Hard at work

I achieved something of a milestone today in our settling into our new home in Texas, even though it’s taken me more than fifteen months since we got here!  I’ve finally finished opening every single box that we brought down and stored in the garage.  I’ve been discarding everything we don’t need (as a rule of thumb, if we haven’t needed it since we got here, out it goes, headed to the local thrift store).  Things we do need, or things of which we have multiples (how the heck did I end up with five – five!!! – corded drills?), have been sorted into larger boxes and stacked to one side.

(Yes, I know many of you would rather I was busy writing.  Sorry about that, but with my current kidney stone problems not yet dealt with, I’m popping more painkillers than usual, and I find my creative muse takes flight while they’re in my system.  Not long now, I hope.)

So far I’ve emptied (permanently) more than 30 totes, which are all stacked to one side, and no less than 67 cardboard moving boxes, all of which have been flattened and tossed out with the garbage. Some of the empty totes will be used to receive the things we need as I sort them out from the larger boxes, and stored on shelves.  A few of the rest will be stored against future need, while the remainder will go to friends or the thrift store in due course.

Because of the semi-itinerant way we’ve lived since getting married, I’ve had boxes I packed in Louisiana for our move to Tennessee, and never opened since.  Doing so now has been a real eye-opener.  For example, I’ve just finished sorting through all the flip-top ammo boxes I’ve accumulated over the years.  Apart from those actually in use, I had almost a hundred empty ones!  I’ve filled a small tote with a reserve of a few boxes for each of my major cartridges, and tossed all the rest into a larger tote.  I’ll let our friends pick them over for anything they need, and probably take the rest to Blogorado in October.  I’m sure our shooting buddies there will help dispose of them in short order.

As a matter of fact, I might have to pack a couple of totes with ‘door prizes’ for everyone at Blogorado.  I’ve got far more than I need in the way of flashlights, knives, holsters, ammo boxes, magazines, and so on.  (When and where did I pick up a dozen or so early-model straight-sided 20-round M16 magazines, and why?)  If I can free up thirty or forty good items, I’ll take them all up with me in October. We can have a “Pick one as your name is pulled out of the hat” sort of event one evening (followed, I daresay, by heavy bargaining and swapping, which is half the fun!).



  1. The explanation is easy. Stuff multiplies in the absence of light. After numerous moves, I've come to believe that you could move to a new house, place a single shoebox of stuff in a closet and nail the door shut. Opening the door after 5 years would reveal the closet is now full of boxes of stuff.

  2. For those of us who don't come close to fitting anything sized in L, XL, etc, those 20 rounders are what is needed for prone shooting. Frankly, unless dealing with large numbers at very close distances, they are more sensible to employ. They also tend to be less frightening to the horses, and a bit easier to carry discretely.
    Catch that 30 rnd on a doorframe while charging through a doorway will get your attention, and not in a good way.

  3. De-cluttering is good for the soul. Though yes, I do *want* more stories, I understand how kidney stones cut into living life, as I get them too. Hope your pass easily (or at least, without needing surgery!) and things get back to normal soon.

  4. Peter, it is impossible to have too many lights or knives. "My name is John, and I am powerless before flashlights."

  5. Empty cardboard boxes​ should be recycled.thru the range….as targets. I made a plywood IPSC target pattern, and all boxes of suitable size get the "treatment"….rattle-can, shoot, then dispose properly.

  6. It is very tempting to discard everything for which there is not an immediately identified purpose or need; I would urge you to exercise some restraint, however, and engage in thoughtful contemplation first.

    Those 20-round AR-15 magazines for example; assuming they are in good condition and functional, they are quite suitable as "trade fodder" should social and economic conditions deteriorate sufficiently, at which time, empty, or, loaded with 20 rounds of what you would might less desirable .223 ammunition, say, some steel-cased 55 grain stuff, they could easily be parlayed into an exchange for somethng of value you are lacking. In the meantime a couple dozen magazines, a few flashlights (stored without batteries, of course), and a large handful of various knives, could be stored in what I'd bet would be a not-very-large box.

    Despite the potential for gains in future worth one cannot keep everything, of course, and I'm not suggesting that you do, but some items have value that could increase quite substantially, and can be stored in what might be termed "dense pack" fashion.

    Consider, in a time of potential civil unrest, what value may accrue to a couple of loaded magazines, a working flashlight and an average quality knife to someone who has none, whether traded or offered as a benevolent gift.

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