Too Much Stuff

Were you the type of kid who always put their toys away at the end of the day? Or finished one project before buying supplies for a new one?

I wasn’t.

I was the person who

  • salvaged windows from the neighbors trash because they’d be “good for something.”
  • almost trashed their clutch from popping into reverse too quickly to nab that table from the curb “before someone else does.”
  • enlisted their mother & her minivan to haul a rusty metal cabinet with a bunch of little drawers home and stash it in their garage because I “could clean it up and paint it” and “it would be good to put stuff in.”

I rescue unwanted but useable discards. I collect things for imagined projects. I see the potential in seemingly useless items and make things out of them. It’s a point of pride. I mean heck – have you seen my fence-slat-turned-display-board??? {The fact that it is still living at my mother’s house because I have nowhere to put it is only a minor point of concern.}

However, at some point it’s time to clear the decks and put our toys away. Get back to a fresh, clear slate before moving on.

This is where I am now. I cannot work on projects I want to because there is too much stuff in the way.

Part of the problem is that we never moved in. Not really. More than 1.5 years into residence here and moving boxes still dominate 2 of the 4 bedrooms. Most of them have been opened and rummaged through. Some are sitting collecting dust in a corner.

It’s hard because I don’t have a garage or basement or attic. I don’t have the spaces people usually put their stuff or supplies. Where does one keep Christmas decorations? Their tools? The extra drywall? All that other stuff that never got unpacked?

The attic room 3

Right now, the Christmas decorations are still up. Not that there were many of them but I do love the lights. There’s something so warm & welcoming about coming home to candles in the windows {big thumbs up to whoever invented timers}. And if I don’t take them down, I don’t have to find a home for them. ~ {No? That’s not the way things work?}

The tools have taken up residence in the pantry. Initially it may seem weird but practically it’s a much better use of space. With the addition of numerous clear plastic bins, it’s the most organized space in the entire house. It does create an interesting situation of where to put things like “food” though.

And all that other “stuff”? It’s still a mess. Spread out between 2 bedrooms in a sea of cardboard and piles. Things that don’t seem to have a home ‘yet’ but were deemed worthy of moving.

The attic room 2

It makes me wonder. Yes, the house is a construction zone. Yes, there isn’t much point of hanging art on walls that need to be drywalled or patched. But if something hasn’t been pulled out and used in the past 1.5 YEARS, do we really need it? Is it still worthy of having a home here?

Or would it, perhaps, be better served living elsewhere? Passing it along to someone else who might need it more than me? What the heck is even still in these boxes?

The attic room 1

My mother once told me {ok, she’s actually said is several times},

One way to have more room is to have less stuff.

So, I am on a quest for more room via less stuff.

Kim {at NewlyWoodwards} is purging 111 things in 1/11. I think that’s a stellar idea and will be joining her.

Maybe, just maybe, we can condense things down to just one box room.

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10 Responses to Too Much Stuff

  1. Missed you, Carrie. You are a saint doing all that work while living in the house. Saint. I’m a little spoiled that we don’t have to live in the house while working on it.

    I have tons of boxes in our basement that haven’t been used/opened since moving in the house in 2007. I also wonder if I should just toss/donate them all. Do I need those things? Just things. We did do a purge in 2008 but some things were just too sentimental to toss (ryan). So, they stay with us.

    Good luck with the purge. It’s actually really fun for me to get rid of stuff. Now I just need to make it to Goodwill with my carload of crap.

  2. KML says:

    Great advice…. now to try it…

  3. David says:

    I totally know the feeling of being surrounded by all my construction! Just yesterday I must have made 10 trips out to the dumpster with boxes and other trash from all my work. My biggest question is dust; How the heck can I get rid of it all? It is so frustrating to be dusting on a daily basis!

  4. Tonia says:

    Join the club. I have so much stuff I don’t even really know where to start.

    • Get your trash, giveaway & keep areas ready. A beer or glass of wine for fortitude.

      Then pick a room. Pick a corner. Pick a box. And begin. One piece. One box. One horizontal surface at a time. Stop when you get overwhelmed and walk away from it for a little bit. Rinse & repeat.

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