My parents moved into their current home in 1989. I was 5 years old. Slowly but surely they renovated and restored that shabby old farmhouse into something truly exceptional. However, their attic holds a couple dark secrets unfit for the pages of Country Living Magazine -- a handful of boxes that followed us from our old brick house in town and were never fully unpacked. The stroller that my mom used to push around my 36-year-old brother and almost-30-year-old me. That last cluster of old stuff they didn't need in their new home and wouldn't miss if it disappeared.
Currently, Ez and I occupy about 60% of our home's total square footage, and I'm proud to say the photo above captures all the extra "stuff" we still have packed away from our former lives, waiting for the remaining space to open up. It's about four boxes of miscellanea like board games and candlesticks, a vanity table, two dining chairs, an old computer that needs to be recycled and some old files destined for the shredder and the compost bin. (Some things bulking up this pile are building materials and supplies that will be used to finish this space. Woohoo!) Every time I revisit these boxes I end up donating or throwing away another armful. Give me two hours and that pile of stuff will be halved. This stuff, jammed into a corner of the master bathroom while the flooring gets installed, also occupies a corner of my mind that will feel much more at ease once it's unpacked, put away, tossed or otherwise gone.
My parents' old boxes are no big deal. Maybe one day they'll open them and discover a Renoir they forgot about. But our house doesn't have an attic. (We ripped it down so the 2nd floor ceilings could be higher than 6 feet!) Our basement has a dirt floor and snakes. Ours is a home fit for minimalists.
I'm happy with this. The less we have, the less I realize we need. Maybe I'm actually kind of addicted to getting rid of stuff. I've pared back my closet this year, keeping only what I actually wear, and it makes getting dressed in the morning a breeze. I feel like I have more clothes than ever, though I actually have less. One thing that's tough about this house is a lack of hidden space for seasonal things like Christmas decorations, which might be a deal breaker for some people. Fortunately, this is how I feel about elaborate seasonal decorating:
Granted, we'll have to make some purchases once these spaces are done. We'll need a new bed and a dining table. A proper filing cabinet. Toys and such for Johnnie, our resident stuff-magnet. But when it's time to let those things go, I hope I can just take 10 minutes and do it. I'm already trying hard to do that with the clothes and toys she outgrows -- packing away the favorite items we might use again one day, and giving away the rest. (Word to the wise: Buying used makes this whole process easier!)
Is anyone else out there addicted to getting rid of stuff? Or are you all savers and hoarders?