Saved too much stuff


I used to be a minimialist.  When I moved from the US and back, I could fit all I owned in 2 suitcases, a carry on and 1 large box.  If I moved now I would need one of those big long moving trucks. 

When I was younger I went through a phase, I suppose like most kids, where I collected everything.  Every ticket stub, every picture (before digital cameras), every note from friends, every new fad (remember charm bracelets and garbage patch kids), frog decorations, cat decorations, all sorts of toys and crafts, papers from school- you name it, I kept it. Mind you my room was small and we didn’t have a lot of storage.  I think it was because I wanted to hold onto something tangible.  Having a had a rough childhood, once I was finally settled, I still surrounded myself with things in order to feel comfort. 

Then when I had been in college for a few years I got tired of keeping all this stuff.  I knew I would never  need ticket stubs from concerts, I had the memories.  I also think I read Julie Morgenstern around this time and was an organizational wanabee.  So I reduced and felt free.  I didn’t need tons of clothes and shoes and cds and pics (still no digital cameras or mp3’s).

Then I moved abroad when I graduated college.  I lived on an island full of humidity and lacking in storage.  There was not the freedom to leisurely shop (lack of choices) so we really didn’t have lots of stuff.  The stuff we did have had to survive being in a 24/7 humid environment, so after some green mold on the VHS (no DVR and just started with DVD’s), we no longer had VHS.  Life was nice, easier to clean, no debt.  Freedom from being bogged down with stuff and from trying to accumulate stuff.  When I moved home 5 years later, I vowed to live my life back in the US without getting stuck on the stuff wagon. HA, as if.

Flash forward again (digital cameras, MP3’s, DVR’s & DVD’s are now all in the picture),we have kids.  We outgrow our cozy apartment and need to become homeowners.  We buy a big old Victorian that is living space on 3 floors, plus a finished basement, shed out back and garage and guess what?  Closets are bursting, there are toys everywhere, I have folders of papers, kitchen cupboards are filled, Christmas decorations share space in the oil heater room.  We are a typical American family and we have tons of stuff.  When I became a mom everything seemed more sentimental, so now I scrapbook, save things from pre-k and sunday school, and sports.  I buy way too many toys, we have 5 pets now too.  My husband is some kind of clothes horse, and we’ve been blessed by my best friend who has passed on enough of her older daughters clothes so that my childs closet has enough clothes until she’s in elementary school.  I just sit and think, why do we have so much stuff?  Why do I try to clean it out and still end up saving stuff?  Like debt I know if we moved to a bigger place, then I would just end up filling it with more stuff.  I know that’s not right, but that’s what happens.  I paid off my credit cars and then started to use them again, a little here a little there and presto back to square one.  This legacy of stuff is not something I want to pass on the my kids.  What are you saving?

The theme of the month at national blog posting month is saved.  Read more posts at http://www.nablopomo.com/

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