THE ART OF MOVING
When you move houses or apartments it's easy to identify the beginning of the move - call it either the day you pack the first box, or your phone's timestamp when the movers text to say they're arrived - but there never really seems to be a definitive end.
Even months after you notified USPS of a change in address there's inevitably that one section of your closet still reserved for Items Which Have Not Yet Found a Permanent Home.
How easily you can wash your hands and say, "It's finished," boils down to what level of neurosis you find acceptable, like whether lying on a couch in an otherwise sparse room is relaxing, or knowing that eventually there will be a chair to the left and an end table to the right but you simply haven't found the right ones yet is going to drive you slowly insane.
For some people, the dividing line is art. They can't feel settled in a place until all the photos, paintings and collected ephemera have found stable resting places. And while it's hard enough deciding what goes where when you live alone, the problem's difficulty multiplies exponentially when you add a significant other to the mix. Debating which drawer for silverware or if socks go in the closet or the dresser is different because those choices only effect the two of you. Arguing over if that orange and purple, abstract graffiti robot painting belongs as the centerpiece of your living room will call in to question not only each of your interior decorating chops but also the strength of your relationship as a couple.
The flip side here becomes now when you go over to someone else's place, whether they recently moved in or have lived there for years, it's their art - or lack thereof - that most informs judgment of their home. The address could be a million dollar penthouse overlooking Central Park but if the requisite first-timers tour includes blank walls or the same Al Capone/Two Girls Kissing posters you saw freshman year at Syracuse, people are going to think that place is trash.
But there's hope, because contrary to popular belief, you don't need to spend thousands of dollars to make a tasteful first impression. Take these wax art pieces from OLGA-goosecandle; at only fifty bucks a pop they're inexpensive enough for the most frugal of budgets, but whimsical and unique enough they just might distract your guests from noticing your couch is actually a blanket atop a bunch of old Amazon boxes. Well worth the money indeed.
Why: Candles are one of those things that get a bad reputation, probably because you remember your mother buying them in bulk at $4.99 a pop as holiday gifts for your teachers on the off chance they might bump a future C+ up to a B-. These OLGA-goosecandles are crafted with the kind of care usually reserved more permanent objects like pottery or paintings, but the ethereal nature of a candle shouldn't devalue the product. Accepting that if and when you light the candle function will supersede form and the candle will melt arguably increases its value, since from day one, you know eventually it will cease to exist. A candle and a lesson in existential spirituality, all in one.