Saturday, February 04, 2006
Stuff and more stuff
Help me, I am drowning in stuff. It's time to get serious around here and start getting rid of stuff. My definition of stuff would be the items that I have used in the past and might use again, or somebody else may need to use it. We are at the point in our lives that our kids don't need the toys that are down in the basement, the stuffed animals or all the books in their shelves that they have already read. My husband and I don't need to save empty vases, broken vcrs, old cookbooks, 4 extra pairs of sneakers or our down vests from college.
This feeling of drowning in stuff has been bothering me for awhile, but not enough for me to do anything about it. It was a conversation with a friend who has an immaculate basement that got me going. I asked her where she kept her "stuff" and she said that if she didn't use it within a year, it got thrown out. Ouch, so cold, so unfeeling and yet, so clean. This morning when I woke up, I decided that I was going to start cleaning up and throwing out some stuff. I started in my closet and did some cleaning in the kitchen.
Now the refrigerator has only a few pictures and my son who just got up is spazzing that I am taking away his childhood. This is the same kid whose room is a mess. He can't throw anything out, everything means something to him. Did I create this feeling in him? Do we both have the Yankee spirit of keeping stuff, b/c someday we may need it? We both attach sentimental value to things, which makes it that much harder to toss them out. When the item is from someone who has died, it makes it even more difficult to let it go. Nevertheless, I need to remember that memories are what keeps those people in our hearts, not the extra cake dish from their home.
Does having stuff make us happy? No, I don't think so, but advertising would like us to believe otherwise. We have the Christmas tree shops in New England and the commercials are all about, "don't you just love a bargain?". The customers are ecstatic about their $2.99 doo-dad. Why? Is it because they think it's a bargain or because they need that item? My mantra in these stores is, if I haven't needed it yet, I don't need it now. I went to a yard sale last fall and it was like going to an open market Christmas tree shop, pretty sad! I left thinking, where did they keep all this stuff? It was beyond healthy the amount of new things that this person had in their house. How could they have been happy with the work now involved in storing the stuff, or getting rid of it to be able to move?
It's time to "clean house". Get the "stuff" together for a yard sale in the spring. Say no to my parents when they try to give me stuff from their house. Get the kids involved in going through their stuff, along with trying to figure out what to do with all the beanie babies they have?
at 9:56 AM