Stuff. Clutter. Crap.

I look around my house and I see it everywhere. I come home at the end of the day, and seem to cart more and more in. None of it ever seems to leave. I hope this doesn’t sound too OCD, but seeing all this clutter around me every day, all day, truly makes me crazy. Yet, I know I’m not alone, because a lot of my friends, especially those with young children, say they feel the same way.

I’ve been telling myself I need a storage management system. That it will be better when the kids are older and there aren’t all the toys around all the time. But you know what? That’s not it. Or not all of it anyway.

This site really spoke to me – this woman and her family have a goal to not buy any “stuff” this year. They’re not doing this to save money, but to simplify their lives. They are clearing the clutter and want to stop the influx. I really want to jump on this bandwagon. But I’m not sure how. Yet. I mean, check out her post (and the comments!) about her spending at Target just before Christmas. I have a Target weakness myself – my friends and I joke that we go into a trance upon entering that store, and I know that I never leave without spending less than $50…..on stuff.

So I’m thinking. The first step has to be getting rid of a lot of what we have and don’t use. I’m appalled at myself that I have a pile of clothes in my bedroom that don’t fit anyone who lives here that I just haven’t gotten my act together to donate or give away. And every surface (dressers, countertops, tables) is covered in….stuff!

  • Clothes – if it doesn’t fit, get rid of it.  (exceptions necessary for things Kid #1 has outgrown but are not ready yet for Kid #2)
  • Toys – if it hasn’t been played with in a month or more, get rid of it
  • Paperwork – if it’s available elsewhere (online), throw away, or shred. It it must be kept, file it
  • Kids Artwork – I need to get pizza boxes for this year’s masterpieces; they make great storage containers for the stuff you really do want to keep. I rotate “current” work on the frig/sliding glass door.
  • There is freedom in throwing things away!

Am I totally nuts? Will I regret being ruthless with the stuff? Will my kids miss out on anything I might throw away?


3 responses to “Stuff

  1. No, you aren’t nuts. I think that all of us who simplify and declutter have a “what the heck” moment. We started with toys and, really, I had no idea it had gotten that bad.

    Be ruthless. Be honest with yourself….you need a lot less than you have.

    The clutter drove me crazy (still does, but is getting better) and I thought the same things. But, think of it this way, if you’re bringing in more than you’re bringing out— it will only be worse when the kids are older.

    Good luck!

  2. We’ve been decluttering fairly regularly for several months now. I saw Christmas looming and noticed a number of teething rings still lying around (the baby has all his teeth now!). And we had stuff in boxes labeled “yard sale.” We finally decided we were never going to have a yard sale (we don’t have a yard, for starters), so one of the local service organizations had a community garage sale and we took 5 boxes of stuff over there. PLus 2 old portable CD players (formerly known as boom boxes). And a few other things. There’s another organization called “KIDS – Kentucky Infant Development Station” that takes clothes, toys, etc. and gives them to needy families. IT’s a great setup. Everything is sorted and labeled according to size and season. I took them 3 diaper boxes of toys plus a carseat we had outgrown. A lot of the outgrown clothes go to a couple of friends who are single mothers. I have long since been through my closet and gotten rid of everything I can no longer wear (or shouldn’t, seeing as I’m 45 and I bought those things when I was 35 and looked 25). There just wasnt’ room.

    Of course, I was at Target yesterday too (in between doctor appointments). But since I only get there about once every 6 months it’s not as bad as it could be. I did have to buy a new shredder (my old one started shredding itself) and a couple of file boxes for the kids’ artwork, but since it’s currently everywhere, that addition to our house can only be an improvement (of course, I have to find time to actually put the papers in there).

    As far as toys go, I put them up for about 3 months. If they aren’t missed, out they go. I think next year I will try to involve Mary Margaret in the culling to let her know that some children aren’t as fortunate as she is and to let her be in on what to give away. There are some special things (handmade clothing, etc.) that I have put away for them to have when they have kids. I still have the baby blanket my mother made for me, and my silverplate baby flatware, and my silver hairbrush, which Mary Margaret was using, but I put it away when she started hitting her brother with it.

    Whew, sorry for such a long comment. Maybe I should post about this as well!

  3. Thanks for the great information. Just recently i found a 35 year old maple table at a yard sale for only $11! What a steal huh?Here is a great website i found on redoing cabinets

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