Moving pains of a starting semester

Orange Rhymes WithA well-meaning column rife with clunky metaphors and horrible advice, Orange Rhymes With is the go-to place to break the monotony of classes and laugh at someone else’s misfortune.
Once the books are ordered, the parking pass grudgingly paid for and my class schedule checked for what felt like the first time, there’s really nothing left to do before the semester starts — except to actually move in the Templewood apartments.

I despise moving into the residence halls. After the many different iterations of this over the past three years, I still have a special loathing for the move-in process that may persist long after I’m obligated to load my car with all my material possessions every fall.

Someone with forethought would have been slowly packing all week, sorting his or her belongings into neat little boxes with clearly marked labels in preparation of the move. Clearly I am not that person, given that I instead spent the better part of my week trying to convince my girlfriend’s cat to answer to the name “Kanye” in spite of her (completely unreasonable) protests.

The worst part of moving in is that I already know the schedule of mistakes that are going to plague my every waking moment until I get all of my belongings stacked in a pile on the Templewood floor.

Something I own will inevitably break during the journey — probably something valuable that should have been secured instead of allowed to roll around the back seat of my car. Then the fragments of that something will spend the next few weeks rattling around the floor of my car until I finally either re-vacuum every conceivable surface or I end up with shards or my former belongings stuck into my shoes.

Then, there’s the mystery box of possessions that always seems to appear unannounced at the new place. One never seems to remember packing it, and it’s always filled with things one hasn’t seen in years and has no room for.

Science can’t explain it. Religion chalks it up to a miraculous event. But somehow I’m going to end up with a box of old crap that will be of zero value to me.

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This year I even get to participate in the Olympic event of running my boxes up and down the Templewood stairs in an attempt to motivate me to actually find a real apartment next time. That mess is further compounded by my lack of truck to move everything with, requiring me to pack my Kia like a sardine can and relinquish any hope of using the mirrors on the drive in. I’m even willing to admit: As decorative as my pineapple lamp, lava lamp and unreasonably large poster of Stephen Colbert are, they’re not exactly easy to fit into my car alongside the boxes full of legitimately useful items.

So my solution for this year is to move in only what I physically need to survive the first week: food, laptop and a large potted cactus. This way I can slowly move items in as I need them instead of being in the situation I was last spring where I moved out three rooms’ worth of belongings that had no reason for being there.

(College tip: When you’re using your ironing board as a shelf and snowboard as a shoe rack because you ran out of space to put them, it’s time to just become an adult and buy yourself a real shelf and shoe rack.)

So this semester I’ll give the minimalist approach a shot and see if I can cut down on the avalanche of vaguely useful belongings that is sure to bury me come spring. If you see someone hurtling objects out of the upper floor of a Templewood, then rather than being alarmed, just understand that I’m clearing the clutter out of my life and trying desperately to be able to see my floor this semester.

Either way, come Monday my things will be in piles where there will stay until October, when I finally run out of excuses not to clean. It may seem chaotic, but for me it’s just a sure sign that another year is upon us.