Monday, October 29, 2012

Where Did All This Stuff Come From?



 By Kate Collins

I’m days away from moving to a new home, a smaller place that requires a paring down of my belongings by half. As I systematically go through all my cabinets, drawers, and closets, I’m overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff.  How did that happen? Were things propagating in the closet?

It’s impossible to calculate how much money was spent acquiring all of it because it happened over so many years. How much of it is essential? Not very much.

And yet I have a difficult time parting with it.  I have a bad habit of attaching sentimental value to objects. I hold onto them even when I don’t use them or want to display them. But since my storage space will be limited, I’ve had to be ruthless about weeding out all but the most important things.  I worry that what I’ve saved won’t find a place in the new house and then what will I do?

The oddest thing has happened to me during this process. I find I don’t want to accumulate any more stuff. Paring down has given me a sense of freedom, and I like the clean, sparser look. Now when my friends are oohing over home decorations at Pier 1, all I can think of is that I’ll have to store it somewhere.

Where do you fall on the scale of sparseness to clutter? Have you ever had to pare down or does the thought of doing so bring on an anxiety attack? Do you hold onto things because of sentiment?

Here’s the biggest question. Could you give away half of everything you own?

Have a great week.
Kate


14 comments:

Shirley said...

I am trying to pare down so I can sell my house and move. It is hard to get rid of sentimental things. I just gave a village collection that was my Mother's to my oldest niece. She'll enjoy it!

Katreader said...

I have serious hoarder tendencies. Half? I couldn't get rid of 1/10the of my stuff. Sadly, I follow the motto he who dies with the most stuff wins. I'm going for gold! lol.

Agathabattleaxe said...

I can get rid of anything except books!

Rosemary Harris said...

I want to be the person who could give away half of what she owns...but I'm not there yet. I don't remember buying four nutcrackers - did they make babies in the drawer? How did I come to own two bright green handbags?

The sentimental stuff is harder to part with so the nutcrackers go first.

Leann Sweeney said...

As you know, I moved this summer after 38 years in Texas. I blogged about it, too, because, Jeez Louise, we had so much STUFF. I don't want to collect anything more, either. We have plenty of everything even though we got rid of SO MUCH. Good luck with your move!

Unknown said...

After moving four times in nine years, I have determined that I can live without a lot of the chatchkes and mementos. Every move, more of them go into the church rummage sale box. I do have a penchant for family photos, old and new, and my husband would tell you I have WAY too much Christmas stuff (and I do), but there are certain things that make a new house feel like home - like cherished photos and beloved Christmas decorations.

May this move be a blessing for you. :)

Linda Cowan said...

I went through that a year ago, had to reduce stuff to move. Not sure if it was half, but in some categories it was. Right now I don't want more stuff. Except a new computer. I want a new computer. One of those new convertible, touchpad to laptop styles.

Joanie said...

A friend recently asked me if I could only have two things, what would they be and I answered immediately, "My books and my family photos." She replied, "No, I said TWO things," and I answered, "Yep, I just gave you TWO things--My Books are one, and my Family Photos are two." So if half still leaves me my full collection of each of these two things, then my answer is "yes", otherwise "life isn't worth the sacrifice."

Aurian said...

Nope, no way. I love my stuff. I collect books, and statues by Nene Thomas. I love refrigerator magnets from places I have been, and also of books. I love bookswag. Of course I should get rid of junk in my closets that hasn't seen the light of day in years, but if I don't need the space for something else, it is fine to stay there.

Kate Collins said...

Aurian, I hear you. If you've got the space, no worries, but that's my problem. I won't have the space, so I've had to make hard decisions about what to take and what to give away. My books and photos are very precious to me, too. They stay with me. And I have a few very dear mementos that my husband and I collected on our trips to the Greek Islands that I couldn't bear to part with.

Linda in MA said...

Unfortunately I belong to the clutter collectors. I've tried to pare down but it seems to fill back up again. Even the books are taking over the house. I really enjoy the days when I am in the mood to get rid of things! Now if they would happen more often I would be fine.

Shirley said...

I will keep my photos and lots of books. Now that I have a Nook, knowing that I can get most books as ebooks, I may not feel so bad about donating many books.

Linda McDonald said...

I've been in the process of going through my entire house and getting rid of excess stuff. It has felt very freeing, and I don't want to bring in more stuff. If I don't love or use it, then it's got to go.

grammajudyb said...

I an sure I could not get rid of 1/2 my stuff. I would like to live a more uncluttered life though. My sister and I have decided we are not quite hoaders, but definitely we are collectors. We recently moved my mother-in-law out of a 4 bedroom house she lived it for 52 years into a studio apartment in an independent living faciltiy. THAT'LL make you want to pare down stuff!!! What a job that was!