Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Downsizing

As mentioned in a previous whine post, we are thinking about moving. Not for anything job related, but to a smaller space in a condominium.

The biggest appeal this has for me is to reduce the amount of stuff we have. I am a person who likes to throw away/recycle things as fast as possible. Too many things around bother me. If i haven't used it in a year, i don't want it around.


The Mister, on the other hand, does not like to throw things out. In case it might be needed. Someday.

One of my sisters-in-law is like this too. The basement of her house used to be filled up with things like old milk cartons and boxes of magazines. I asked her once why she saved the milk cartons. She said it was in case the kids might need them for a school project.

(I can see this if she thought they might enter into the milk carton derby, but that never happened.) They eventually moved to a house with no basement and had to throw out (literally) tons and tons of stuff. I know because i helped.

I admit that there have been a few times when i got rid of something that i wanted back, but for the most part, i have been happy to part with the stuff.

I have this theory that your stuff expands to fill any space you have. So in reducing the space, i hope to reduce the stuff. Stuff makes me anxious.

42 comments:

furiousBall said...

one of the great days of liberation was riding my house of all the junk that started with a shelf and slowly took over an entire room and then another room... i love culling the stuff.

Daisy said...

"Milk cartons? Imagine that!" she said, sidling in front of the large pile of egg cartons and empty plastic yogurt containers she keeps on the table, just in case...

Mrs. Chili said...

I'm with you - I TOTALLY believe that crap expands to fill the space available. That's the reason I carry a teeny-tiny purse...

Vanessa said...

I'm very much like you, move it out. I think if there is too much stuff around the energy swirls and gets stagnant, it can't be new and fresh and flow freely because the "stuff" clogs up the flow.

My SO? Yeah, he sounds like your husband.

hockamama said...

I ride the fence on that one...keep things far too long, just 'in case I need them someday', until one day, I just can't stand it anymore and start filling the jeep with goodwill donations. I wish I could have the latter attitude more often, but when I do finally get it, watch out. then a couple of months down the road, I wonder, 'hmm...where in the world did that (insert some useless item here) go?

Cagey said...

Nail on the HEAD, Meno. Stuff makes me anxious, too! I have an aunt who is a hoarder. I stealthily took pictures of it all because my friends did not believe me. Now, they think I should submit the snaps to Oprah or Dr. Phil.

Because of my aunt, I have a tendency to throw TOO much away - things that I actually do need eventually. When we moved into this house, I vowed to never use the basement for major storage - holiday stuff, things earmarked for garage sale and a few baby stuff. That's it. I have held true to my word so far.

I have already told my husband that I would like to move to a smaller house the next time around because you are so RIGHT. The more space, the more one has the need to FILL IT.

QT said...

WOW - I agree with you 1001%, if that is possible. I hate collecting anything.

jen said...

stuff makes us cautious.

meno said...

furious, the one good thing that came from my husband dumping me (15 years ago) was that i got to move out and only take the things i wanted. I didn't want much.

daisy, ha ha, caught you!

mrs. chili, thanks to YOU i have a cool backpack purse from that ebags on line place.

vanessa, why is it that we pick people unlike us to mate with?

holly, i sometime wonder where the hell ______ is, and then realize i gave it away.

cagey, dr phil would have a field day with your aunt. Wow, not even one teeny tiny box in the basement? You are a saint.

qt, of course it's possible. :)

flutter said...

your last paragraph? sums it right the hell up. I have SO MUCH CRAP.

sari said...

Stuff makes me anxious and yet...I have a lot of it.

I feel better when I get rid of things, yet, I'm not good at it.

My goal for the summer is to GET. RID. OF. STUFF.

Yay!

PS I hope that you find something you like, smaller-space-wise.

Sienna said...

I am minimalistic, I really am...I love 'less is better', except when it comes to my office, books and information...a little Pamthing going on there...

Pam

Scott from Oregon said...

I have a garage full of useful stuff, but house stuff I like to keep it lean....

Tink said...

I collect things in piles. Then, when the piles get to be too much, I go through a whole weekend of purging. Very rarely do I miss the stuff I pitch. But sometimes I act too hasty. I threw away a whole folder of drawings my Mom had collected for me when I was in third grade once. I kind of wish I hadn't gotten rid of those. But really, what would I DO with them? Decorate my fridge?

Dianne said...

I love clean open space but I have to admit it takes me a bit to let go of stuff. I'm far too sentimental about stupid stuff.

Candy said...

My husband is a hoarder and I have to be very diligent about not allowing it or I turn into one of those people on Dr. Phil.

He seriously has enough computer pieces to put together 3 mix-matched computers. Since he lacks the technical knowledge on how to actually do that, none of them would really run, especially given that the reason we're not using them anymore is because they're broken.

capacious said...

Cheez, I've been away a long time, doing whatever the hell it is I've been doing. I LOOOVED all your Japan pictures - fascinating and often, funny. That bamboo, so beautiful.

When we moved into this house, we came from a studio apartment and couldn't imagine ever filling the many huge closets. We scoffed at the previous owners' collection of junk. Eleven years later, we are full to capacity. We have to wear safety helmets to open the closet doors. How did this happen?

I like to blame the children for everything. They have so much stuff. And there's my husband with his cooking gadgets that he rarely if ever actually uses. I snarled at him when he accepted a meat grinder attachment for our food processor from my stepmother at Christmas. Guess why my stepmother doesn't want it? BECAUSE SHE NEVER USES IT. Foo! Get cho hands off o dat thang.

TTQ said...

My husband can't throw anything away. So I do it when he's not around and he's okay with that. I think he rather enjoys the clean living but just can't part with things, he gets all anxious.

He likes when I clean up his desk, which would drive me freaking nuts if he were in my domain. It's not that I have something to hide, it's just well.. keep your grubby hands off MY stuff.

meno said...

jen, and slow.

flutter, time to make a few runs to the Goodwill?

sari, we have found the place, now we just need to buy it. STRESS!

pam, books are an exception to the stuff rule.

scott, hey! That's cheating!

tink, you could have posted them on your blog! Better than the fridge.

dianne, i am not very sentimental. Ask my mom when i roll my eyes every time she brings me more of her stuff.

candy, mine is too. I let him have one room and the basement. And yes, we have old computer bits in the basement.

anne, glad you have been enjoying the Japan trip. The Mister said yes to an old boat that someone wanted to leave here when we moved in. Guess how many times we've used it. Guess!

fiwa said...

I admit it, i have a lot of stuff. But I also run through and do a periodical "a bunch of stuff must go to GoodWill" purge. My husband however, tends to hold on to stuff forevvvvver. His stuff accumulates in the attic and the toolshed. Sometimes, when his stuff starts getting out of hand, I will take some of it and hide it. If he doesn't miss it in 6 months, I toss it. So far he has never missed anything that I've removed in that manner.

Princess in Galoshes said...

Ha. We have too much stuff, too. But of course we are discussing moving into a bigger house to accomodate it all. sigh

WNG said...

I have lived in small and large spaces and in both I have been nearly crowded out - UNTIL I decided to start clearing things out once a month. It keeps me sane.
Whatever you need to do for you - I say do it :)

Dick said...

You would make a very good fulltime RVer. When you live in a house that is 40' long, 8 1/2' wide and moves down the highway you soon learn that if you want to buy something new, something old has to go in order to give the new thing it's space. I guess that is part of the reason that I am not a fulltimer but just a part-timer!

Deb said...

I'm like that too. I was just out in the garage while my husband was out, going through shit we don't need and doesn't work. It's garbage day today so he won't have time to look through the garbage:)

Nancy Dancehall said...

This is where things come to avoid the grave. They have a friend in O.

Me, if I had to move I'd take about 7 things from every room.

Mama P said...

But would you miss the river? And the stuff floating down it? Or maybe you'll just put all your excess furniture into your river for kicks and giggles. Imagine the neighbors' surprise when they wake up and find a perfectly good litter box in their front yard!

Diane Mandy said...

I'm with you--out with the old and sometimes the new. If we haven't used in in 6 mos, I say toss it. But my hubby is more like yours. Fortunately, when we moved to Germany Max's company provided storage for all the things we didn't feel we could take. It's loaded with crap Max didn't want to part with and I already dread the day when we go back and I have to deal with all the stuff.

caro said...

It seems people like us-made anxious by an abundance of useless crap-always end up married to hoarders. And produce hoarder children. Must be something in our karma...
Thinking of you.

Jennifer said...

We are thinking about moving, too, and one of the most compelling reasons FOR it is that we'll be able to - nay, required to - get rid of masses of STUFF. There is a very large appeal at that prospect.

Scott from Oregon said...

Just from watching others downsize and then regret it, I say, think very very very hard about the move...

(For example, my pops and his wife rattle around in a five bedroom house. In the process of rattling around, they made about 400,000 in equity which will eventually go to us kids. Also, with all o fthe spare rooms, they are in a position to help out people in need often, giving a room and a bed.)

I've just seen a lot of downsizing regret over the years...

Organic Mama said...

I have to seriously edit SOON because I think the clutter will otherwise cluster and attach me in my sleep in order to take over my bed space.

I was raised by a "saver" and it's a lifetime habit to break in order to be ruthless enough to get rid of ten years of National Geographic... but I'm working on it.

Clowncar said...

A milk carton derby sounds like my kinda fun.

Tangential question, apropos of nothing: why don't you capitalize "I"? A comment on ego? Stylistic choice? Laziness?

Maggie said...

yup.

same husband here. can't get him to dump old rusty nails that the previous owner left. Ugh. I've learned the value of re-use, but only save items I know I will convert to something else or re-use right away. Otherwise, it goes. Can't stand clutter.

TTQ said...

I just thought of this conversation I had with my mom earlier this week, we sent her home with leftovers from Mother's Day , Honey put them on two of our (his) plates and covered them in foil. She says to me you didn't pick up your stuff when you were here last. (hahah to my sisters.. I have a space at mom's condo). I said if it's junk mail, toss it or open it if it looks important, and what else is there? Two of your plates. What do they look like? They are beige with flowers. Oh yeah those, can you do me a favor and toss those too? I figure if we send her home with leftovers on two plates every time she comes for dinner soon I will be able to get new everyday dishes w/o actually throwing anything out. Brilliant! See and Honey can't complain, or probably even notice.

tt said...

having moved 10 times in 23 years makes one a very good 'thrower-outer'. lol
I firmly believe in getting rid of the old stuff...cuz there's so much more 'new' stuff just waiting to be bought!
Stuff is anxious-filling. I agree.
Toss it sister!

Schmoopie said...

There is something extremely satisfying in being able to throw stuff away. We made a few trips to the dump/recycling facility a few weeks ago. We got to throw everything into the huge pile of trash. It was really fun!

Hmm...I need to get out more.

Seriously, you can call me (and use our truck) when you decide to downsize. I hear there are some lovely condos along the waterfront in West Seattle. ;)

womaninawindow said...

You'd lose your freaken mind at our house...lose.your.freaken.mind.

ms chica said...

Maybe my Mister and your Mister could get a warehouse together?, says the hypocrite who just moved into a house with more square footage than the last place, but in her defense also donated three unused computers to charity and five carloads of stuff to Good Will.

Say It said...

I pine for the days when I can live in a condo. No yard to maintain, no exterior to maintain, limited space to store crap. I'm hearing you loud and clear. One day when the kids are grown...maybe.

Sienna said...

I had to share this!

I know you love Patty Griffin, and you may have even already heard of Neko Case, but being in ole outback Oz I've only just found her...I liken her smokey voice and maybe some of her music a cross between Patty G and perhaps Dusty Springfield...there is a song I've just been sent:

'Hold On Hold On', it has this funky guitar playing and...

""The most tender place in my heart is for strangers
I know it's unkind but my own blood is much too dangerous
Hangin' round the ceiling half the time
Hangin' round the ceiling half the time

Compared to some I've been around
But I really tried so hard
That echo chorus lied to me with its
"Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on""

It is fantastic!

If you have heard of her then please disregard my excited note...

It's just not many people appreciate the Patty Griffins et all...and Neko's song is so frigging good.

Great voice, amazing voice and great song

lu said...

I grew up in a house where nothing was ever thrown away. My father always felt he may have a use for anything thing. Once he fixed the transmission of one of my cars with an old peter pan peanut butter jar and an old bicycle tube that he pulled from the garage. He brings that up every time we try to clear out his house; My poor mother.

crazymumma said...

I'm a hypocrite. I love ALL of my stuff but take great glee in downsizing others.