Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Whew! We are in the homestretch! This week of packing and moving and cleaning and house hunting has been long, but tomorrow it will all be over! We've moved many, many times over the past 9 years. And most of the times, we've done the packing and moving ourselves. So I'm not sure why it was such a surprise this time around, but I just can't believe how much stuff we have. Holy cannoli!
I have spent so much of the past year sorting through toys, books, clothes, and stuff trying to clear out the junk and the items that we just don't don't use. We sold and gave away furniture, coats, shoes...and we still have so much stuff! How did this happen? I'd like to think we live somewhat simply. I certainly consider myself frugal and not a big shopper. But my house was and now our storage location is bursting at the seams, mocking me for how much we still have.

I know having kids plays a huge roll into this. We have fives years worth of toys and clothes stored for the next munchkin- who will, inevitably, end up being a girl, just to spite my thrifty hand-me-down efforts. Changing tables, cribs, cloth diaper stashes...the list goes on and on and on. Part of me knows that this is all good to keep, despite the pains in our backs after moving day. It makes sense to hold onto things you will need and use again in the future. But part of me can't help but wonder, how many of these needs are really just conveniences that we would do just fine without? Do I really need 6 mixing bowls in my kitchen? I cook enough and dirty enough prep-ware to justify having them. But are they really making my life easier? Is washing the same bowl a few times in one day any worse than washing 6 bowls in an overflowing sink the next morning? I don't think there is one right answer, but I can't kid myself into thinking I live simply when my kitchen is stocked almost as well as Rachel Ray's and my basement looks like FAO Schwartz vomited all over it.

What's the point in talking about all this stuff? I don't know. I think over this past year, my perspective has changed in ways that still surprise me. I remember the week we found out Jameson was going to die, writing about how this world will never hold the same appeal for me. And while I still use and enjoy many of the conveniences and luxuries we have, they don't quite hold the same place on my list of priorities. It's just stuff, most of it more temporary than we are. I'd love to say that I happily donated most of my clothes and shoes to a local mission after thinking about this, but I didn't. Little Man still has too many toys, I still have too many bowls, and Hubs still has too many tools in the garage. We have, however, decided to really stop and think before we buy anything else. Do we really need to buy more books, or can we maybe get it at the library? Do I really need that super-cool pair of shamrock socks, or maybe can I get by with the 4 other pairs in the drawer at home? Will another nerf gun really add to Little Man's life or can he have big enough battles with the 5! already in his playroom?

I think decluttering my house and taking inventory about what is really important and necessary also plays a role in decluttering my life. And maybe I'll never really, truly live a simple life, getting by with just the bare necessities; but I know the stuff of this world isn't what bring joy or makes a person whole. It is, after all, just stuff.

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