What's the First Thing You Pack Up For the Move?

What's the First Thing You Pack Up For the Move?

Gregory Han
Mar 22, 2010

It's finally happening! After years living here in our beloved, cozy apartment, an opportunity fell into our lap that we could not refuse. So this weekend we met our new landlord and signed the lease for a new apartment. Our new apartment will be bigger (we'll lose our small space cred, no doubt), offer new luxuries such as a dining room, an actual separate bedroom and a kitchen that can accommodate for more than a single behind at a time without the threat of burning or impaling one another. We're so excited, we already started packing…

Although our studio is indeed small by Los Angeles standards, one finds after years of living within the same space, despite a fairly draconian system of inventory assessment (for everything we add, we subtract something), we find ourselves with the challenge of packing what seems like a whole lot of stuff. From a decent sized library of books, to all our furnishings that currently fit into two sectioned rooms, plus my narrow sized home office (which I will admittedly miss) and a galley-like kitchen, it's perplexing how Emily and I find ourselves with so much to pack away before we move out.

But the first act that cemented the realization we'll be moving into a new home at the beginning of May was when we began removing the artwork from the walls this morning. The rooms immediately felt less complete...naked...revealing what the room once looked like years ago when we first moved into the rough-around-the-edges, 1900's era apartment; everything was unrealized possibilities and doe-eyed optimism. It's a wonder what artwork does for a space, particularly one as intimate as our studio/jr. bedroom apartment, and seeing our walls bare is a bittersweet affair.

We do not regret moving at all, as the new space offers similar character and charm with the addition of a wonderful view of Ivanhoe Reservoir (aka Silver Lake) and the luxury of more storage. But the act of packing underlines the fact we made a real home here instead of treating it as "just a rental", with artwork and the interior paints reflecting the two people (and two felines) that called the space home.

Next, we'll begin sorting through our books and records, figuring out what to keep, what to offer to friends, which ones to donate and what to simply throw out. Then we'll dive into the kitchen, then the closet where we'll brutally edit down our belongings, and finally the biggest furnishings will be prepped for the fews days before our move-in date. But in many ways, it was those first few pieces of artwork that made our space our home and that have evoked the strongest sense of impending departure with their removal, reminding us it is in the smallest details we find and define our homes, one framed piece at a time.

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