet in the back a personal massager belonging to the previous tenant. I was officially uncomfortable.

The last time I moved, I didn't find anything odd that I own. I did notice this weekend, that I have a whole lot of cleaning supplies for a girl that has a cleaning service. Like - 4 bottles of 409? Really? When is the last time I 409'd something? It's - literally - been years.

Posted by: Emily at July 30, 2007 1:52 PM

We are right in the middle of moving, too, and we have also found some crazy shit. It's kinda fun.

Posted by: Janet at July 30, 2007 1:58 PM

i need to move - just so i can get rid of all the useless bizarre crap i have hiding in my house.

Posted by: ali at July 30, 2007 2:06 PM

The last time I moved, the weirdest thing I found was the directions for my globe. Who needs directions for using a globe?

Second weirdest, I had an old copy of MS Word. It took up about 30 3.5" disks. I also found other software on 5-1/4" floppies. I pitched most of those.

I also found a box containing pieces of a broken wedding cake topper from my first wedding. I have no idea why I kept it around, considering it never made it onto the cake to begin with.

My VHS copies of Forbidden Planet and The Day the Earth Stood Still? Proudly displayed in my living room. I even still watch them occasionally.

Posted by: Jen at July 30, 2007 2:25 PM

I found a Jim Beam mug FULL of bottle caps -- that my husband won't let me get rid of "because they are from high school." And, an entire duffel bag full of taps (the music kind). Those mysteriously disappeared when we last moved...

Posted by: Audrey at July 30, 2007 3:13 PM

Odd: A gigantic box full of my elementary school workbooks. I'm 40 now, so why do I still have this mess? But now that I have a first-grader, it will be fun to compare notes.

Secretive: probably a little tiny pipe that we used to pack and light and pass around. Hasn't been used in many, many, many years, but it's still there in it's secret spot.

Posted by: Jeff St Real at July 30, 2007 3:57 PM

Spiceworld on VHS.

Posted by: Sphincter at July 30, 2007 4:58 PM

You too...with the remotes. We have hoards of them. I'm not sure why???

We've moved twice in the last 4 years. The first time hubby stored most of his stuff, then we built our house.

We have about 2 full sets of everything, most of which went to the basement or got tossed. (er....I mean, his went to some nice family that really really needed that ugly blue silverware)

I can't recall anything funny, but I did lose the bottom to the thing I hang my iron on and they were boxed together, so I have NO idea how that happened.

Posted by: been there, done that at July 30, 2007 5:57 PM

I'm with you....when we moved, I kept finding single shoes and found a bag of random, hideous socks... working on the other thing... :)

Posted by: Sue R at July 30, 2007 6:38 PM

When we moved into our current house, we got on a an organizational kick and bought this spiffy little labeler thing. We labeled EVERY storage container we had so we knew where it would go. If you walk into our basement right this minute, I am embarrassed that you'll see tubs labeled "rock collection" and "salt and pepper collection." Those are probably the worst of the batch, although I'm sure there are more dandy finds down there as well.

Posted by: angela at July 30, 2007 9:04 PM

Ok, so this begs the question. You haven't lived in that house for ten years or more. Why the HELL do you still have a pager from a job you had ten years ago?

Wait, it's probably the same reason I still have that caboodles full of nail polish and a shower caddy with an old gameboy in it.

Posted by: statia at July 30, 2007 10:43 PM

Moving and packing sucks, but I also find it very freeing. What are you guys going to do with all this random stuff? Have a yard sale?

Posted by: Zandria at July 30, 2007 11:36 PM

I have a box of someone's clothes. Not someone who ever lived with me or someone whose clothes I recognize.
I also have a pair of pjs that I love from someone who is now famous who was just a kid. I got his pjs cause he left them at my house after my sister threw an unauthorized party there. It used to be fine but a little weird that I kept the pjs but now I feel like a stalker.

Posted by: That Girl at July 31, 2007 1:24 AM

Hoop and I spent months packing the house. Then we spent two weeks moving it all. We just got around to unpacking the majority of it. I realized about half way through my 5th box of coffee mugs that we don't need most of the crap we brought. I mean... How often do you use anything more than four or five mugs before you wash them? So we're having a garage sale. I'm calling it a "post-moving sale." Everything must go.

Posted by: Tink at July 31, 2007 1:52 PM

Oh my gosh, the coffee mugs!!! I'm with you. It's just me and my hubby. Why do we need 35 coffee mugs?

We are moving from PA back to TX at the end of August and I am ruthlessly cleaning out. The Salvation Army here is about to have a windfall!

The worst thing about moving is the running around scavenging boxes. What a pain!

Posted by: snakeepoo at July 31, 2007 5:15 PM

Just an addendum to Sparkle Pants' request for some of your wine glasses - we are near constant wine drinkers, and when the glasses are dirty, we drink it out of our regular glasses, which she refers to as our "fine Austrian crystal."

It's not like I can't just go to Target and replace the ones *I* broke. :)

The weirdest thing I found in the move...a left arrow key from the keyboard of the laptop I gave my mom...and a key from a keyboard I replaced four years ago, on the other side of the country. The keyboard I threw away, but evidently that key I just had to hang on to.

I think I've pared down pretty successfully, having moved I think 9 times in the last eight years. I still have a lot of crap, only none of it is... well, okay, most of it is weird, but none of it is weird to ME. OH! Yes! I have a bag full of hair! A bag full of my hair from when it was halfway down my back and I chopped it off.

A bag full of hair. That's my input.

Posted by: A Girl Gone Mad at August 1, 2007 4:00 PM

I'm sure that roomfull of books will be a blast too move. Or not. I'm in the same boat you are, I'm moving in a month. Well not the same, cause you know, I trow out remotes, but you know. ;)

Mine is magazines. People magazines to be exact. I barely read them, but I can't manage to part with about 3 dozen of them. The rest get tossed....but if it was even semi interesting, I keep it. Off to hang my head now...

Posted by: Phoenix at August 1, 2007 8:40 PM

Chris, I totally know what you mean about the whole insane amount of accumulated SHIT!!! We just moved and after our HUGE yard sale, we STILL have to go through and purge the junk again. I will never, never, ever move again!!!

Congrats on the new house though.

Posted by: zanie at August 6, 2007 2:34 PM