Monday, April 21, 2008

Stuff, Stuff and More Stuff!

As we are going through the process of clearing out our house and putting stuff into storage, I am amazed at just how much stuff we still have. We have spent the past three years trying to simplify our lives in all ways. A large part of this effort has focused around getting rid of all the extra stuff that just clutters up our house and that we don't really need. As a result, our 1000 sq. ft. house has seemed big enough for all six of us with room to spare.

This past September we cleared out and threw away and donated so many things. When the donation center truck came to pick up our things, it was 1/2 full by the time they left. Our neighbors even thought we were moving without telling them. So you can imagine our surprise today when we realized just how much stuff we still have! How does that happen?

In an effort to conserve time, we are just moving things directly to our storage unit without sorting through it first. When we take things out to move into our new home (whenever that happens), we will go through it all and throw away or donate as much as we can. It has been hard to not stop to do that now, but it just makes sense. I think Eric and I are both just itching to get rid of as much of it as we can though.

We have really come to appreciate the freedom we feel by purging all this excess stuff. It not only clears our home of clutter, we've found it clears our minds as well. We do not have to deal with the stress that having too much in a small space can cause. And we can easily remove our minds from the unimportant material possessions to focus on what truly matters. We have really strived to implement Matthew 19-21 in our lives.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

8 comments:

Laura 8:33 AM  

I DOES just feel SO good to clear out the clutter. And I'm with you...we clear out tons of clutter all of the time...and then...somehow there's more to clear out. (and we don't buy STUFF!) I don't know how it happens...but somehow we always have stuff to get rid of. It sounds like you're really doing a great job cleaning out your house! AHHHHhhhhhh.

Nancy 9:27 AM  

I hear you, loud and clear. If is such a feeling of relief to eliminate all that stuff that clutters our lives, homes, cars, etc. It's been 6 years since we moved into our house and as we (just me actually as my husband was in Germany for 9 months at that time) were preparing for that move we purged. Now it's time to do that again. I'm amazed at how much we've accumulated in that short 6 year span. It sounds like you're making great strides in eliminating stuff though. Good for you!

Joy 1:10 PM  

I feel your pain...and frustration. I cringe every time my kids receives a birthday gift from a friend that has multiple pieces. I know it will be played with for exactly one day and then relegated to oblivion. It'll only take up space from them on.

That's why, whenever possible, I suggest to their friend's mothers that books would be a great gift! Not a lot of parts to lose, and they'll actually get used!

Andie 5:03 PM  

I totally agree about getting rid of "stuff!" When we moved here 4 years ago we took at least 8 van-loads of "stuff" to Goodwill...and have probably double that to take at this point. I need to start sorting things and have a garage sale!

I have a question, totally off the topic. I noticed in your picture on the sidebar that Cinderella's Castle is in the background. My husband and I have recently decided that we want to save enough money to take our children on this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Do you have any advice on things to do/see while there? Where to stay? How to save money? Any advice you could share would be so appreciated! You can leave a comment on my blog, or email me if you have any suggestions. Thank you so much!
Blessings-Andie
(aprochnow at hotmail dot com)

Andie 5:04 PM  

Ok, just reread my comment...we need suggestions on how to save money while we are there, we're actually doing pretty well on the saving here at home. Thanks-A

Nancy 5:11 PM  

This comment is not related to this post...if you will provide me with your email, I will send you the 2 recipes I mentioned in other comments that I would share (I think it's too much to leave in a comment).
Thanks.
3blondesandthelaw at live dot com

MammaMia 12:01 PM  

I'm always feeling like there is too much stuff, especially when it seems like my house is busting at the seams. How do you manage!?! I feel like I'm running out of space in my house and there are only four of us!

jillmurtagh 11:25 AM  

This may be a bit late (I'm new and just catching up)... as an Interior Designer in my previous life, I've often wonder why those organization shows we all secretly love to watch are successful where we fail; that is, our STUFF. It seems that if we can divorce ourselves from the sentiment and emotion that we attach to things, the de-cluttering won't be as traumatic (or, really, the clutter won't build up at all). I suppose the point is academic, because we DO attach meaning to objects, and only catastrophe breaks that habit. I don't wish hardships on anyone, but they certainly are cathartic when they come - our Clutter Society has developed in a time of abundance, and for that we can be thankful. Learning to be responsible with our gifts is difficult (as difficult, perhaps as separating a child from a beloved but "useless" trinket). Becoming a mother revealed that clutter acquisition is an inherited trait, and as the main carrier, I need to lead my own little pack rats into a simpler life. Witnessing poverty can cause the empathetic among us to re-evaluate our notions of comfort vs. excess, if only for a little while. Exposure to "have not" lifestyles might be the key here. Although we are far from affluent, thankfulness can only come from the realization of abundance, which in turn will foster appreciation of living simply and without clutter. It might be time to bring Walden Pond into our family reading...

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