All Our Stuff

I’m not feeling lost, but I know that normally I would feel lost right about now. I’ve only been alluding to things on the blog lately, and everything is still uncertain, but I imagine that we will be moving this summer. And that’s really all I know. The fact that I’m not freaking out and panicking about the how and where of it all is pretty huge for me. Instead, I’m tackling every day as it comes. And some days are easier than others. But, still, every day is manageable.

I’m going through the rooms of the house (and Lauralea was right, it is more of a “room a week” kind of job) trying to sort through the things we want to keep. And it really does feel like I just did this two years ago, because we did just move two years. But now we’re in a different phase of our lives. We’re likely done having kids, and even if we aren’t, I’m not going to bring with us the piles and piles of baby things “just in case”. So there is just a lot of stuff to get rid of.

My mom came and took a huge garbage bag of clothes and shoes for my little cousin the other day. And it was just so terribly hard to let that bag of clothes go. They were good clothes. There were a lot of clothes. And even at $0.50 a piece, which is nothing really, at a garage sale, there is still money to be made off of those things.

Now, normally I’m a pretty generous person (at least with some things), but you’ve got to understand the sheer volume of clothes and baby things we have. It’s really quite sickening. And I’m torn. I’m torn between holding on to these things for the next month or two until we can have a garage sale or just taking them to a woman’s shelter or some place where people really need those kinds of things. Is the work of a garage sale worth the couple hundred dollars you get from it? I want things cleared out now. I don’t want to look at it anymore. It stresses me out. Marc mentioned to me that if I could get a tax receipt for the stuff, I would have no problem giving it away. But isn’t that horrible? Why can’t I just give this stuff freely, without looking for anything in return?

I think it’s because there is just so much of it. And, at least with Luke’s stuff, it’s only gone through one kid, and one kid who went from newborn to size 18month clothes in the first four months of his life! And part of it is also that it means we’re moving out of the baby stage and that is always sad. But part of it is also about the money, because the money has been spent on these things and, just like that, we don’t need them — if we ever did in the first place! Honestly, I’d like the kids to move with one box of toys each, because they don’t need as much as they have, and I only think they need it because I’m so sick about how much all of their things have cost.

So maybe it would be a good thing for me to just accept the impermanence of these things in our life and send them off to people in town who really need them, instead of selling them cheaply and have them be added to the piles of stuff other people like us already have.

Thoughts? Or, if I’m being honest, “HELP!!!!”

Posted in Family, Finances, Kids, Life | 17 Comments

17 Responses to All Our Stuff

  1. Andrea says:

    Hey Dixie, Vincent Massey has a garage sale coming up in the gym and for $10 you can get a table. Might be an idea of how you can sell the stuff before Garage sale time.

  2. Dixie says:

    Oh! That might work! But, what if I need more than one table?! 🙂

  3. Ang says:

    I am feeling an incredilbe sense of loss right now over this impending, probable sounding move. I know we haven’t been able to get together lately but there just seemed something safe about you at least being in the same city as me. Weird huh?

    As for the baby clothes it is a painful bandaid to get rid of and it hurts a lot but I found it easier to just rip that sucker right off instead of easing it off bit by bit…

  4. Jobina says:

    I’ve spent the last few months seeking out people that need, really need the clothes and baby stuff that I had. It’s been hard and sometimes downright painful, but it’s also been great to see little, really well dressed kids walking around and Mommies who are so thankful that someone else was generous.
    I’ve also listed things on the web sites we have available here in Winnipeg and had people come and pick up the stuff. Worked like a charm and I didn’t have to haul it anywhere!

  5. Lauralea says:

    I’ve never been one for doing garage sales. Way too much work for the return. Maybe in my old age when the kids are gone. Definitely not when they were little and demanding.

    If it helps to think of all the people who would get joy from it, think of that and then pack it up and send it to the Children’s Haven or the Women’s Shelter. Children’s Haven would be a good place to send it. You could sort out the toys too and downsize there while you’re at it. (if it needs doing)

    Measure the value of not having a garage sale in time saved and joy given.

    When I sorted through our baby things (after the 3rd baby… oops!) I just kept all the really special outfits and blankets and things and then several years ago I divided them up into boxes for each kid. Four boxes labelled “_____’s Keepsakes and Treasures”.

    As you sort and pack them up, do it with a thankful heart- Pray and rejoice that you were able to afford them when you needed them. Give thanks for the good bargains you got. Be grateful that your children have always had what they need and more. And bless these little things as you send them away, and pray that God will give grace and protection to the little people who will wear them next.

    What a gift you have in your possession to give. Give freely and generously. Give thankfully.

    (so ends the sermon for today.)

  6. You know, Lauralea, as I was sweeping up yesterdays’ playdough in preparation for our little pizza party tonight (which is mostly weeping and gnashing of teeth at the moment — tho’ now we’ve brought the Coke out while it’s cooking so it’s quiet), I thought that maybe I should just give it away to a good place. And I was wondering what a good place in town would be.

    And it’s not just about the work of a garage sale (altho’ for the hours that would take I could just do a pile of office work and probably end up better off anyway), it’s because I want to learn to give — freely and generously, like you said.

    So, it’s working it’s way out in me, I think.

  7. Michelle says:

    Awe Dix, I really need to give you a call. . . I have so many thoughts from these last few posts and it’s so much to write down here. Just know I’m thinking about you and we will chat soon! Sending you my love and a big hug!

  8. Tammy says:

    It feels so great to give it all away. You get used to it after a bit and it’s so nice to have less. Less to clean, sort, think about. I like the band-aid reference. If you do have another baby, think how fun it would be to have some new things or for someone to give back to you.

  9. Jean says:

    Yep, I agree with Tammy. Give and be blessed. lol

  10. Ruthie says:

    my vote is for GIVING IT AWAY! especially if you find someone or a place that could really use it. (sometimes hard to do in the world we live in — most people already have alot) i’ve done the garage sale thing. it’s HUGE. i’m not the most organized person so it was even more complicated then it needed to be.

    enjoy purging your house!!! i need to do this as well. and we’re not planning any soon happaning moves. at least, there’s none on the horizon that i know of.


  11. lisa says:

    there used to be a program at the YWCA called Family Futures. I know that with Mom’s Morning out we used to donate baby stuff to them. That’s also an idea…I know MMO will always take stuff for their clothing sale too.

  12. Rebekah says:

    Where are you moving to? Into a new place or a new town? We are packing up in less than a month to move back home for 4 months and then back out to BC for who knows how long! I hate packing so much!

  13. Linea says:

    It is good to learn to hold onto things lightly. Note that I did not say that it is easy to learn. It grows you and helps you to know what is really important to hold closely.

  14. SharonK says:

    When one has been given much, it is good to pass along that blessing….freely you have received…freely give…

  15. JT says:

    Ok, what’s the moving story? You can’t throw that out there and not fill us in….. sigh…

  16. Dixie says:

    Hey JT. I’ll post the moving story shortly. Sorry to keep you hanging. 🙂

  17. […] it’s true with all of the stuff we need to sell, too. I’d like to give people a deal. Remember a few months ago when I was panicked about the kids’ baby clothes? Well, I’ve adopted Lauralea’s philosophy and am just happy to have had those things and […]

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