I have a hard time conveying my disdain for the inevitable accumulation of more stuff for my two year old. We are about to celebrate her second birthday and the grandparents are the nemesis against my anti-accumulation project. My wife and I tried to head off the unnecessary gifts by suggesting to the grandparents that they simply invest in a pass to the Children’s Museum here in Pittsburgh. This objective was achieved, but the grandparents were not satisfied with such a modest purchase.
Apparently, my mother in-law has a box of stuff that is awaiting my daughter when they return from their winter retreat in Florida. I’m not sure what is included in the box, but I’m fairly certain we will be finding a home for all of these gifts at grandma’s house. That is our short-term solution: Clutter the grandparent’s house with the gifts that they feel compelled to purchase. I don’t feel great about it, but we decided that this is the best solution at the moment. We appreciate that they want to buy our daughter gifts, we know that a lot of children don’t have this opportunity, we just wish that every gift they give didn’t have to be a toy. The gift giving guide that we compiled for the holiday season can also be applied for birthdays, but getting the grandparents to comply has not been successful.
The accumulation of more children’s clutter is a constant struggle, and it seems that Merlin Mann is right in the middle of an all out war against baby clutter, too. Good luck, sir. It is a tough thing to get under control with so many others (grandparents) working against you.
No one likes the process of moving, but it is an excellent chance to evaluate all the stuff that you have. Since my wife and I are downsizing our living space by one-third, we had to get rid of quite a lot of furniture and other odds and ends. (Just a quick note: People go for furniture like mad on Craigslist. Last week, we sold seven separate pieces of furniture in the span of six hours.)
We’ve hauled bags and bags of clothing and other miscellanea to our local Goodwill and it has been quite therapeutic to get a lot of it off our hands. Nothing motivates you more to clear then clutter from your home than boxing up all of your belongings. It does overwhelm you, but it will motivate you to curb your accumulation activities for the foreseeable future. I know it has had an effect on our outlook. The accumulation will have to be curbed quite a bit if we are to enjoy ourselves in our new, smaller home.
As we rid ourselves of items that we have absolutely no use for, the weight has literally and figuratively been lifted from our home. It is a great feeling. If you have experienced this, you know what I am referring to. But, if you have not and are holding on to things “just in case,” you may need to evaluate what exactly it is that you are keeping and why.
A lot of things we got rid of had emotional attachments or sentimental value. Since many of these items were stored away for so long, we got by without even knowing that we still had them in our possession. Honestly, it was quite easy to get rid of some of these items because we had forgotten about them. I had the hardest time parting with things that were gifts. Gifts that we never used or wanted in the first place. I felt guilty getting rid of some of this stuff, but I’ve found that the guilt was short lived and holding on to something only to store it away wasn’t treating the object any better.
If you are moving in the near future, make sure to take stock of your stuff. Make the tough decisions and begin to get rid of things that you may have forgotten. It doesn’t make sense to move these things into a new living space.
My wife and I have accumulated quite a collection of glassware over the years. It is quite ridiculous, to tell you the truth. We entertain on occasion, but we have no need for the amount of glassware currently in our possession. Even when we do have a party we only use a small fraction of the glassware.
As I have mentioned in the past, we are downsizing our living space and we must reduce the amount of stuff that we have. The kitchen was the room we tackled last. I came up with the idea of removing every last item from the cupboards to assess what we had on our hands. The end result was quite overwhelming.
You don’t really get a grasp of what you have stored away in those cupboards until you have it lying out for display. I got the same feeling when we had our yard sale last summer. I asked myself, “Where did all this stuff come from?” The accumulation of stuff is gradual, and it tends to sneak up on you. My wife and I have been married for almost nine years now and we have just recently become more conscious of all of the things we have brought into our home.
It is much easier to prepare a plan of attack when you can see the whole of your problem. The final result was a successful paring down of our kitchen inventory.