Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Downsizing

When Jarod and I got married, we weren't exactly straight out of college with little to our names. He already owned the house we live in, and even had a full basement to prove it. (This is how you know you own the home: the basement fills up with a LOT of crap because no one is going to come and suggest you might not get your security deposit back if a family of rabid squirrels move in and you don't figure it out because your basement is too full.) I had a full apartment and a basement storage locker with enough stuff to fill half of Jarod's garage. Combining our accumulated junk was no easy task, and if you couple it with my urge to purchase other people's old junk because it's cute, well...it's been an ongoing battle to keep the house from becoming something worthy of being on Hoarders. Throw in turning our second bedroom from an office into our daughter's room, then add in all the gifts she's been given, and it's even more of a challenge. A steady stream of stuff has been leaving our house since the day I moved in, but we still keep having to work out the particulars of what gets kept versus what gets donated versus what gets sold.

I always thought that if I just got rid of things that we didn't use or need, then we would magically have a clean and organized house. It turns out that not only is it hard to recognize all the things we truly don't need (though I am getting better at it), it's also hard to see the forest for the trees if you've got a lot of big furniture stuffed into a small space. The thing that originally tipped me off to this was our purchase of a new couch last year. Just getting something a touch sleeker made our living room look so much bigger. What would happen, I wondered, if I were to remove all the huge pieces of furniture (some of which we use primarily to catch junk mail and Zinashi's random stuff) and replace them with something smaller, sleeker, better? I don't know the answer to that question, or at least the final answer, but I do know that right now it looks like four big bags of books to be sold at Half Price Books and several pieces of furniture to be Craigslisted as soon as I can take the photos. I will sell more to get less, materially speaking, but I will also sell it to get more.

More space.

More organization.

More letting go of the things that we really don't need.

More of what we truly like as opposed to what we were making work due to lack of other ideas.

And, frankly, more cute. (I'm hoping to sell enough on Craigslist to acquire a matching pair.)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

hmm. you've not changed. :)

marymuses said...

I haven't. I haven't? Wait, is this a trick question? Who are you? How would you know or not know? I'm so confused. Name yourself, Anonymous.

Jennifer said...

this reminds me of this old blog of my own http://bowbreath.blogspot.com/2009/02/new-leaf.html
I so agree with all you said. and identify with it.

I have been facing this challenge for years as well. I SOO want to be more radically purgative. When the rubber meets the road, I stink at letting go. Still want to get sooo much more drastic! and fast! Now! Yesterday! God help me!! grrr!!

I have visions of organization. tidiness. Order. Peace. Serenity. I truly believe strongly in its importance to life!! I want to raise my kids with that ethic and in that atmosphere. I want to give my hubby that gift of peace.
Why can't I get where I want to be. *sigh*