Quitter: Swallowed By Stuff

There is a war going on in my home at the moment. It is one that I feel like I am constantly waging, the battle against stuff. Good gravy we have a lot of crap.

Every year around this time, after being housebound due to snow and cold for several months, I start looking around at all the accumulated shit my family has brought into our home and feel like something needs to be done. This, rather predictably, leads to an epic clutter-clearing episode that leaves no one happy except for the dog and I.

What is it about family life that generates so much stuff? Before marriage and kids I was the queen of simple living. I quite literally had a futon mattress, two boxes of books and a duffle bag of clothes. I felt both proud and incredibly self-sufficient at how easily I could move at a moments notice and never ask for help. Now it would take a moving company, maybe two. The thought of having to move now makes me want to run away screaming.

But I am resolute. I will cull some of this insanity before the good weather and enjoy some clear space once more.

As I take stock of all the junk in my home here is what I see as being the major culprits of clutter.

Knick Knacks

Seriously? Wtf? Why do we have so many of these useless things? It isn’t that I’m not a sentimental person, I am to a fault. I take pictures constantly. But do we also need to buy a thing at every single place we’ve ever been and then display it?

Electronics

I blame this solely on my partner. He is all about the technology and staying on top of the latest devices. But for some unholy reason he insists on keeping the old ones. His office and our storage room look like an electronic graveyard, filled with old computers, cameras, cell phones, monitors, TVs. For the love of crap why can’t he let any of this stuff go?

Clothing

Great Oden’s beard we all have so many clothes. And it’s only getting worse. Three teenage girls, plus a sentimental clothing horse of a husband make me feel like the house is bursting at the seams. To make matters worse, our oldest daughter recently got a job at a thrift shop. I have noticed that there hasn’t been a single shift that she’s worked where she doesn’t come home with something. Sure, I’ve tried to institute the rule that if something comes in, something has to leave, but she some how gets around it.

Plants

Okay, this is my bad. If you’ve read my Crazy Plant Lady post you already know I have a thing for plants. And I will admit they take up a crazy amount of space, but I have justified this to myself by saying that they are living things that are cleaning the air we breathe. But even I know that I’ve crossed the line from lovely to jungle-like habitat.

Picture Frames

This one is me too. I just can’t seem to stop myself. I don’t like collecting things, but I do love displaying moments. Walking down our stairway and seeing the girls when they were little or catching a glimpse of a relative that has passed away fills my heart with love. However, twice now frames have fallen off the over packed wall simply from the vibration of someone using the steps. Time to take a few down.

Kitchen Gadgets

Holy shit we have a lot of these and not one of them was purchased by me. One would think that some pots and pans and a toaster would be enough, but we have a device for absolutely everything including a panini press, a broken waffle maker, a fondue kit, a grilling stone, a bread maker, coffee grinders…the list is endless. Would anyone even really notice if I got rid of a few?

Art Supplies

Okay, the girls and I are to blame for this. When my ladies were very little we would spend our hours at home together getting crafty. Those times really bonded us as a family and are some of my most treasured memories. But once we moved to a bigger house our craftiness got out of hand and now we have an entire room devoted to it that is over full to put it mildly. That sad part is that I’m the only one who does much crafting any more, but we all still buy craft supplies and talk about the projects we’ll make together. Maybe it’s time to surrender the fantasy on this one.

Seasonal Crap

Oh God, this one is me again. I feel like I’m experiencing a bit of a revelation while I write this. It would seem that I am just as guilty as the rest of my family when it comes to clutter. I have accumulated decorations for almost every holiday. And when it comes to Christmas and Halloween we are so over the top. Yikes.

Okay, perhaps it’s time for me to reassess the part that I am playing in the fullness of our house. Maybe I’m the one who needs the intervention. But it’s just so much easier to see it as other people’s problem and not mine. However, the truth is staring me in the face. So now I have to face it, ask myself why and do something about it. Uggghhh.

I suspect there will be a part two to this story. As much as I dread it, I know it’s for the best. And reporting back to all of you will keep me honest. Photgraphic evidence to follow, I promise.

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