Stuff

21 Jun

Stuff.

I didn’t take pictures of my stuff for this post. But trust me. It’s there.

We all have it.  Stuff, our STUFF. Things. Possessions… STUFF. It seems to come in stages too. When you move out of your parents house, you get stuff, when you move, you get stuff, when you get married- stuff, have a baby MORE STUFF.

Ugh. My house is completely over-run by stuff. Mostly stuff I don’t need, or there is simply an excess of “need” stuff.  For example, one of the last times I counted I had 78 vessels to drink alcohol out of. Um. I really don’t drink and when I do it’s a small glass of red wine. And hubby has exactly 3 glasses that he uses. How did that happen? I also had almost 50 mugs. CRAZY. I’ve since cut them down. A lot. I also had nearly 70 cook books. I like to cook but JEEZALOO!  The list goes on but I will leave it at that.

I’d say the biggest source of our collections are gifts. We got tons of glasses for our wedding, and for whatever reason people always give us gifts including mugs. I like my tea, coffee and hot cocoa a LOT, but I would say at most I could use 3 mugs at a time and that’s a little excessive.

We also got a lot of hand-me-downs when we were first starting out as a married couple- or even before that when I moved back to NY with nothing but my Rav4 stuffed over the top (literally!) I was very, very grateful for the second hand furniture and dishes (and still am!) I had nothing and no money to speak of save to pay the rent. But, as we moved forward and around the state we gathered new stuff and the old stuff seemed to stick with us. I got attached if you can imagine that. I couldn’t just get rid of something, I’d say, “Oh, but we used this stuff when we first got back together…” or “But I might NEED that…”  and we can’t forget, “but so an so gave me this!” Thus, I became a pack rat.

With the twins came a lot more stuff. Really, babies don’t need much, but somehow there comes lots of stuff when you have a baby. And I had two, so you do the math- I assure you it wasn’t simply doubled. *sigh*

But… with the coming of the twins, I realized something very important about stuff. I didn’t want it. Didn’t need it. It was creating a hostile environment and not what I wanted for my children. I want them to grow up in a neat, clean, comfortable home. Have you ever cleaned a cluttered house? It takes forever. You have to move stuff to clean under it, you have more stuff to dust… It’s a pain. I need easy when I have two boys running around. Sure, they have and will have stuff, just the right kind and amount of stuff. This really kicked my butt into gear and I’ve been going through our home pulling things out of rooms, out of closets… and trying to move it out.  It’s a really difficult and almost emotional process but I’m making headway a little at a time.

At the same time I’m challenging myself not to buy “new” stuff to clutter up the newly cleared space. I can thrift for things we “need” (I have an on-going list) and play things for the boys (quality wooden toys are pricey, so if I see good stuff while thrifting I’m allowing myself the pleasure.) The exceptions are some fabric and notions (thread doesn’t have a great shelf life so I worry about buying second hand- I’ve already had a few ruined projects this way) and anything where hygiene would be a concern (panties, etc.) I may also allow myself yarn for knitting, but I would really like to thrift that too. I’m planning not to buy ANY “New” clothes for myself or the boys. I really foresee this being a challenge. Until recently, I really liked to shop. TJ Max was probably my favorite store- especially given it’s pretty much the only store in the area other than Walmart. Oh yeah, I’m going to try to avoid Walmart all together as well as any big box store… I wonder if I can keep myself out of Target, I really love Target…  but I digress.

This is the challenge. Clean out the house, and be mindful about what comes back in. Hm… I think that’s the key: Mindfulness. Ah…

 

(Speaking of mindfulness, I’m reading Sarah Napthali’s Buddhism for Mothers  I’m not Buddhist, but I have to say thus  far this is a great book for mamas. Maybe a book review will be in order? hm….)

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2 Responses to “Stuff”

  1. Karen @ Folk Haven June 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    I’m with youin this. I get attached, and am plagued by the ” but I might need it someday” line of thought. But I’m feeling oppressed by the clutter and I don’t want my son growing up in the same cluttered environment that I did. I’ve been reading a lot lately Montessori-inspired bogs that are in turn inspiring me. It’s a hard change to make, but I’ll get there. You will too. In fact the back of the CRV is right now all loaded for a donation run!

    • goodwifegoodmama June 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

      That’s great! I’m with you on the Montessori blogs too! I’ve been gaining a lot of inspiration from both Montessori and Waldorf philosophies even though they are quite different. I think our children are amazing motivators, too. We want the best for them and I know I’m not willing to sacrifice their well being for my junk. 🙂

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