Monday, May 30, 2011

319 Boxes Of “Stuff”

We left California carrying a handful of suitcases. The rest of our household was loaded into a 40’ container and shipped to Israel. Since we arrived in Israel, we conducted our lives using what we packed in our suitcases.  Sure, we missed a few items, but overall we did just fine.

Boxes everywhere...
Our container arrived in Israel on schedule. The Israeli custom procedures were surprisingly quick and painless.  But since our house was still being remodeled, the container was kept in storage for almost two months.

On a Thursday morning a couple of weeks ago, a large truck parked in front of our house. The 40’ container was quite a sight, and it literally blocked our small street. An army of porters started shuttling boxes into our house, rushing through the door and shouting the number tag on the box.  “One hundred twenty four; Seventy two; Sixty eight” the numbers kept flowing in. We scrambled to mark the numbers on a sheet of paper while trying to instruct the porters where to place the boxes. Alas there were too many boxes, too many porters, and just two of us. Before we knew it, 319 boxes were spread throughout the house in large stacks.  The truck and the porters left, leaving us staring at the rubble.

“What are we going to do with all this stuff?” was the question burning on our minds. Sure, we knew we’re going to “downsize” in terms of living space. Our house in California was much larger than the one in Raanana - with more rooms and most importantly with a large garage.  We sold, donated and tossed away a ton of stuff before we moved. We thought we did all right, till we saw the stacks of 319 boxes.

It makes you wonder about all the “stuff” you accumulate throughout your life. Most of it you never see. It is hidden in the back of a cabinet or in the bowels of your garage/basement. And much of the rest you seldom use. Our experience over the past 4 months showed that you could fit most of what you really need into a couple of suitcases. 

Our philosophical views on the “value of possessions” not withstanding, we are left with 319 boxes that need to be unpacked, sorted and stored somewhere. At least till the next move...  Anyone has a garage to spare?


  1. Isn't it amazing how much "stuff" we collect over the years? I moved some boxes with several movers' tags on them that I never had opened. Why couldn't I let go of that stuff???

    Hope you're enjoying your return to Israel, Baruch. Stay safe!


    Joe Goldstein

  2. Look at me.I started donating my stuff to charity. I am planning to move to Israel, but have to stop in Florida for 3-5 years.