Confessions of a Reluctant Unpacker

I’ve shared some of my “issues” before, but here’s the one I feel worst about. I truly hate unpacking. From trips to big moves, I hate it all. The reasons are not clear to me. But I have only a certain amount of unpacking energy that has to be used quickly before it goes away for months or years.

Yay! More Mom embroidery! We know where it will go.

I got a good burst shortly after we moved into the Bobcat Lair, and it was really draining. I had to give myself rewards to keep going. Having to fold every single box into a flat shape and smooth out all the paper so it could be recycled was the worst. We made so many trips to Goodwill and recycling, ugh.

I’ve had this pig my whole life. It has eyebrows. I love it’s face.

So, some stuff that wasn’t mandatory did not get unpacked, such as boxes from the bedrooms and the boxes full of knitting magazines since 1980. They all ended up stacked neatly in the garage, for “later.”

This pig weighs a ton. Also can’t remember not having it.

Some boxes that I thought belonged to my son went in our underground “dirt room.” Sounds good, but Anita discovered a few months ago that moisture was seeping in and messing up the boxes. She dragged them out and put them in our unfinished wine cellar. And there they sat.

Yay, Mom’s old mirror. We’re gonna put it in the wine room.

We couldn’t even get to our wine fridge or liquor. Don’t worry, we bought more. And so it sat. I promised Anita I’d get my unpacking mojo eventually.

Eventually arrives

Who knows what happened. Maybe the full moon, maybe the dog days of summer, or maybe I felt so good that my anxiety spell had passed that I got manic…who knows?

It doesn’t fit my style, but I always loved this porcelain lady with a lace dress. And I’ve managed to not break it. I told my grandmother I’d be careful with it.

Actually, I think I know what happened. Recently Anita shocked me by announcing she was going to stop storing masses of recycling in the garage and taking it to our very unpleasant recycling facility.

What?? My HORSIES. My favorite childhood toys. My grandfather gave me most of them when I was very little. I sure took good care of them. I always wanted horses! The big one my Dad gave me.

You see, our quaint little enclave doesn’t have recycling like the rest of Austin, which is a long story I have no inclination to tell.

I’m repairing her. Can’t throw away the buckskin.

So, we’re just using the trash dudes (we keep reading that so much recycling goes into landfills anyway). That meant suddenly I could walk in the garage!

And suddenly I could get to the boxes in there. It was my turn to shock Anita when last night, I announced I’d brought in some boxes to unpack.

Such a sweet photo to remember Declan’s rattail and his love of my dad.

And I did! And we wadded up packing paper to throw it away. It felt like Christmas. Who cares that it was the hottest day of the year! We found mirrors, Mom art, and more!

Thank goodness Declan wants this. I framed it. What a good mom.

I have stuff to take to the ranch and some stuff for Declan, too.

But wait

Yes. I had promised to do something about the moldy boxes so we can finish the wine room. Today I still had my mojo, though, and hooray, we did it! I found a couple boxes that were mine, and aww, I found the beloved childhood treasures in these photos. I also found the children’s books I was saving for grandchildren. These all have a bookshelf to go on already.

Here are many green dessert glasses and pictures of Declan.

Other stuff went out or is going to Goodwill. And before we put anything back in the dirt room, we put in a plastic moisture barrier. We think Declan’s stuff and the knitting boxes I just didn’t have the energy to go through yet will now be fine.


I still have energy to keep working on the garage boxes with a goal of a neat, organized space in August. I’m proud of myself for doing my least favorite thing. I’m always happy when it’s DONE!

Goodbye mess!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

2 thoughts on “Confessions of a Reluctant Unpacker”

  1. Woo-hoo! Congrats to you! I cleaned my bedroom closet and got the “unfinished wood and closed up” smell out of it. That was satisfying!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So amused to see my name on a book spine on the far right of the photo of the black pig! And the Breyer horses. I owned about 40 of them in my childhood. I used to save my allowance up and buy them. I have hauled them all over the country. My kids weren’t really interested, but they’ve been loaned out to two daughters of friends for several years at a time, and now my granddaughter has decided she loves them. She took some back to Wales with her this spring and more are getting mailed to her. Some of the Breyer horses are quite valuable to true collectors. Mine are all worn and scuffed and several have broken legs. But still!!! I also don’t like to unpack, and many boxes from Texas sat in our basement in Delaware for 18 years before getting unpacked and then the contents tossed.

    Liked by 1 person

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