The good news is that we're unpacked from the trip. I just have to put the suitcases away and finish up the laundry. I quite liked having the laundry room floor clear of dirty clothes, so I'll be working today and tomorrow to finish up the rest of them. It's been so nice knowing we have a place for everything to go, too. It's the first time in 18 years we've had a place for all of our clothes. It definitely helps that we got rid of probably two-thirds of the clothing we had, and I'll be working on getting rid of even more.
This is only the second vacation we've taken since I discovered that I have a hoarding problem. The first was last June when we went back home for Mom's birthday celebration. When we went back home then, we put the car-top carrier on the car and loaded it up and filled the back of our car. I can't think of a time we haven't used the extra space on vacation.
Car top carriers are great for transporting those extra things you don't have the space for in the car, but they also make you a major target for thieves who can tell at a glance you're away from home. They also tend to be cumbersome to store, and as much as they're convenient, they're not. It can be quite the pain to attach them to the top of your car, and it's not entirely convenient to retrieve your belongings standing on a step stool. So it seemed really strange to try to go on vacation this year without using it.
Things are always a bit tight in the back of the car. We have a small station wagon that can't possibly even be half the size of the one my family had when I was younger. (Those things had storage!) Still, we were able to get everything we needed for clothing for 2 weeks for 4 people, the pinata which was quite large, 4 winter coats, 4 sweatshirts, some items Mom asked me to take out to my sister's house and a few pillows from home in the back of the car. Granted, Hubster had to rely on the side mirrors only, but it really wasn't an issue.
And not having to load or unload the car top carrier was huge! It may have even saved us from having an accident. The carriers are not all that aerodynamic, so the wind can really bat you around the highway. On the way to Rochester, the wind was so strong, Hubster didn't dare take either hand off the wheel. There were several times that the wind buffeted the car enough that we nearly ended up in the ditch the way it was. I don't doubt that's where we'd have landed, if we'd had the car top carrier in place.
Honestly, I think we'd have ended up using the top of our car for storage for our vacation, if I hadn't started the dehoarding process over a year ago. Realizing we all have hoarding tendencies and trying to change the result of those tendencies made all the difference in the world for this trip. Obviously, the car top carrier situation was huge, but that wasn't the only thing.
It used to take me forever to get things packed for a trip. Because we had so many clothes, I was always doing laundry up until the last possible minute. There were times I'd forget to wash a much needed item, and we'd have have to haul it along to launder it while we were on vacation, or we'd have to buy something new when we arrived to replace it. And because the laundry was stacked in baskets in several rooms in the house, it would literally take days for me to pack.
I could never seem to sort out in my mind what shirt would go with what pants with what socks, etc., when I never had the room for the clothes to all be in the same area. I would think one set of clothes would make the perfect outfit only to find the right colored shirt in the dirty clothes. It was exhausting and incredibly stressful. I would get by on no more than 5 hours of sleep nightly for a full week or more before heading out of town. Considering I need a minimum of 8 hours to function properly, I felt like a zombie most of the vacation.
My, what a difference a year makes!
I was able to pack the girls' suitcases in less than 30 minutes.
Total. For. Both. Of. Them.
It took me about 10 minutes to pack my own bag, and The Hubster packed his, so I didn't have that to do. I was in shock that it took so little effort and so little time to get everything ready to get on the road for a 10 day vacation.
There was still stress. There always is. But the amount of stress getting out of here for this trip compared to vacations in the past is minuscule.
Just one of the many perks of dehoarding.
I think I'll keep it up...