“Large Items” and “Miscellaneous I, Too, and III”–A Labelling Technique
I’m almost done finding places for all the books; then I’ve got everything but the art and the decorations out of boxes. As I continue to unpack and organize my home, I find it funny to notice the difference in the way Just’In and I label boxes. Mary, my grandma, made the same observation when she moved several years ago:
“One member of each couple will label just one side of the box, and the other person will label all sides.”
For Mary, she labelled just the top in her big, swirled cursive and Bob, my grandpa, would label every side and the top. You’d think this is a mark of exactitude in personality, of personal discipline and maybe over-organization. Or maybe something of gender, right?
Maybe. Bob is an accountant by profession, and has been his whole adult life. I’ve seen his finance spreadsheets and I’ve interviewed him for his life story; he’s clearly good at what he does. Don’t you have to be organized as an accountant?
As for me, I enjoy organizing cabinets, drawers, and cupboards, yet I had (temporary) piles of stuff in our bedroom that always shifted and tended to disappear when guests were due.
I don’t know the answer, but with us, I label every side and the top of every box and my husband labels just the top. In fact, we reused some of the boxes from our move from Utah to Oregon, and in pulling out dusty boxes, I found a label made by Just’In: “Large Items”. It’s just about as ambiguous as the Miscellaneous” numbered series of boxes I labelled; at one point in the packing process, you just have a jumble of stuff from each room that need to be packed.
Still, I get slightly frightened about Just’In’s packing box labelling habit; I know that when boxes are moved, movers care less whether the label is visible. And I hate studying a stack of boxes and not being able to read the label of one box’s specific contents because it’s on a side facing another box.
Good thing they’re just packing boxes, right? It’s still interesting to think about: which member of the couple are you, the one-side labeller or the thorough-marker?