Is it just me, or does unpacking take sooooo much longer than packing? After seven weeks, we still have boxes piled everywhere! No joke, not an exaggeration. Literally everywhere.

We are still saving up the money to buy a washer & dryer. Until then, I am laundromat bound twice a week. That leaves piles of dirty laundry in my bathroom and in the space where my machines are supposed to go. It bothers me to see so much piled up all of the time. Top it off with the fact that I can never get all the laundry done when I do go to the laundromat. Finances have been extra tight this week, meaning my normal early week trip to the laundromat had to be canceled. I have resorted to washing clothes by hand and letting them line dry in my bathroom, then doing a quick iron afterwards. It is hurting me.

I have tendonitis and some nerve damage in my hands and wrists from an accident that happened years ago while working in a warehouse. Hand washing and wringing clothes puts a strain on me causing pain that lasts for days. I deal with it and I am not complaining to my husband about it, but I really  want my own machines.

The normal daily tasks we all face are time consuming enough. Add in three children, their activities, the husbands crazy work schedule, endless algebra homework (algebra is evil!), and who really has the time to unpack and organize quickly? Not I.

While living in the apartment, we rented a storage unit. There was no way we could fit everything inside our cramp place. Currently, we are still renting the unit. Some time within the next two weeks, we plan on renting a small truck and heading to the storage unit. We have a nice oak bookcase sitting in storage that we want to place in the master bedroom. Once that is in place, we can empty four boxes right away. The bookcase will be so nice to add. Instead of books piled in boxes or randomly sitting around, they can actually be placed on shelves! Imagine that.

As we have been unpacking, I am finding clothes magically appearing on my bed. When my oldest decides she no longer wants something or has outgrown an outfit, she drops it on my bed and walks away. My only request is that she tells me about it. This way I know why it is there. Otherwise, I just fold up the clothes and put them back in her room. Pointless cycle that is not helping anything. I am also finding random items in boxes that I do not remember owning. No clue why I have these things or what I am going to do with them. So far I have already donated one box of clothing and kids toys to our church. A friend of mine with two young children has raided my junk box and taken a few items for her children. And as of yesterday, I have more boxes ready to be donated.

During the course of my life I have moved more times that I can count. Honestly, I really have no desire to remember the exact number of times because it depresses me. Even as a yond child, we just never fully unpacked things. It was to much of a hassle. Why bother when we are just going to move again? That was our family motto. While living in the apartment, I tried so hard to downsize and organize and I failed miserably. Now that we have our own place, that feeling is even stronger. With each box I open, I find things to throw away, recycle, or donate. With several boxes, I have not kept a single item out of them. This is a definite sign that I have too much junk.

Being a packrat affects my family worse than it does me. My oldest daughter is embarrassed to have her friends over because of the mess and clutter. My middle daughter complains that she has no room to play with her toys and that she does not like the mess. And my toddler thinks all the boxes are for her to climb on or tip over. Yesterday she tried to box up the cat. The result is two scratch marks on her wrist that required a bandage.

I keep telling myself that it will happen in due time. This place will be cleaned and organized soon enough. Just tackle one box a day and be happy with that. If time allows, tackle a second box. Positive self-talk and positive reminders are supposed to be encouraging. Why am I not feeling encouraged? Why do I feel so defeated?

At the end of the day, I am glad that we moved. I am happy that we have our own place and after all mortgage payments are made, we will own it free and clear. I am starting to learn the area. This alone is a slow process, but I am starting. I can now drive to the post office without my GPS. This feat is a huge improvement for me because I get lost easily and always have. In time, yes, the unpacking will be over with and things will feel more calm. Until then, I try to remind myself of the upside. We now have our own place. We now have three bedrooms. I have a huge kitchen that I love! The girls have a yard that they can play in. They have made friends in the neighborhood. On nice days I cannot keep them home after school. They want to ride bikes, play at the park, play at the basketball court. These are all the things I wanted for them and now we have them. So I am trying not to beat myself up about the slow process of unpacking. If I keep trying, maybe I will succeed.