Susan Kurosawa’s caravan moves on.
And so we have moved house and hope this will be our exit home, the one where we will expire. Because as I have said so many time before, I am never moving again. Even though we have merely relocated from the bottom of a hill to a ridge about five minutes away as the kookaburras fly, it was a gargantuan effort because of all the “stuff” (my family’s description) that the lady of the house (me) has collected over the years.
This time we splurged and used professional packers, who arrived with clipboards and cartons, giant rolls of butcher’s paper and sturdy tape, and bundled up our lives in no time flat. The transfer process was speedy, it did not rain, and my husband was a marvel as I had (conveniently) removed myself interstate. But then came the unpacking, which I could not avoid. Oh, bother, pass the box cutter and the Band-Aids.
We have not downsized but the layout and style are very different from our old cottage and so there has to be a new “look”. This has meant that many of my Asian treasures look all wrong and, gasp, have had to be dismissed. So all that money we spent on packing does seem rather silly. My idea was to put the unwanted (but still cherished) items in the storage locker we have had built into the boathouse. We don’t have a boat, by the way; the building is a converted garage. We do have a car, but that is parked on the street. Are you with me?
But the storage locker is already full of kids’ stuff we have been instructed not to dare throw out (we have a blended family of six children) so I am seriously considering a Rajasthan-style tent for the backyard to house all my Indian paraphernalia as the house interiors are now more Provence-meets-The-Hamptons. Were I to be too troublesome, I can imagine my husband banishing me there with my painted screens and cooking pots hand-beaten by Gujarati craftsmen while he would take sole charge of the Martha Stewart kitchen with its vintage French armoire.
I wonder what that famous decluttering guru Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, would make of my dilemma. I just can’t imagine life without my “stuff”. Should I write a book on a contrary kind of magic? On the security and comfort of being surrounded by things imbued with memory and meaning? It would at least give me something to do on quiet nights in the tent.