I Hate Stuff

Remember the good old days when everything you owned fit into your bedroom?  Everything.  All my clothes fit in one average sized non walk in closet, one tiny dresser, and a tall dresser.  I had one bookshelf, and a desk.  I had even less to work with when I lived on campus in college. 

And then this whole adulting thing happens. Somehow you end up with more stuff, and sometimes even your stuff needs stuff.

I lived in a few apartments.  I accumulated things, along with furniture.  I got rid of all that furniture and a lot of things, and started over in a tiny 400 square foot studio.  I'd say that was my most minimal moment of all.  MJ still laughs at me because I only had like three pairs of shoes...and they were all ugly.  Also, I had almost nothing in my kitchen.  Over time, I accumulated more clothes, more shoes.  Not a lot, and very few things, simply because of limited income and limited space.  I really grew to hate stuff, and would only take in essentials because any new items that came into the house was just another things to find space for.

Then we got a house.  It's great.  We don't have to live on top of each other, and my clothes were no longer perpetually wrinkled from being too tightly packed.  There is a place for everything and everything in it's place.  Well, as much as humanly possible, because let's just say I'm the neat one.  We brought our own set of stuff into the merged household.  We decided what to keep, and what to toss.  Houses need stuff, so we bought furniture, decor, and kitchen housewares.  I got a 3-drawer file cabinet to keep up with important documents.  We have a basket of cords, and chargers, and all manner of random electronics.  I don't even know what half of it is.  Over time, I accumulated more clothing, and my own personal junk drawer, that I've been meaning to clean out for a few years.  We have plenty of stuff.  

I have a bunch of plastic shopping bags in my bottom drawer at work.  Why?  I have receipts for random things from three years ago.  Why?  You would not believe the number of tote bags, and carry cases I have.  I am literally, a bag lady.  I have a bathroom cabinet, make that two, full of toiletries I'm not using.  I have a stack of photo greeting cards we have received over the years sitting on a leaning bookshelf, that I don't want but feel badly about throwing them away.  I have clothes I haven't worn since Bill Clinton was president.  Whhhyyy? 

And you can only imagine how excited we were when MJ's aunt sent him a gigantic box full of random stuff from grandma's house.  We pulled out a few items, but this box of useless stuff basically went from one person's garage to another.

I'm not into nick nacks or having random objects.  I am conscientious about what I bring into the house, but once it's in I find it really hard to let it go.  I've got my childhood keepsakes down to two plastic bins in the garage, and I plan on holding onto some letters and cards from family that hold sentimental value.  That fits in a box.  I'm fine with that.  My biggest problem is clothing, and personal items.  Like those damn tote bags.  And pajamas.  I have only purchased a few pajama items in the last decade for two reasons.  1. I went through a serious Victoria's Secret pajama frenzy a long time ago and I have a ton.  2.  A lot of my old clothing becomes lounge wear/pajamas because I am so reluctant to get rid of anything.  It has to be a rag before I think I should get rid of something, and even then something inside of me makes me think I can save it...or that I need to re purpose it into a dust rag.  I get anxious about getting rid of things I might need later, because it would be the end of the world, if I had to re-buy it.  I feel guilty about getting rid of anything that was a gift.  I once drove around with a Goodwill stash in my trunk for an entire year.  I am not proud of this. 

I might be a a borderline hoarder.

These cubes are awesome!! 
I came home from work one day and went on a rampage.  I didn't plan it, I just knew that stuff needed to go.  I went straight to my closet and started pulling clothes of hangers.  Then I moved to my pajama trunk, then my sock drawer, then my workout wear drawer, then my shoes....and well...you get the idea.  Once I started I couldn't stop and I ended up with a nice pile of clothing that is going to goodwill or the trash or anywhere, but my house.  I found these cloth collapsible bins to organize my pajama trunk and purses.  I feel really good about it.

All that stuff was sitting inside my house, but once I let it go I realized that I had also been carrying it around with me.  It bothered me that my closet was so tight with clothes I don't wear; clothes I don't even like.  Seeing clothes I disliked, mixed in with clothes I did like, was making me feel bad about my entire wardrobe.  It was a burden just having them take up space, and now that they have been relegated to the get rid of it pile, it feels great.  I have tons of boxes that have been chilling in the extra room since last year that need to go as well.  It's time! I'm over it.  I did a round of paring down the house a while back, but I need to go back and do more.

I love the idea of minimalism.   I even love the idea of  Tiny House living for that reason.  You cut stuff and you cut expenses freeing up your time and money for what is truly important to you.  I kind of want a Tiny House, however, I don't think I could get my husband to live there with me and I'm pretty sure I'd end up hating it anyway.  I lived in that 400 foot studio for five years.  It was cool at first, but by the time I moved out I felt like a rat in a cage.  It was stifling.  I need space, but I also want a streamlined and uncluttered life.  I enjoy having a reasonable amount of stuff, but I crave order, organization, and simplicity.  I want stuff, but I hate stuff.

I don't want to be forced into keeping less stuff by living in a shoe box.  I want to do it on my own.  The trick of it all is finding a balance, and learning how to free myself from an attachment to items. That's the part I suck at.  I did the KonMari folding method on my husbands T-shirts awhile back, and I think it's time to KonMari my life.


Emily Jane said...

I HATE having too much 'stuff' too. It drives me absolutely mad. Typically every season I go through all of our belongings and do a big purge (trash & Goodwill). I feel like 760sq ft house is tiny enough ;), but it does make me rethink about all the crap I tend to accumulate.

Good job on getting everything cleared out, I'm sure you feel lighter.

Ashley @ A Cute Angle said...

I hate stuff too! Or as I affectionatly call it ... "shit." I've have been in such an organizing mode the last week or so! It's so weird to see all these organization posts popping up!

Stephanie said...

I love this post :) Clearing out clutter is the best feeling, I love adding stuff to the donate pile. I don't think I'm a minimalist just yet, at least not by my definition, but I will be!

Faith said...

I've been on a rampage with getting rid of stuff for a few years now. It just makes me feel better when I don't have too much stuff hanging around that I don't like anymore. Sean and I are currently working through our closets and drawers to send off to Goodwill and for some reason it makes me happy, lol.

I remember there was a time when I was buying so much stuff because of fashion bloggers and I accumulated so much crap and spent unnecessary money. So happy I passed that stage, lol.

All of this to say, proud of you!!

Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad said...

Ugh stuff! I'm right there with you on this one. I'd also like to live somewhere tiny so we don't need much, but we had a small flat a couple of years ago and I know exactly what you mean about feeling like a rat in a cage! I'm also wondering whether that was proximity to others? I don't mean to sound like a diva but I feel like if our flat was the same but in the middle of the woods we wouldn't have hated it half so much. Maybe.

Lauren said...

I can so relate, especially about the "bad" clothes making you dislike the rest of your closet. I have so many things I have held on to just in case that I want to let go of once I no longer have to be in an office every day... I hope I can let go easily!

Susannah said...

I'm so much like this too! I love stuff but I HATE it! I'm always purging but I also always seem to get more things... It's a struggle! #FirstWorldProblems

Jane said...

Oh my gosh I can SO relate. I have so many clothes. And, right now I have an amazing closet, it's seriously larger than my bedroom. But, I'm going to be moving sometime in the next year and I'm going to have to do a serious purge and get serious about what I actually like & wear.

Laura Darling said...

I know exactly what you mean. We went from a 700 square foot apartment, where we had everything we could possibly need, to a 2200 square foot house and somehow it is full. I keep saying, "Where did all of this stuff come from?" Sometimes I get on a purging kick and get rid of tons of stuff, but somehow new stuff finds it's way in!

Amanda @ MyLifeIGuess.com said...

I have WAAAAAAYYYYYY too much stuff too! Like, where did it all come from? When I moved here after graduating, all of my belongings fit into a small U-Haul. Then when my husband and I moved in together, we had 2 spare bedrooms with nothing to put in them. Now we use one of those rooms exclusively as storage, and there's junk all over the floor of the other room. It makes no sense to me! And it drives me nuts... I need to purge, badly!

Shannon said...

This sounds just like my life a few years ago. I had accumulated junk since my teen years and I was NOT proud of it. For the most part things remained in the cellar. I had a lot of clothes I couldn't even fit anymore that I kept in my closet because I didn't want to throw them away.

When I became fed up with a lot of unnecessary crap in my life, it also made me think about how much stuff I kept around and didn't need. I did a lot of house cleaning. Needless to say, after I was done, I ended up with over 4 garbage bags full of clothes and countless random items. I immediately took all of these things to goodwill. I felt great after that and now I'm more conscious about the things that I buy and the things that I keep.