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Friday, April 23, 2010

Cleaning House



When we moved here we left everything and everyone behind in California, except our books.
Our house was sold, and our belongings were divved up among our three children.
When we set up house here in our present beach cottage we purchased only what we needed, beds, chairs, refrigerator, etc...

Seven years later, we need to have a garage sale. How did we accumulate all this stuff?
We bought more dishes and more pots and pans than we could possibly use.
We picked up more living room furniture than we need.
Between our outdoor and indoor tables we have four dining experiences awaiting us.
Our file cabinets are filled with papers we might need any day now, when the IRS chooses to select us for a visit.
Our closets are vomiting  shoes, boots, assorted bedding, and suits and dressy outfits molding in the back corners.

The habit of buying is hard to break.

Anyone for slightly used computers, printers, toaster ovens? 
Anyone with extra space to fill?
The Goodwill will refuse somethings.  Somethings  will go to the dump, where we'll feel foolish and guilty for our wasteful life-style.

Maybe this time we'll learn.

40 comments:

Abraham said...

Your idea of selling out and splitting the goods with the kids is fascinating. Our problem is that we have 5 kids and all want a share which leaves nothing for mom and dad. But the idea of selling out and downsizing appeals to me.

Ocean Girl said...

We are hoarders. We didn't accumulate furniture and big items, we are "buried" in "stuff".

I feel the relief for you.

potsoc said...

What a coincidence. Just this morning a volunteer for an organization helping wards of the state to become independant and self reliant by helping them set up a first appartment came to our place to pick up things we had twice before leaving our Val-David appartment and settling in Longueuil in our daughters semi-basement bachelor appartment. We were already using it when we spent some time away from Val-David so some things we had doubles of.
Still we did accumulate new things and we also got rid of some of them. Ah! Consumerism.

ellen abbott said...

It's amazing how fast stuff accumulates isn't it? When we moved out to the country house we left a lot of stuff behind and still we brought too much. My sister and I just donated box loads of stuff to a local re-sale shop.

Brian Miller said...

yeah, we have to go through a cleansing every once in a while. always try to find someone that just might need it...feel good once its done...

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Do they have FreeCycle out there? I got rid of a fridge and a couch that way...

Eva Gallant said...

WE downsized from a 5-room house on2 acres to a 3 bedroom mobile home in a park 12 years ago; now we're thinking about downsizing again to a 2-bedroom apartmentin a senior housing development.

Diana said...

I'm wading through simliar detritus...ugh! It's making me very conscious of what I buy...if it's not consumable, I think twice or thrice, so I can avoid the punishment of sorting through it all later.

Lyn said...

It is staggering how much we can accumulate so quickly. I am in a similar state with more excess than I can stomach. I am going to have a garage sale to raise money for my African school goal -- a kind of penance. Someone should benefit from my over-everything!

Lori ann said...

Oh it's hard, even with the best intentions. Is there a shelter perhaps you can dontate too? it seems to be an ongoing process for all of us.
good luck

Cloudia said...

Maybe.....




Aloha from Waikiki


Comfort Spiral

Dimple said...

I applaud your insight and desire to reduce. It's hard not to buy--every retailer and every manufacturer of consume products does everything possible to sell their products to as many as possible!

Sophia said...

I totally understand you. I was just talking to someone yesterday about how when I moved here, the only thing I came with was what fit in my little car...now, if I had to move again, I'd need a truck or I would have to leave many things behind....again!!! How DO we do that? :)

Nancy said...

I hear you! We are about to have all of our home home things shipped to another house, which we will lease in Reno. (My husband has just accepted a job offer in Reno, so our move to Portland will have to wait.) I wonder, after two years of living in a small environment, how I ever felt I needed TWO homes? (Although I am so grateful we had this little home when we need it.) We'll downsize from there for sure! We are not buying a second one.

Kikit said...

I also felt the same way. When I decided to go home to the Philippines last March, I packed my things but ended up throwing many stuffs. I felt guilty as well. The habit of buying is hard to break indeed.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

When we moved across the island to a smaller house, we got rid of lots of stuff. Still.....there are boxes in the garage that just seem to take up space.

I like the simplicity of downsizing.

Enchanted Oak said...

I think stuff multiplies at night while we are sleeping.
How else to explain that we moved in here with one couch and one chair, yet now we have three couches and four chairs.
That's just one example.
The other possibility is that it's a mathematical certainty that stuff will expand to (over)fill the space available.
Do none of this is really my fault, right? Right.

Fire Byrd said...

Don't oh don't remind me. I know I should start rationlising stuff, but where do I start, what if I need it/ miss it in the next house....
Oh look the sun is out so I can ignore it for another day, yea!
xx

Natalie said...

Women's refuges are always good for things to set up home with. :)xx♥

becky at abbeystyle said...

We accumulate without even trying. In spite of my own mantra, "simplify, simplify," I continue to purge. Twice a year, I do a garage sale and invite my friends to join me. I absolutely adore recyling, putting things into the hands of others, and working toward the day when leave this earth with nothing for my children to clean up.

the walking man said...

It doesn't matter how much you unload nor how much space you gain in the doing of it. An empty inch begs to be filled.

An English Shepherd said...

A spring clean is a good idea :-)

Wizz

Reasons said...

Oh it's not just us then?! We moved a fair bit recently and I always think each time that we've whittled it right down again but no, just been in the garage and am considering a skip this time!

Happy clutter clearing!

NitWit1 said...

Ditto: I am in the same process. I refuse to rent a storage unit for my excesses. To store my excess is one sin more than I have already committed.

Why store stuff you never should have accumulated and do not use now.

Of course some of my houscleaning is old slides, photos etc my own and one given me.It is easier now to keep memories mentally. When I no longer have memory, I probably would not appreciate them, anyway.

We have no children, only nephews and nieces, hundreds of miles away, who do not care for, or want any of these things.

Wander to the Wayside said...

I always look at pencils and pens as an example of how easy it is to accumlate stuff. Can't find a pencil or only have short ones? Then how about buying a package that has ten pencils/pens...which will also soon disappear, requiring another purchase. Until one day you spring clean and find...dozens of pencils/pens. Which will get shoved into a drawer or box to be forgotten, necessitating another purchase of another package of ten pencils/pens. (How do those things disappear so quickly, anyway? Are they hiding with that missing sock?)

ds said...

Amazing, isn't it? Turn your back and all sorts of stuff creeps into your closet. Luckily, there's a local church that accepts gently used clothing for resale/redistribution to those in need. Great way to clean the closet, and feel I'm doing some good at the same time (now if I could just find a similar place for some of the other stuff).

Today's word verification? godsmess
Hmmm...

decomondo said...

lol
THINGS are alive, aren’t they? During the night while we sleep, they clone and multiply excessively, creating unnecessary heaps waiting to find a purpose...

When I'm tired of this, I prepare boxes of needless clothes (my weight has changed dramatically over the past 10 years) to take them to the local church to be given to the needy; old computers, printers and routers end up in the Municipal office to be given to some school or library and the rest... well, first I try to be creative and turn them into something useful or, at least, funny. If I can't, I take them to the dump.

Here we don't have garage sales, it’s not in use. Too bad, because the things that we don't like or we don't need could make happy somebody else.
As they say, everything has its buyer. Your idea is great!

She Writes said...

been there, done that...

Shadow said...

we're all hamsters, aren't we...

Helen said...

Cleansing, simplify, edit ... a few of my favorite words. Sounds like you are making progress and we should all follow your lead.

(I actually place items I no longer need/want on the sidewalk in front of my home ~ 20 minutes later? they're gone!)

Carol@ Writers Porch/ Book House said...

Hey Rosaria! How are you besides being buried in stuff? i's the same here. Why do we need so much stuff to travel this journey called life? XOXO :)

RNSANE said...

I have to move soon, Rosaria, and I am terrified...mainly because, after being jobless and retired for a year, my savings are completely gone - making do on $90,000 less income has not been easy in the San Francisco area. My two son, who have contributed to the rent, are moving out - one goes to Germany with the Air Force, the other moves in with his girlfriend who graduates from Cal Poly in June. I've looked into senior apartments but it seems, with my pension and social security, I'm about $500 over their limit of income to qualify - and there is a 1 - 5 year waitlist. I need to stay in CA for me medical benefits which are good...and I have some major medical problems. Doctors and hospitals are here. I will leave SF, though, since I can't find anything reasonable here. My current rent is $2325 and my pension, after taxes is $2320!

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Oh, I know what you mean. We are all pack rats.

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

I try my best to keep only the essentials. I don't like clutter.
I used to have a lot of unnecessary stuff!
I learned this time!
Now I have minimal furniture, simple decorations(no knick knacks), and few picture frames on the wall.
My place is easier to clean :-)

Relyn said...

I love your mindfulness. What a wonderful reminder for us all. I've been slacking in my bloggish neighborliness as school has been more than hectic. Now that I'm back in the swing again, I wanted to stop in and say hello. Happy spring!

Dedene said...

Isn't it horrifying what we can accumulate? I got rid of everything when I moved to France and now that little bit of nothing fills up a gigantic house.
Good luck with Goodwill.

Jingle said...

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5 awards,
enjoy some!
Best wishes!

Robyn said...

It's so true.... it's a difficult habit to break.
For a huge sector of the global community it's a lifestyle... shop 'til you drop.

It would be a very different world if we only lived with what we needed, rather than what we think we might need one day or what we simply desire.

x Robyn

sallymandy/bluekimonostudio said...

I understand. Things accumulate so quickly, even without us meaning to be consumptive. We have so many interests!

The Boat House said...

It sounds like you and your husband moved into our house, no wonder we are overflowing with stuff, we have your stuff too. Lots of parallels, we moved here seven years ago from Santa Fe, NM, after living in California for years prior to that, got rid of everything but each other, books and art work, and here we are overflowing. I guess we are really blessed, so many have very little in this world. As to your blog today, we know it's Sunday because the funnies are in color, and I find myself overwhelmed at times by too many groups, writers group, art group, and just plain life.

Have a great day from Nancy at the Boat House, in Birch Bay