Thursday, May 27

Thoughtful Thursday-Stuff

Do you think that the more stuff you own enhances your life or adds to your burden?

Stuff...I sure have a lot of this. Things I save to use later, things I save for their emotional attachment, things I have just because, and things I "need" (not always the case obviously). All of which adds up. Oh the things I have! I use to say in Germany, "if you want to see how much stuff you can fit into base housing you should see my apartment". So much stuff! That was not a joke by the way. Thankfully I have been told it didn't look all that bad. Whew!

Before PCSing to Las Vegas I was determined to downsize. I tried but ultimately failed. We went over our shipping limit. Since living here I have continued to downsize. I have things ready for donation and things I need to sell. Both of which are waiting, just waiting. I have slowly come to the solution that less is best. I buy the boys less toys and clothes (2010 has been very liberating). I extremely limit my impulse buying (there is something to be said about not going out). Consumerism is not a desirable American quality. There are many reasons for my decisions but in the end I have come to realize that we do not need all this stuff.

Having so much is overwhelming. It can even make me feel claustrophobic. A few weeks ago I attempted to watch Hoarding: Buried Alive. That was not a good idea. Growing up I was always surrounded by stuff. My family liked stuff. I remember having to move and haul the massive amounts of stuff my parents owned. Did they use these items? No. They were stored in our basement, outside storage or storage facilities. I would ask my mum what some of these things were and she would ramble off things from the present all the way back to her own childhood. It drove me crazy to see all the clutter around our house and to have to deal with it. People use to say that my room was the cleanest room in our house. I am proud of that! I tried hard to keep that reputation because I did not enjoy being surrounded by my parents clutter.

When I left home I took things with me that I thought had value or that I had attachment to. Most of these things ended up staying in boxes and being moved from OKC, to Belgium and again to Germany. Rarely if ever seeing the outside of a box. I was doing exactly what my mum did. Something I truly did not like. In Germany there was a flood in our base housing that had me re-evaluating how much of that stuff was really needed. Lots of these items were destroy and pitched. As much of an emotional toll on me as that flood was (we are more like our parents that we care to acknowledge) I think it was a good and eye opening experience. I was able to let go of so many things that I did not need.

Here I have gone through these items once again and downsized quite a bit. There are items I wish I could bring myself to get rid of still but have such a strong emotional attachment to I can not. Its all a process I guess. With our current living arrangements being larger than our last it is harder to see how much extra stuff we have but I know that there are areas that need improvement. I enjoy going through and getting rid of the things we no longer use or need. I'm not a huge throw away person and prefer donating to help others. It feels good to know that I am not surrounding myself with useless items "just because". Its also important to me not to be putting an extra burden on J or the boys. I do not plan to replace most of the items I get rid of and hope that over time I can truly live by the philosophy: Less is best.

Because yes, to much stuff IS a burden.


  1. I'm with you 100% on this! I feel like I could have written this myself, lol. And, my parents were just like yours!! Still are to this day. I'm afraid for the day I have to go through their house in preparation to sell it after they're gone.

    It's definitely a process, but the more we downsize the more liberating it is. It's freeing!

    I'll share this with you too: you know how *J* just went through this whole debacle with his AECP application getting screwed? (maybe you dont- if not Email me and I'll fill you in). There was a small part of me that was secretly relieved he wasn't going to proceed with the whole thing. I really dont know how I'd deal with the pressure of being an officers wife. All that keeping up with the Joneses. You dont exactly get away with driving a beat up 7 year old minivan as an O-4s wife ya know? (at least you dont around here.) I'm not sure I *want* to live my life that way...Mo money, Mo problems, haha. I feel like it's been so good for our family since we started living on less than what we can really afford to do. It's helped us to put our priorities back where they should be and we're all closer and happier for it now.

  2. I agree with you, as you already know. I have been donating stuff left and right. I do not know why or how people became to want so much or the best of things. For real, we all atarted out in small one room houses with very little when the USA was made. SO when did we think "stuff" would make us happier? I have downsized and keep downsizing. Good blog.

  3. Great post hun. I agree, less is more. Because I'm so busy right now I have too much clutter and it drives me nuts! Its not dirty, but the clutter is overwhelming. I have big plans for my summer break to go through EVERY box in the basement to downsize that as well! :-) It does feel good when things are tidy!!!!

  4. Man, it's like you took the words from my mouth! I was so going t do a blog like this today! Along with cleaning the bathroom I have been cleaning out my closets and finding things that I very clearly will never wear again (let alone fit in to. Things from my freshman year in high school. HA!) I think "stuff" will never fill any void. I think it's best to keep a few things, for memory purposes or practical uses.
    I loved this, thanks so much! =]