This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Too Much Stuff

I have too much stuff. I never thought I had too much stuff, but the last move from Ohio to Massachusetts has confirmed it: I have too much stuff. I am not even sure where most of the stuff came from because I can still quite clearly remember moving into my first apartment and having…nothing! I remember linen closets with 2 towels and 2 wash cloths, one set of sheets and nothing else! Medicine cabinets with a tube of toothpaste, some Motrin, and nothing else. Kitchen cabinets with a pot, a skillet, a pizza cutter, and NOTHING ELSE! How did I go from nothing to too much? I have always considered myself fairly clutter free. I give volumes of “stuff” away each year to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Coats for Kids, and various friends whose kids’ sizes coordinate with my own kid’s size. I am not a pack rat. I am not a thrift store, garage sale, or flea market junkie. Yet here I sit, crowded in at my desk surrounded by stuff: an Empire Today Carpet bobble head, a half-finished Perler beads project, a tin holding change, a pinwheel, a digital camera with cord, 2 baskets filled with papers that could/should be filed, shredded, or recycled, a popsicle stick (we haven’t had popsicles for at least 3 months!), a cell phone, a book on origami, some crayons, tape, hand cream, a box of tissues, some ribbon, a clipboard, some unidentifiable cords without which none of our electronics will work, an umbrella cover, a head band, a Hershey Kiss wrapper, some stickers, a pack of gum, an empty baggie, scissors, a glue stick, some receipts, a pencil sharpener, and a hairbrush.

Where did it all come from? Recently I have been thinking a lot about money (paying a mortgage and rent will do that to you), and I was feeling pretty good about how lean we have been living. Now I look around me as I fight for space for my laptop on the desk, and I realize that I don’t know what lean is. I haven’t lived “lean” for many years. I could make a resolution to return all of these items to their rightful owners/places but I’m a realist: I don’t live alone therefore I don’t have complete clutter control. Of course blaming others for my “stuff” problem isn’t really the answer either, but what is the answer? Do I shop less? Purchase only what is absolutely necessary for life and nothing else? What about the stuff that just seems to happen: I am quite sure I never purchased an Empire Today Carpet bobble head! Does anyone at Goodwill really want that? Can I sell it on eBay? Feed it to a landfill? Send it back to the company and tell them thank you, but I already have enough stuff and would they please keep their stuff to themselves?

I resolve to have less stuff. I don’t know exactly how I’m going to lessen the stuff I already have, but I can (somewhat) control acquiring new stuff. I aim for a warm, comfortable, happy, and healthy home with JUST ENOUGH stuff, but not TOO much.

No comments: