Everything about moving can be painful. For me, one of the hardest parts has been the sorting. Going through things drawer by drawer and shelf by shelf. Deciding what goes, what should be given away, what should hit the dumpster. The decisions are hard, and some of them bring regret. Why didn't I do this kind of sorting more often? Why didn't I give that dress away while it was still in style, or keep up with those people in the pictures I haven't put into albums yet, or mail that birthday card? Why didn't I use this cake mix before the 2010 expiration date?
On top of that there are unanswerable questions: will I need this? How many sleeveless tops are necessary in Minnesota? (Do people my age even go sleeveless in Minnesota's more moderate summers?) Will this dish drainer fit my new sink? Is this sweater too hopelessly out of style to go? How much cabinet space will there be in the new bathroom?
Into my over-thinking, inefficient sorting rode my friends. God bless them all!!! Some of them made short work of my sorting crises: "It doesn't amount to a shoe-box full of difference. Just pack it." Or, "If you haven't worn it in the last year, let it go." Or, "It really doesn't matter. Replacing your dish drainer will cost next to nothing." I am so grateful for all their patient and good-natured help and encouragement.
My friends sorted themselves out by their best gifts: sorting, packing, cleaning, running errands, reminding, making custom boxes, deconstructing modular furniture, feeding, housing once the beds were taken apart, distracting and entertaining, gathering groups together to mark my transition, crying with me, and taking care of things that couldn't be accomplished until after I was out of the apartment. I needed all of them and all their gifts because sorting, packing, and asking for help are all missing from my arsenal.
Today they are all in a box in my heart marked BELOVED. And none of them will be discarded!