Joining the Club

Today I am joining the bloggers club. I’ve been reading a couple of blogs for a few years but haven’t had the brain space to figure out how to create one, let alone write anything worth reading. Thanks for stopping in.

You’ve caught me in the middle of an organizing epiphany. I come from a long line of clutterers. My parents both come from long lines of clutterers. I learned from my dad that if you can’t find something, why, just buy another one! From my mother, I took in the idea that you keep just about everything just in case you need it. (I learned lots of really great things from my parents, too, which I’ll elaborate on some other time.) From neither did I ever learn how wonderful it is to have LESS STUFF to care about, move around, trip over, and use.

I’ve known for years and years that I have TOO MUCH STUFF. Each move to a new house saw me donate boxes and boxes of stuff to Goodwill. But we’ve been here for 9 years, and added one more child to our already-large family of 6, and those kids generate some clutter, too!

The former owner of this house was an elderly woman who had lived here for 30 years. We offered to clean out some of the stuff in the basement and garage for her, since we anticipated that might be a big job. Well, we were right. It took us quite awhile, but we finally got the curtain rods, hundreds of board feet of lumber, and not a few toxic chemicals out of here.

We’ve also been the recipient of much generosity, in the form of cast-off furniture, curtains, dishes, sheets, etc. Eventually, though, too much of a good thing is still too much. Even after several clearing out sessions and a stint on freecycle giving away stuff, there was STILL too much in this house.

Now, our house is small, by today’s standards. It was built in 1957, and families back then thought nothing of raising a family of our size in a house of this size. These days, we know many people who have half as many children and at least twice as much house. Must be nice, I’ve thought some days as I’ve threaded my way through boxes, bags, toys, bikes, and miscellaneous items too numerous and boring to list.

When we moved here, our children were little — ages 6, 5, 3, and 10 months. They fit into two bedrooms and had space left over. As children do, though, they grew. And grew. Now 15, 13, 12, 9 and 2, the house seems to be smaller. On to the epiphany.

I read something that really resonated with me:

Have nothing in your house that you do not
believe to be beautiful or know to be useful.

I suppose that was the beginning of a shift in how I think about “stuff.” More on the next post about my journey.

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