I have too much stuff. And I have plenty of excuses. Here they are.
I live in a place that experiences all four seasons.
That means four seasons of clothes. Or more like six. We have warm, hot, cool, cold, super cold (two weeks a year, but one must be prepared), and super hot (this one lasts about a month for me). My closets are bursting. Yes, I really only need one or two thick fleece shirt things for the super cold, but I stare at them all the rest of the year, hating them and wondering if I could get away without them. (I'm always glad they are there the next year.)
That means four seasons of bedding, for five people. It requires a minimum of flannel sheets, down comforter, electric blanket, high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and silk sheets for me (just because I'm a silk kind of girl). Because I birth my babies at home, and on the off chance that I should get pregnant again I have to keep a minimum of two extra sets that are designated "birthing sheets."
I have two genders of children.
That means that I must keep everything that could possibly fit the younger version of the older. I have finally given up on the girl stuff. For one, my daughter went through toddlerhood in the flare leg era and by the time girl number two (from whence we have yet found out that she will come) comes through, I have little doubt that those will be hideously out of date. But I still keep a ridiculous number of boy things. Plus I garage sale, so I buy ahead at least one season and usually four. I mean sales happen in summer and so I really NEED to buy for summer, fall, winter, spring and next summer, right?
That means two genders (and two ethnicities) of toys. Yes, they cross play. My boys play with dolls, my girl plays with cars and trains, heck, my pink girl plays with brown boy dolls, and my brown boy plays with pink girl dolls, that's just the way we are. Regardless, double genders still means more toys because they really do prefer different things no matter what the sociologists try to tell us.
No one thinks I should "fling boogie" their stuff.
Granted it happens, but it is usually followed by, "Honey, where is my......?" and "You aren't getting rid of that are you?" and "But I love this shirt that is too small for me!"
Did I mention that I garage sale?
I never knew I needed it until I found out that it was only a dime. Or until I accidentally found a set of books for 20 dollars that I ebayed for closer to 400. Now I wonder if I can ebay lots of things and unless they are books (and sometimes if they are) they rarely get ebayed. I have overcome this particular problem but I still have a little residual effect.
Yes, I've heard of Flylady. Yes, she does work, as long as I do. But a lot of my problem would not be helped by flinging, it would just make me broke because I'd have to re-buy it.
Update: I neglected to mention shoes. Snow boots, rain boots, sneakers, church shoes, sandals for play, sandals for church. And silverware for my fantacy baby. As if I couldn't buy one pack of the rediculously priced stuff should fantacy baby arrive.
The only answer that has worked for us......MOVE! We tend to move every 5 or 6 years...and that seems to provide a natural sort- out-clean-out-throw-out permissible ocassion! But short of moving--buy bigger tubs at Target? I know about the four seasons....and the multitude of items children collect and need. And it seems as they grow older...your house just keeps getting smaller. The coat closet used to look so nice and organized when they were preschoolers. Now, it's full of man-sized, bulky, downe jackets....ski-jackets, dress jackets, and the ocassional sweatshirt that no one claims!
Good luck--smile! Empty nest is just around the corner they say!
Ah, Too Much Stuff...one of my favorite laments. I dream of living in a clean, uncluttered space. We just spent several days at my aunt & uncle's house which is beautifully (but not fussily) decorated, uncluttered, comfortable, and filled with Real Simple magazines that I drooled over. Unfortunately, both my husband and boys are packrats - books, magazines, toys, stuffed animals(hundreds!!)...and my 11-yr old son is hopelessly sentimental about everything ("but, Mom, that's special!"). I'm sure my house will someday be clean and uncluttered and I'll miss the little packrats like crazy.
My six-year old daughter dressed my 4-1/2 year old son in her dress the other day, accessorized his outfit with bangle bracelets, a hair clip, and lip gloss (which, also landed on the carpet, I discovered later!)
As for shoes, Big fan here of Payless. I just bought two pairs each for my two older children, and three for my youngest the other day--$87... Then I thought about my own shoes I was wearing that were $90 running shoes, which I NEVER, EVER spend that absurd amount on ANY attire item.
I have to read more of your blog to find out about your birthing babies at home--brave woman!
Diane-- I love tubs! I just need a few more. Like seven million.
Sue-- I totally forgot the jacket, coat, sweater, sweatshirt, hoodie issue! See the problem I have?
I used to sneak stuffed animals to goodwill but have had to go to ebay to recover treasured ones too many times, now if I steal some they go into storage in a TUB in the garage.
Mania-- I think this is the first time I've mentioned homebirth, but I love it. My second birth (third baby) was a water birth. Coolest experience of my life. My midwife couldn't get a good angle so I had to deliver him myself. Next time my brain is fried, I'll dish.
And to be honest, I allow myself expensive gym shoes. I am on my feet all day. I deserve them, I tell ya, and so do you, I'm sure!
I'm overcoming the clutter bug but my family isn't. Example...My oldest went to bed hystarical last night. Reason: He discovered that his "old bike" that didn't work disappeared. When did it disappear you ask? Oh, at least 2 1/2 months ago. He just noticed... Devon
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