Self-Storage

When I moved to Boston 14 years ago, all my possessions fit in my dad’s car. Yesterday, I moved an apartment’s worth of objects into storage. This feels weird.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about owning things. On the one hand, it would be wonderful to just have a suitcase of items to my name. On the other hand, I like having a comfortable, well-decorated home.

After a year in my first Boston apartment, there was this bizarre period when I moved four times in 16 months. This was disruptive and annoying, but also helped me keep my stuff to a minimum.

Then I started staying longer in the apartments I lived in–two years here, three years there. Most recently, I lived by myself in a one-bedroom apartment for four years. The longer I stayed, the more stuff I accumulated.

I’m a million miles from being a hoarder. But I own furniture now. I own artwork. I own random items like a hot-air popcorn popper.

So when I moved this week into a new roommate arrangement, I put almost all of my stuff into storage. Seeing your home packed into boxes is always weird, but seeing all my worldly possessions loaded into a storage unit was especially emotional and disorienting.

When I was looking at that storage unit, packed up to its mesh ceiling, it was like all the emotions of my life were boxed up and shrink-wrapped, put on ice until I need them again.

My heart feels like my arms do after hefting heavy boxes: lighter, relieved, and aching.