Saturday, May 23, 2015


A couple of months ago I started feeling really restless.  Discombobulated.  (one of the most fun words EVER by the way).  Anxious.  I couldn't figure out what the problem was, really.  I mean, after a season of upheaval and change things have been relatively calm for us this past year. We are settled into our new home, we have wonderful friends, the kids did great on their achievement testing so I can rest assured they don't need to go back to preschool and start over, our health is good, I've had three great haircuts in a row, and my mint is bountiful - ensuring a successful mojito season.  In other words, life is pretty good right now.

But I couldn't shake this feeling and I realized it was most intense in my home.  It hit me one morning when I was in my overwhelming, overflowing closet trying to find something to wear.  Because as I pulled on shirts and ripped them back off, throwing them in a pile on top of the pants I'd already ripped off and thrown down, wiping sweat from my forehead, and feeling disgusted that out of probably hundreds of pieces of hanging clothes, I ended up putting on the same shirt and pants I'd worn days before because (a) they fit and (b) I actually like them.  I stepped over that giant pile in the floor and walked through my bedroom where I saw several laundry baskets full of clothes that needed to be folded and put away.  I made my way into my son's room where the drawers of his chest were literally all hanging open with clothes spilling out of them like he'd just been robbed.  There were toys all over the floor and a gaggle of chargers and electronics scattered everywhere amidst Wii remotes and video game cases opened and scattered.   It was a mess.  And I was disgusted.

At myself. At all of us.  At all the stuff.  

I could have put all the clothes away, had my kids clean up from the Wii fest the night before, closed all the drawers and the closet door and all the mess would have been out of sight.  Temporarily.  But something in me snapped and I realized that even if I closed the closet door I still knew what was behind it.  It all signified much more than just a messy house.  Our lives, much like our closets, had become overcrowded and full of stuff that doesn't fit (what we want for our family), doesn't make us feel good, and creates chaos.

So I started with my own closet.  I pared down hundreds of hanging pieces to thirty-eight.  Two entire racks of clothes with hangers jammed in tightly to one rack with only thirty-eight hangers.   But as happy as my newly cleaned out closet makes me, the pile of clothes sitting in bags to be donated made me want to throw up.   I may never buy anything again.  Unless someone gives me an Anthropologie gift certificate in which case, I will.  But I'll get rid of something to make room for it because thirty-eight just feels right.  

We're slowly going through the entire house clearing out and cleaning out and getting rid of things that aren't useful or that we don't just love.  This is the smallest house we've lived in since before we had children and you know what?  As we're cleaning out, it's getting bigger.  So we obviously don't need a bigger house, we just need less stuff.

We had a garage sale a couple of weekends ago and that helped me move some of this STUFF out.  What was left over I piled in my van (had to put all the seats down, y'all!) and it was FILLED TO CAPACITY.  My van.  That seats seven.  Filled to capacity with stuff.  So guess what we do NOT need in this house anymore?  Stuff.

What is stuff?  Well to start with...more clothes.  Shoes.  Purses.  My oldest son has about ten pairs of shoes in his closet and do you know how many he regularly wears?  THREE!  A pair of flip flops, tennis shoes, and his baseball cleats.  Which he won't be wearing again in about two more weeks.   He has about fifteen polo shirts hanging in his closet and do you know how many he wears?  ONE.  The same one, over and over.   Which is significantly less than the total number crammed in his closet.

What else is stuff?  Video games, video game consoles, video game characters, and DVDs.   This past Christmas my son asked for Disney Infinity characters from everyone.  He got four or five.  In February he filled a bin up with all of his Disney Infinity stuff and wanted to take it to Game Stop and "trade it in" on the new Nintendo 3ds because apparently his own 3ds and regular ds just weren't cutting the butter anymore.  I stopped him on his way out the door, picked up a little plastic villain, held it in front of his nose and said "Is this the doodad I just gave you for Christmas?  The one you just HAD TO HAVE and were going to die a million deaths if you didn't get it?  The one you kept adding to my amazon cart and I kept removing?  Huh? Huh? Huh???!"  I asked him how much he thought he would get for everything at Game Stop and he said "oh...about $200, maybe $250!  Enough to get the cool new ds!"  I informed him that he MIGHT get $50....for everything....and he thought I was lying.  Until we got there and Gamerchick told him she could give him a whopping (wait for it) fifty dollars for everything.  (just remember, Mama's always right).  All the way home he got a lesson and lecture on how everything is designed to make you spend more and spend often.  Every single company comes out with a better, sleeker, fancier, quicker, cooler gadget so that the cool one you just bought is now outdated and obsolete.   And worth nothing.  It's a big, fat, racket. And we're the suckers.  He really appreciated this lecture.

So we're not buying, receiving, saving or asking for ANY MORE of that sort of stuff.  My kids will be the pitiful technology ragamuffins with the antiquated consoles and games circa 2013.  But it really doesn't matter anyway because WE AREN'T PLAYING them anymore!  It's not on our list. Remember this?

We're dumb AND antiquated now.  Boo.  Hoo.  

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