Too much stuff

We had to empty out our kitchen recently since we are having it remodeled. It’s humbling to realize how much stuff we have.

I’ve watched both seasons of the “Home Edit” on Netflix. We are a nation with too much stuff. No matter how large the home, closets, and cupboards are bulging. Mine included.

This remodeling of the kitchen presented an opportunity to let stuff go, give it away, or repurpose it. The first step is the edit step and the majority of people have trouble with this step. I keep thinking about the one piece of clothing I gave away because I never wore it and then the perfect event happened six months later and I really wanted that dress back. Just that one experience makes me second-guess giving anything away. The second reason, I don’t want to let anything go is the sentimental value I attach to objects. For example, I bought this pitcher in the Netherlands because I needed a pitcher. At home, I have six pitchers. How many do I need? All the others have memories attached as well. Which one do I get rid of? I’ve been told to keep the one that sparks the most joy but none of the pitchers spark joy for me but I do need a pitcher! Round and round I go.

I have made a discovery about myself. It takes me two iterations to edit. On the first pass, I am quick and decisive. My husband watches me fill boxes and as soon as they seem full he runs them out to the truck and he’s off to the donation sites.

I’ve met some wonderful people on “Buy Nothing West Webster” Facebook page. They come and take away my stuff and are elated. It’s easy to offer up my 40-year-old furniture that is still in great shape.

The second pass is tough. I hem and haw over little things that I haven’t touched or used in the past two years. I just like having some of this stuff.

On the Home Edit show, they have a saying, you can have the stuff or you can have the space. I want space.

Life is less stressful when there is space. I had four sets of measuring cups, 6 scotch tape dispensers, lids that had no matching pots, and don’t get me started on the plastic storage containers and lids. I consolidated and found out that I might enjoy cooking.

My son and daughter-in-law are getting rid of all their stuff. They sold their house and they bought a twenty-two-foot trailer. They plan on living in it indefinitely with their five-year-old daughter and two dogs. They are letting go of everything they own from their house except what will fit in a 5′ X 5′ storage container and their trailer.

My husband and I lived in a 30-foot RV for five months. I told my son, you’ll figure out what is most important to you. It’s not the stuff.

Published by Julie Cicora

I'm an Episcopal Priest that loves using knitting as a spiritual discipline.

4 thoughts on “Too much stuff

  1. have been trying to rid my home of one item a day for the past few years. Some days it is more and some days are skipped. Don’t want to burden my kids with all my stuff,


  2. Oh how I relate to this. After 33 years in our home we need to down size, I collected vintage glass ware and pretty fruit bowls etc.
    It is the hardest thing I have ever done. My way is fill a box, move it to the back room and I then (after a week or so) forget what’s in it. it then goes to a charity shop. My problem is not knowing f we’re moving abroad or locally to an apartment.
    I have cloths in my small wardrobe I haven’t worn for 20 years.. oh dear.


  3. After 30 years in a five bedroom vicarage, my husband was due to retire. I spent a year nibbling away at the clutter, then when he finally retired we had 5 weeks to leave the house before moving to a two up, two down cottage with a small box room for a study. We needed all of that 5 weeks to divest ourselves of surplus sofas, mountains of books, old beds, and so much more. When we arrived, we continued to send more things to the charity shops as they would not fit in the cupboards – that was the hard part, saying goodbye to beloved vintage Denby pottery, table lamps, bedlinen and so much more again. Now however, everything fits; we know the things we saved are beautiful and useful, and we have enough…. in fact we can probably lose a few more things. It is a liberating experience.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: