Sunday, May 27, 2007

My STUFF Now Owns Me

Elizabeth is the hoarding Muse. She likes STUFF, lots of STUFF. It makes her feel comfortable to be surrounded by things she owns and bought so lovingly. She remembers how she felt when she got it, where she got it, why she got it, and who she got it from. Every piece that she owns has great sensory associations either pleasurable or sentimental. She has a closet full of her Mother's clothing, seven years after her Mother passed, because she feels that letting them go is letting go of her. The upstairs, the downstairs, the basement and the garage are overflowing with her beloved STUFF!! How can she possible let go of them? It is like letting go of a piece of her soul. (Did I tell you she is a little dramatic?) She's the everything to excess Muse. And she's bad news for me.

Do you have a disconnect with the amount of STUFF that you own? You may not have STUFF like me. You may just have stuff. But is it blessing your life or overloading it?

Jen Lee posted about "all that we already own" on her blog. She says, "One of my favorite hobbies now is to look at shops not through the lens of What do I want here?, but I look instead for staging ideas."

I look through the "I love it. I want it. I must have it now" lens when I need the "How am I going to feel about this when it is on my driveway and people want to give me 50 cents for it?" lens.

Do I know about STUFF!!! I sooooooo relate to this!!! I am having to move back into my old house (Florida) because it did not sell in a year!! It is smaller and I have happily/blissfully filled this new house (Georgia) with even more amazing STUFF!!! The STUFF that now owns me, not I it.

The thought of downsizing again is overwhelming to me. I paid to move over 25,000 pounds (12-1/2 TONS) to Georgia a little over one year ago. I cannot take all that back!! But what am I going to do with all this stuff??!!?!?!?

You see I am not very good at selling anything. Of the two houses I have tried to sell in my lifetime, one I put on the market two days before 9/11/2001. Nobody was buying for months!!! The other my beautiful Florida home is caught in the midst of the current economy/hurricane/war scare real estate bubble thing!! You can bet if I ever want to sell a house that some major world event is about to take place!! And I have an even harder time (self-imposed feelings of immense/boundless loss) parting with my STUFF!!!

I had the same problem when I moved into my Florida house from my old house in Georgia. I had a 'moving' sale which is a fancy, self-deceptive term for what is really a 'people think I am desperate and want to ditch all my belongings for nothing' sale. I did manage to 'give away/donate' a lot of furniture/household stuff over that dreadful weekend of haggling over dimes. (One incident was the woman who said $2 was "way out of her budget" for a hundred year-old wicker mirror in excellent condition. I sold it for 50 cents!!) Afterward, I had to call a thrift store that sent a truck, refused to take some of my stuff (10' Henredon couch) and threw/tossed/heaved the rest onto the truck with no regard to keeping things intact. It was a terrible thing to watch. I may try Craig's List this time at Jen's suggestion. It could not be any worse!!!

While I still owned both the old Georgia house and the Florida house my daughter threatened to call the Clean House/Simplify Me Please show because I not only had one cluttered mess of a house, I had two!! She called it an intervention. The above moving sale/thrift store experience took care of some of it, but I am still holding on as tightly a I can to this 12-1/2 Tons. The thought of leaving anything behind makes me nauseated. The thought of moving it make me nauseated. What is the matter with me?

I have come to the realization that this 12+ Tons of STUFF now owns me. I have to protect it. I have to insure it. I have to clean it. I have to fix it when it breaks. I have to pack it when I move. Sometimes I have tripped over it and broken a toe. It is toooooo much!!!!

Today's aMUSEment - Take a slow walk around your home. Really look at the stuff you own. Look at it through the lens of an outsider. Do you really need all that stuff? Does it make you happy? Does it burden you? Does it squander valuable creativity time taking care of it or paying for it? Can you begin to simplify your life? What would happen if you did simplify?

U Be Creative Today!

PS - I think I will encourage Casey (daughter) to make that intervention call.

1 comment:

Darla said...

STUPH! Yes, I also have too much of it. But there's stuff and then there's stuph.

When a relative died a few years ago I somehow ended up with the job of clearing out the house. A whole lot of it was easy to toss and the rest easy to give away. I guess that's because I wasn't emotional about it.

Now my litmus test is "what if someone had to come in right now and clear out for me?".

It doesn't stop me from filling every corner but at least I toss the empty butter tubs, LOL!