You know what I love? Not working on the condo on the weekends. Not even having to think about working on the condo on Saturday morning. Oh, the simple joys of life.

We currently have it up for rent, although it’s a tough market with so much inventory out there… so it sits empty for the moment. I’ve thought of creating a webpage specifically for it – giving potential renters all the ins and outs of the place. We put so much love and money into the place, it seems a shame to not talk up all the fabulous points about it! I doubt I’ll actually do it (plus the ads online are very nicely done), but it’s fun to think about.

With all of our new found time, Ben & I have been working on a few new projects and finding ways to fill our time. I got a new sewing machine for my birthday this year and have been buzzing away on it. I’ve made a few bags, purses and gifts for a few people. I’m planning to put together a few things for christmas gifts – the prototypes are in the making right now.

Ben has taken up beer making – his first batch is fermenting away and will be ready to bottle tomorrow (although he’s pushing to try to do it today). I’m excited about the end product – we’re making 5 gallons, so I really hope it’s good!

I recently watched a video entitled “The Story of Stuff” which goes into all of the stuff Americans own, how we’re entised to purchase the bigger, better, faster versions of things, and then how we trash it all. It makes me sad to think about. Generally I try to donate or recycle as much as I can, rather than throwing away, but I can’t guarantee that my stuff doesn’t get trashed somewhere along the way after that point.

Along the same lines, I’ve been evaluating all of the stuff in our house lately. Mostly I’ve been frustrated with the quantity of it and my inability to get rid of it. Sure, I find a few select items here and there to put in the goodwill box or deem beyond donation worthy and trash, but the majority of the time I have this inner dialogue where I struggle with parting with said stuff. Here’s how it goes:

“What if I need it again? I could use this for “x”… I’ll regret throwing it away then. What if someone asks about it (when given to me/us as a gift)?”

I had a moment recently when I realized that many of my inexpensive champagne glasses had gone missing – I drilled Ben on where they might be, convinced he had stashed them somewhere that I hadn’t thought of. It wasn’t until I was reviewing our tax return donation worksheet that I noticed a large number of champagne glasses listed on it. Ugh. I needed those! Why did I donate them!?!? (ok, so I didn’t really need them, but it felt that way at the moment.)

Now I hesitate to put clothes in the goodwill box as I realize their potential as material to turn into something fabulous with my new sewing machine (my material pile is accumulating quickly!). I should just get it out of the house and move on. If it were better organized I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed by it all, but there is just so much of it! I would know what we have and where it is… right now I don’t have that feeling of organization. Being organized gives me an inner sense of peace. It makes me feel happy and complete.

When I was a kid I would hide as much as I could in my closet until it was full and the doors would no longer close… then it was time to organize it all and start over. I would pull everything out into the center of the room, sort between the trash and non-trash items, and put it all away neatly. It was the only way it worked for me. I was forced to look at it all at once. It’s tough to do that with a house full of stuff… what once was a closet (to hide things in) has turned into spare bedrooms… it’s more difficult to get a handle on these days.

I would love to be free of it all, but I know it would just accumulate again eventually. We’ll get rid of some, organize what’s left…. then we’ll get more… then we’ll get rid of some, organize what we keep… then we’ll get more stuff… I have a feeling this cycle will never end.

We’ll get there someday – much like life, this is one of those things that’s a journey rather than a destination. I can’t even imagine how much worse it will be once we have kids… oy!


3 Responses to “Stuff”

  1. 1 Laura October 5, 2008 at 3:13 PM

    Oh, you fit in soooo well with your mother-in-law and your sister-in-law! Welcome to the Parmeter women’s curse! I could write a whole book on clutter and the woes that it causes. Good luck!

  2. 2 Megan October 8, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    I hear ya! We just got rid of a TON of stuff getting ready to put the house up up the market. I wonder when we’ll start missing those things.

  3. 3 Anne October 28, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    I also watched the Story of Stuff. Pretty amazing, huh? It is just so easy to buy new stuff when everything is so cheap and disposable! I now get most of my clothes from Clothing Exchanges (you know those parties with other girls getting rid of what they don’t want). I’m currently trying to get rid of everything except a couple suitcases to move overseas. My mom is horrified that I would donate perfectly fine stuff, and is trying to find homes for all of my crap so I can get it back someday. Funny!

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Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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