Monday, June 23, 2014

Getting a Divorce from Stuff

I am not sure what is going on.  Is it hormonal?  Seasonal?  Spiritual? A virus?  I'm going to call it "reverse-nesting-syndrome."  I have basically decided I don't want anymore stuff.  Ever.  

[Do you hear me, stuff? Don't you dare come crawling back to me, claiming "you'll do better this time" or that "you've changed."  It's over. You and me are done.  Collect your things and move out.  I want a divorce.  We cannot be friends.  I'm over you].

I literally am physically and emotionally weighed down by the stuff in my home.  Does this happen to anyone?   Maybe it's the addition of another little human and all the boxes of clothes that came with her.  Or maybe it's the baby stuff that made it's way from garage storage to floor space (read: swings, play-mats, chairs, bumbo etc) but our home is full.  So full, in fact that I am throwing away random things because I cannot stand to look at them anymore.  

At any point in the day you may in fact find me: 

  • pacing the floor frenetically searching for more things to throw in the garbage
  • taking pictures of random household things to put on craigslist
  • moving things from upstairs, to downstairs, to cupboards, and then back upstairs again
  • rifling through paperwork
  • hiding toys away from the boys so I can sell them in our garage sale
  • madly going through children's clothing (I had 12, that's right, TWELVE boxes of boys clothes for under the age of 2.  This is not normal.  This is not right).

Everything is game.  Random fridge door items that we will probably never eat?  Garbage.  Un-matched pairs of socks?  Garbage.  Old textbooks, paperwork, and sentimental material?  Recycled.  Books on the shelf we have already read? Selling them. Pants I hope to one day fit again, but are really old anyways?  Thrift store.

This is the longest time we've ever lived anywhere and I can't believe how quickly we have accumulated.  Not that it's all junk, and not that we are pack rats.  We have had a garage sale every year for the past 3 years and I give stuff away all the time.  AND, I use and re-use a lot of things.  Old cotton balls?  Craft.  Old stickerbook?  Quiet time activity. Little bottles of shampoo stolen from hotels?  Used up.  But somehow, we keep getting more.  We're not even buying it!  It just appears: on our doorstep, dropped off from random 'thoughtful' people at preschool, from neighborhood fairs, and so on and so on.  

Thing is, I don't want your junk!  I think I will start politely declining when people offer their old toys, books, and clothes.  It's hard though, because the dutch side of our family has rubbed off and there is always this nagging, "but what if we use that, someday?"  Or there's the "once a year" items that we pull out, literally, once a year.  But you see, this is taking up mental room!  It stresses me out!  Then I forget I have it, miss the tiny window when I might have used it, and then it gets put back in a box for when another child might use it one day. 

Think of all the time we spend managing our stuff.  Does anyone else think this is not right?

I literally sat there drooling over this video the other day.  Tiny home? Imagine.  Everything having it's place. Wow. Nothing extraneous.  One jacket.  One spatula.  One box of pencils. Who are these people?  I like them.  

So.  Stuff beware.  Your time is coming.  I will find you, wherever you are hiding.

Any tips for organizing stuff so that one does NOT spend their ENTIRE life processing it, please let me know.  Anyone have paperless systems they want to share?  Thoughts about what to do with old photo albums?  Do people keep yearbooks?  

How do YOU manage stuff so that it doesn't rule your life?

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