Stuff….

I’m always finding stuff online that I think is really cool. I don’t actually buy the stuff, but I have a lot of bookmarks. Sometimes, I keep browser tabs open for a few days with something I really like, but then I look at again and realize I can live without it… and it’s closed. It saves me from buying stuff that I don’t really need or want.

It’s funny, because I (we) have been trying to downsize our stuff for years. When you have been together as long as we have (over 23 years♥), you accumulate a lot of “stuff”. Plus, add 3 kids into the mix and you have even more “Stuff”. I feel so much better when I get rid of stuff (either by selling, donating or just giving away to a friend). I feel “lighter”. Less to clean, less to deal with…. aah! Like a breath of fresh air! I really like being organized. I hate having to look for anything. It’s a waste of time, in my opinion. I like things organized. A place for everything and everything in its place.

That being said, we moved a into our current home 13 months ago and it is much smaller than our former home. MUCH smaller. We moved from a 1600 square foot house to a 900 square foot house. Plus, our last house was about 9 years old and our current house is 60 (yes, sixty) years old.  Don’t get me wrong. I really like our house, but it is small. When this house was built, they weren’t thinking of walk-in closets or storage space. Back then, people owned just what they needed and didn’t buy new stuff to replace “old” stuff, unless the stuff was broken. Personally, I like that way of thinking. When I do find the need to get a new whatever, I try to give away or recycle my old whatever asap. I hate having old whatevers lying around! 😉

But, I digress. When we were getting ready to move to this house, we got rid of a LOT of stuff. I mean, a lot of stuff! We had a couple of garage sales, then donated 4 car loads of stuff to several charities. We still had furniture and all kinds of miscellaneous stuff that we did not need. One night, I placed an ad on craigslist with pics and a list of the driveway full of stuff and said “It’s all FREE and in the driveway now” and added our address. It was after 9:00 pm and dark outside, but FIVE minutes later I heard noises from the driveway. I looked out the front door and half the stuff was gone! I shut the door and went to tell my son how fast it had happened… we walked back over and opened the door… several cars were pulling away and everything was gone. The driveway was spotless. It was AWESOME! I was so happy. I didn’t have to deal with it and other people picked up what they wanted and/or needed.

Since we’ve moved here, I have donated even more stuff or given it away to members of my local mom’s club. We had a garage sale about a month ago and lightened our load some more. I’m still sorting through stuff and still have several unopened boxes 13 months later! I remember when I moved in with my husband and it was SO much easier! I took two small loads in my little Nissan mini-truck and I was done. Nothing was even packed in a box! Those were the days!

When I think about it, it doesn’t seem that hard to not buy any more stuff. I’m not a clothes horse, I don’t have a thing for shoes, I don’t buy gadgets or anything “as seen on TV”, I don’t buy books or audiobooks (I check-out books from the public  library), I don’t buy CD’s (thanks to iTunes), I don’t buy DVD’s (thanks to Netflix).  But, somehow we still have more stuff.

Of course, we don’t purchase all the stuff we get, sometimes it’s given to us. The kids get stuff for their birthdays, they win little prizes at school or elsewhere, family members send them toys, stuffed animals, etc… It all adds up. When school is in session, we have paper (paperwork, fliers, art, etc.) coming out of our ears. I get so tired of all the paper that comes home! I just want to scream. When I think of all the poor trees being ripped down for another unwanted flier from  school… aaaarrrggg! AND then, there’s the artwork – it is SO hard to throw out any of your child’s artwork! I try to keep only the best things and discreetly (when the kids aren’t looking) recycle the rest. That being said, it is VERY difficult to decide what the “best” is and toss the rest. I end up keeping almost all of it. I can’t help it!

The girls are invited to lots of birthday parties and we usually give gift cards as presents. We like to give gift cards that are for a service or special treat (like ice cream, a smoothie or movie tickets). I’m at the point where I don’t want to buy stuff to fill-up anyone else’s house either! The last couple parties that they attended – they came home with more stuff than they took with them.

School starts in a week and a half and, while I’m excited for the kids, I’m not at all excited for the onslaught of the paper… I’m planning to use the quiet time to finish sorting through those unpacked boxes… of stuff that I (obviously, after 13 months) do not want or need.

Speaking of stuff, here’s an interesting video about it:

Have a great week!

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