The answer was:
4 boxes of papers to go through
1 box of books to sell
2 big boxes of books that can be sorted through and shelved or put in the sell pile
2 small empty boxes that were there to store the random extra books
1 box of VHS tapes to go in long-term storage
1 scattered box worth of stuff for Goodwill and the Boskone freebie table
a bunch of my missing desk stuff
my camera box, sans my best camera
an ancient laptop that's going in the Best Buy recycling bin, unless someone really wants an 11-year-old laptop that's locked with a mystery password
...and some random foo that could be consolidated.
So I made two stacks of empty boxes. And then Saturday and Sunday I was periodically overtaken by numinous rage, and flung myself at a random box screaming EEEAGH DIE DIE DIE. Boxes have been emptied, boxes have been consolidated, boxes have been routed from the living room and piled in the dining room, which is still one-fifth swamped in boxes, but in better-organized, better-stacked boxes. Boxes have been moved into long-term storage, or at least near where storage will be once I finish painting. it's all been complicated and violent and filled with the sound of rending cardboard. Very bracing.
I've also discovered that after purging my fridge and freezer down to just what I use in a week, I get anxious when they start to fill up. All the frozen food from Arisia is making me twitchy. I called a former neighbor and went THERE IS TOO MUCH FREE FOOD HERE, TAKE IT AWAY. We'll hopefully be organizing the dropoff this week--I can't take much more of the sight of TOO MUCH ARTISAN BREAD staring at me every time I open the freezer.
(That said, I'd maim for a vegetable.)
The living room is almost down to no wandering boxes at all. So's the bedroom. And the stack of empty boxes in front of the kitchen keeps rising higher.
And the desk shelves are STILL half empty.
Inspiration: Oprah's new special on hoarding