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?