June 21, 2010

Where Did I Get All This Stuff?

by


I think my house is normal size. It’s about 3,000 square feet. OK, that’s HUGE! What am I doing with all this space? It’s just me, CycleGuy and BabyGirl. Sure, we used to have a dog. But Janers was a Jack Russell Terrier and small. But this is what we bought. Probably so we can put all our ‘stuff’ somewhere.

My first house was 1,900 square feet and seemed giant compared to the 1,000 square foot patio home CycleGuy and I rented. That first house was pretty sparse for quite some time. But after a piece here, a rug there, guest room furniture so Bubbie could visit it did start to fill up. Then we moved.

Off to Ohio and yet another house. This time a 2-story house with a basement. That house seemed downright gigantic! Partly because the master was on the main level so we didn’t spend a lot of time upstairs. All the rooms were furnished and everything was in its place. But we rarely used half of it.  Fast forward to our move back to Arizona.

Our house in Arizona is about the same size as the Ohio house but doesn’t have a basement. Not that we kept a ton of stuff down there anyway. But, evidently we kept plenty which now has to be stored in the garage. We have a 3-car garage mainly so we could have storage. It’s starting to look very full. Boxes upon boxes upon boxes of paperwork that I have to keep for work. Tax documents. Sports equipment, my stockpile of household items and so much more. And that’s just the garage!

As I spent the last week in the Bay Area looking for a place for CycleGuy and realizing that when BabyGirl and I move up there that there is no way we’ll be moving in to a house anywhere near the size we have now. We’ll definitely need to downsize quite a bit. And then it hit me. Where will I put all the ‘stuff’? Which led me to then wonder how I have amassed all this ‘stuff’.  Seriously, where did all this stuff (and junk!) come from?  And why do I have it in my house?

I’m not a hoarder. About 3 times a year CycleGuy and I go on our cleaning spree and thin out the junk, uh, I mean valuable stuff. I’m always amazed at how much we toss. And yet, it never looks like we’ve touched a thing. We do this every 4 or so months, so where does it all come from? It’s like it multiplies while I sleep.

I don’t shop a lot, so I know I’m not adding a lot to the growing amount of things I have. I purge! Bags to the local donation spot, some to the trash heap, other things given to friends or passed along. Still, it looks like I’ve done nothing and all these things are making their way back in to my house.

Maybe I’m just used to seeing it that I just think I have a ton of stuff. Yes, I know BabyGirl has a lot of toys and craft stuff and books and dolls and there are many incarnations of school materials. Truthfully, I wonder where all this stuff came from. If I sit down and focus I can detail how most things came about being in my house. Maybe the better question is why do I keep all this stuff.

I recently had a friend who moved back and rented a small place and kept most of her belongings in storage for the past year. Upon taking her things out of storage a few weeks ago as she moved in to a bigger place, she was excited to see all of stuff again. At the same time she realized that things which used to mean so much to her and would never part with weren’t more than just things. Maybe some sentimental value, but mostly just things. Widgets. Fungible items that were just taking up space.  When you live without your stuff for a year you realize what you do and do not need.

I can’t imagine living without all the stuff in my house. But the reality is that I probably could get rid of most things and not miss them.

Would you miss your things if you had to get rid of them? Which things can’t you live without?

Sara

{ 12 comments }

Angel June 21, 2010 at 9:33 am

My puter is a definite.. my bath stuff, gotta have my bubble bath and what not.. My kitchen appliances are musts as well. My books nd photos..

Sara June 21, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Hi Angel,

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I hear you on all the things that are must haves and definites. I’m sure I can justify keeping most things. That’s probably why CycleGuy and I do the purge together. If I make him get rid of his ‘junk’ then I’m going to be held to that same standard.

Hope to see you again soon!

Sara

Sara Blake June 21, 2010 at 9:38 am

Wow I was just thinking that today too! I was driving and wondering, okay what can I get rid of, I just have so much stuff! But like you, I don’t know what to get rid of, I think I can use it all! The truth is I have a 1300 sq foot house and I can’t keep all the stuff I want 🙁 I don’t think I am a hoarder, I just need a bigger house! lol

Honestly, I don’t think I would “miss” the stuff per say but I do use most of it so it’s hard to imagine life without it so I don’t want to get rid of it , yep I’m 8 years old all over again refusing to get rid of my toys!

I’ll probably just challenge myself to get rid of items I don’t really need and put on my big girl panties and suck it up, lol.

Sara June 21, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Hi Sara,

Thank you for stopping by. You’re probably not a hoarder. But you have kids so they amass stuff too. And that’s a completely different problem. But I’m like you and can’t imagine life without my stuff. But, if I were forced to pare down I’m sure I could. Then again, I’ve seen some really cute organizer bins at Target lately!

Sara

Amy @ Dealusional June 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Oh my goodness. The lack of basements here kills me! We actually have a guy coming over Wednesday to install racks that hang from the ceiling of the garage so we have a place to put our stuff (and can then park our cars in the garage).

Btw, didn’t know you lived in OH! Where were you? I was born & raised there 🙂

Sara June 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Hi Amy!

Nice Rack! Sorry, couldn’t help myself. We have the garage racks too. Got them about 5 years ago because we were running out of space for our stuff. They’re actually pretty nifty. Hope you like yours.

Sara

Robyn OHSH June 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Isn’t this the absolute truth!!! Where in the world did all of this stuff {ahem… junk} come from that I have cluttering up my home. I’ve been cleaning out closets and just shaking my head at myself as I go.

Thanks so much for joining in on Mingle Monday. I hope you have a great week.

Robyn

Sara June 21, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Hi Robyn,

Truly, I can’t figure out where all the stuff comes from. As quickly as I get it out of my house it seems as if the relatives of the stuff have moved in. I want to be one of those minimalist zen types but I’m not sure I’ll ever succeed.

Thank you for hosting Mingle Monday!

Sara

Starving Student Survivor June 21, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Isn’t it ridiculous how much time and energy we (mostly women) spend thinking about stuff? Getting stuff, organizing stuff, remembering to use stuff, finding stuff, and then trying to get rid of stuff. It’s terrible.

Sara June 21, 2010 at 10:40 pm

You’re right, we do spend a lot of time dealing with our ‘stuff’. Now I think I might have a psychological problem. Oh geeze!

Cherees June 21, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Stopping by to say hi! I have the same problem, when we moved to MS we sold almost our whole apartment of stuff if we didn’t sell it got donated to the neighbor with lots of little girls or went to the trash and now I feel like we need to purge again and we haven’t even finished getting this out in order yet. So I am right there with you.

Honey June 22, 2010 at 7:48 am

Hi Sara,

We are currently doing the whole house purge. I seriously think “stuff” multiplies while I sleep. We have been going through all the clothes, books, toys, and homeschool materials. I am on a mission.
We got rid of 4 garbage bags of clothes and toys to the local donation spot (as you put it) yesterday. We also got rid of several bags of garbage (aka junk) from the basement. I have about 6 boxes of homeschool materials that I am letting go of.

Blessings
Honey
The house is feeling lighter. I love it.

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