And I like "stuff." I struggle constantly with materialism and feeling like I truly "need" things. However, we have too many things, too much clutter, too many items that we just don't use and that are possibly just being tucked away in the basement.
It isn't bad to own things. It's not even bad to own things you don't use all the time. This Thanksgiving I used an electric knife to carve the turkey. It's not used often, but when it is, it comes in handy. The problem comes in when you simply just have things to have them.
• Because it was a great deal.
• Because it used to fit.
• Because you're sentimental and you have a hard time letting go of things that remind you of someone you love.
I remind myself as we pare down, give away and just simply get rid of things that we're cultivating ourselves. Our wardrobe will be nicer when it's easier to find something and when we concentrate on nice quality items, but fewer. Our home is a better reflection of us because I've slowly weeded out the things that I bought in a transition period but didn't suit us. Our lives are richer because it saves money and lends us more time for quality activities if we're not bogged down by the process of accumulating crap.
I looked in one of our kitchen drawers today and asked myself why on earth it was full of things we don't use when space is at a premium in our kitchen (because I do have so many utensils I use all the time).
It's hard to be honest with ourselves and admit when there is simply too damn much. Because it means admitting misspent money. It means misspent time and space. And it means that we probably need to address why we've accumulated so many things. Ironically too often, getting out and shopping was a way to avoid the clutter problem!
I'm admitting all this because though I'm ashamed, we've been working really hard for the last few weeks to really dig in and clear up (and out) this problem. With a one year old it's slow going, but we're enjoying the freedom in owning less.
Let's just call it our Christmastime Clean Out.