Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stuff and More Stuff

An assignment for today was to think about "stuff" (see Time Goes By at I think about stuff a lot. I am a tiny bit of a tidy-and-organized freak and clutter has always bothered me. I have a recurring nightmare that involves having to pack (maybe for a vacation or maybe for moving a household) and everything that needs to get packed up is scattered and disorganized. I wake up in a cold sweat.
The movie Grey Gardens and those tv shows about hoarders that seem to be all the rage now--my idea of horror. I'd sooner watch something like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Rosemary's Baby (and you can probably tell how much I keep on those horror flicks). Really, I had a hard time watching the "let's get you organized" shows, but these hoarder shows are just beyond me. They would feed the nightmares too much.
I actually do the rule about: Do you love it? Do you use it? Do you have a place for it? I gave away bags and bags of "teacher" clothes and shoes when I retired. We had a garage sale and got rid of an unbelievable amount of stuff in 2005, when we thought we might be moving. I still find a couple of boxes full of donations to a church "Clutter Barn" in our neighboring town when I do spring cleaning. If I get something new, something old leaves my possession. Still, it always seems like we have a lot of "stuff" around.
A few years ago, I met a woman who retired with her husband. They sold their house and most everything in it and bought an RV that they live in. Sometimes they will rent an apartment for a season, but they just do not buy "stuff." She said it was the most freeing feeling in the world. I don't know if I could do that, but it is an intriguing idea.
My husband Mike is tidy but he is also a collector. He has loads of stuff that he has now started selling on e-bay. Honestly, he makes a pile of stuff he wants to sell and usually I have never seen it before and I don't even know where he keeps it. Some of it is noticeable for its absence, though--like at one time there were seven or eight motorcycles in the garage and they're all gone now. He calls his collections his retirement fund, but it's a job to get rid of it. I hope I never have to deal with it.


  1. Wow....are you my lost twin? That is so me....I need order around me and it will make me and things in their place. Everything has a home! I thought I got that way from living alone so long. Sometimes I just leave something out of place just to make sure I haven't gotten too OCD!

  2. Knowing in 2003 we would move from Texas to Oregon in 2004 when I retired, I began getting rid of 35 years of stuff in our attic and house. My goal was to travel light the rest of my life. We wanted to own no property. There's a time for owning a home and that's the years you're raising children. That done we sold ours and do not plan to own property again.

    We moved into a nice apartment and love it. I have found, however, you have to monitor stuff more carefully when you have a small amount of space. I have very few trinkets sitting around because we need the space for real stuff.

    I absolutely love living this way.

  3. I don't like you, but I often end up regretting the stuff I get rid of. Don't even ask me about my complete set of 1977 Star Wars action figures. I still miss them.

  4. Not quite to your state but do like simplicity. We moved a lot when I was a child so I learned anything collected most often got left behind.
    My last move to Arkansas was a good clean out time.


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