We moved. 10 days ago yesterday.

I was amazed at the amount of stuff we had to pack. I knew we had a lot of stuff. This wasn’t our first move, after all. But somehow in the four years since the last move we seem to have accumulated twice the stuff we had before.

Upon arrival, we had boxes everywhere. And because we packed most of it in the last couple of days, a lot of it went into whatever box was handy at the moment. The earlier boxes were coded with colored tape to indicate which room they had been packed from. The latter boxes were random — “Just hand me a roll of tape.”

Boxes all over

So there is kitchen stuff in boxes with living room stuff in boxes with bedroom stuff in boxes with bathroom stuff. Bedding used as padding for fragile knick-knacks. Hand towels tossed in with overcoats.

On arrival, the movers (who were very good — Brock’s Moving & Storage) dutifully deposited all the boxes in their proper tape-coded locations. Alas, the tape-code had been rendered largely meaningless. And for the past 10 days we’ve been rummaging through boxes whenever we have need of anything.

Boxes surrounding kid with cape

We are gradually finding new places for things. But those places frequently change as we live into the new patterns around the house.

All this has reminded me how critical mental maps are. My brain (maybe yours, too) stores information in maps. Not just information about physical stuff, but even mental stuff — like which folder I’ve stored files in on my computer and whose name belongs to this face. The move, and the disruption of my mental map about where most of my stuff is, has disrupted other major parts of my map along with it. And it’s been exhausting.

Everything takes longer. Where is this? What did I do with that thing. Where did I last see it? Was it in a box? A box in which room? Did I put it away? Where did I put it? Oh, yes, I did put it there, but then I moved it to this other spot. With each thing I have to go back to the trail-head. Sometimes as far as to where I last saw it in the old house, where I was when I packed it, and what did the box look like at that point — then where did I last see that box here, and did I open it and what did I do with it. I have no direct route to get there yet.

Gradually, 10 days on, things are starting to re-coalesce into a new map. I’m finding my way around better than I was for the first few days. Yesterday, I was finally able to begin to function more-or-less normally for the first time in a long while, and it felt good.

So what did I do with all that energy?

I started on New Parsonage Fix-ups….