Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Stemming the Flow of Crap

When is too much stuff enough?  I have been struggling with this for years.  It was a huge obsession before I had Max.  When I moved back home to CT there was another huge purge.  But here I stand, still surrounded by “stuff”!

I recently went thru my closet and Max’s.  When I pulled out all the stuff that didn’t fit or that we would never wear, I was left with eight bags of clothes to donate.  That seems so excessive that it made me a bit sick.  Especially because after we were done with this, I still have two full dressers and a full closet. 

So I tried something new.  Each week, I lay out all of our outfits for Monday thru Friday.  It is the only way we can make it out the door each day.  So I started doing this on laundry day.  That way, we had to wear different outfits from the previous week.  With this new method, Max’s dresser is still overflowing.  I hate to just get rid of things but how many t-shirts can one three year old need?

Given that line of thought, I really started to evaluate all of our things.  And basically what I see is a lot of stuff that never gets used, some that gets used all the time and the stuff that “You can never get rid of.”  For example, I love books.  I love to buy them and I love to read them.  Books are a wonderful thing.  But if I never plan to read them again, isn’t it better to give them to someone else who will enjoy them.  So one of my 2016 goals was to finally read all of the books in my bedroom.  There is a stack on the bedside table and a stack on the desk.  The library books are on my dresser and there is a full Kindle in a drawer.  As I type this, I just ordered two more books from Amazon.

Max’s toys are the biggest allotment of “stuff” in our house.  They fill boxes, bins and cabinets.  They are in his bedroom, the family room and the playroom.  Once they are broken, I try to throw them away.  But when I really delved into this I realized I was one of the biggest offenders.  We go to the grocery store and he gets a car.  We go to Target, he gets another car.  They are so cheap but how many Matchbox cars can one child have?

During the recent snowstorm, I just started purging.  I cleaned out the pantry and threw away old food.  I went thru the Tupperware and donated half of it. I bagged up his old toys for friends with younger children.  With six bags of donations in the basement, I still feel like we have too much.

I don’t want a bare house with nothing in it.  But I feel like I am constantly tripping over things and restacking them.  Then I move them to another room and I rearrange them there.  So the big question is how do I stop the stream of things into our house? 

And I realized that the problem is me.  When you are sad, you buy new pants.  You read an article and you jump online to buy a new book or a new product you read about.  But when the UPS and Fedex man know you by name you have a real problem.

So given that, I am going to try to cut myself off.  It is going to be so hard because I seriously love online shopping.  Let’s see how I can do….

1 comment:

  1. Good luck! I have moved nearly every year for the the last 7 or 8 years, so each time was a good moment to go, "Do I need this? Have I used this? Have I even touched it since I moved last? Do I REALLY want to pack this up and move it just for it to sit in the new place?" Try to think of some of your stuff that way -- although I have NO tips against buying new stuff. Big problem here too!