It’s true. I have a love-hate relationship with our stuff. And I wish I could figure out what the exact point is where something that I wanted and valued becomes something that is on the floor, unwanted, and a burden.
Between having a few weekends of travel, some birthdays, and some major papers due, the house has fallen into a bit (quite a lot a bit) of disrepair. We all have full tummies and clean clothes on our backs, so it’s not like we have fallen into disrepair. It’s just the house… the stuff in the house.
Spring finally showed up a few
hours weeks ago, so there is the transition of stuff that goes along with that. Put the sleds away, bring out the summer sports stuff. Will your winter boots fit you next year or do we put them in the box to give away? (And then do the same thing with every item of clothing in the drawer.) The turnover and transition of seasonal stuff is actually quite the prcoess with a growing family, and while it has been done this spring, it has not been completed, and the last few bins to put away and items to sort are sitting in piles around the house. And they are annoying me…
But what is annoying me most is not the seasonal stuff, it’s the stuff stuff. The clutter. The pointless mail that we get that I have scattered in piles around the house instead of opening and disposing of immediately. It’s piles of stuff that I don’t even know what it is or who wants it or how it even got in this house in the first place!
I’m not sure I was foolish enough to think that living in a bigger house would mean less mess, but you’d think it would at least be less cluttered than living in that teeny tiny trailer! And, it’s true… sort of. We do actually have space to walk in this house. But the clutter mess is still there. The same old clutter mess follows us whereever we go. And right now I don’t know where to begin. (And that never happens with me.) Normally, I look at a room and can tell you where every item belongs. But not anymore. I can tell you where I would like everything to be (OUT OF MY HOUSE!), but I just can’t figure any of it out right now.
I am slowly beginning to admire people who like their stuff. I used to think that it was somehow wrong to like what you had when so many people in the world have so little. But now I see that it may have less to do with what you have and how much you have, and more with your attitude towards it all. And my attitude stinks.
I am ungrateful with the abundance because I just can’t handle it all. And so instead of being grateful I turn resentful. And ungrateful. And I really want to be different. But I don’t know if I need to start with the stuff or the attitude towards the stuff…
I’ve heard it said — and have some friends who live by this mantra — that you should only keep in your house what you love. (Beside things like a toilet brush… because I don’t think anyone loves their toilet brush, but you really do need it.) I could try that. And, even though I currently hate almost all of the stuff in my house, I don’t think I’d really throw everything out, right?!
So… tonight I’m wondering how everyone deals with this curse of the North American abundance of “stuff.” Are you okay with what you have? Do you want more? Do you wish you had less — or at least less clutter? I wonder if some of my frustration is linked with guilt over the abundance. Anyone else experience that? Is it just because I am a neat person living with four messy people that I don’t like how the stuff makes the house messy? Or is it really all about the stuff?
*ADDENDUM I know that gratitude and thankfulness is the first step in this process. I know I am using strong language like “hate.” But I really want to get to the core of why stuff becomes a burden… why the stuff I wanted now becomes the stuff that clutters up my life and frustrates me. Why? Why? Why? Why it seems like it’s simultaneosly never enough and always too much…