i should leave town more often. seriously.
somehow, i have this idea that if the apartment isn't completely organized before i leave, the universe will come to an end. so i spend all this time emptying trash, and cleaning out the fridge, and picking things up off the floor, and generally just tidying up.
part of it is that organization allows me to pack in about 5 minutes flat. unless i'm leaving for an extended trip, i generally can't get myself to pack until right before i have to leave. it's not that i don't think about it; i do. i make a mental map of what i need for each day, and how i'm going to pack it all into my backpack. but i don't do anything with that map until i've gotten dressed to leave.
sure, that adds to the general stress of travelling. and i've tried to get myself to pack earlier. but i can't break the habit. i think doing it right before i leave means that i can travel a bit more easily, knowing that i have everything i need, because it's fresh in my mind. whereas, if i pack the night before, i'll obsess endlessly as i'm on the road, trying to remember if i packed a spare pair of underwear or not. and it's a silly thing to obsess over, as i always automatically pack an extra pair. but i'd still do it.
it's also nice to come back to a tidy apartment. it still needs a good dusting and vacuum, but not having the visual clutter helps. i didn't realize how far i'd let things go until sometime last week, when i finally got fed up with the bag of Christmas things by the door. yup. when i got back from Christmas, i dropped the bags right inside the door and left them there. i pulled things out as i needed them, like the sweater or the new DustBuster, and occasionally i grabbed something and put it away just because. still, the bag sat there for nearly a month.
i finally decided that it was too much in the way, and put away the last few things, then folded up the bag and put it away for recycling. the next time i walked in the house, it felt as if the room had grown larger because there was espace between the door and the chair. sidenote: have you ever seen Creature Comforts? it's an animated short by Nick Aardman, who does the Wallace and Gromit stories. in Creature Comforts, zoo animals are being interviewed about how they like living there. one of the characters is a South American panther, who lies on his tree branch and talks about how he needs espace to run and be free. his accent makes me laugh every time i hear it.
anywayyy... the apartment is a reasonable facsimile of tidy, i've got my train ticket booked, and tomorrow it's off to NYC for a day. sounds rather posh, doesn't it? 'oh, i'm just popping down to the city for a day.' heh.