It’s an embarrassment! How did I ever accumulate so much stuff?
Lately I’ve been taking inventory of all my stuff.
I think that even if I live another 30 years, I probably won’t have to buy new clothes ever again. Shoes? Possibly. They tend to wear out faster than clothes.
I have enough household goods to open a second hand, antiques, and collectibles store and still have plenty of what I need for day-to-day living.
Four years ago at the beginning of September, when my dad was 96 years old, we moved him from his home into an assisted living facility.
For a week my brother, sister-in-law and I worked long hours each day cleaning out closets, cupboards, storage rooms, drawers, and furniture from a lifetime of Dad’s stuff.
What a mess!
It wasn’t just household stuff we had to go through. We found clothes that were so badly worn no one would want them. And new clothes he hadn’t yet worn. There were medicines, foods, and cleaning supplies long past their expiration dates.
I find the same thing in my own cupboards. When I get on a cleaning binge I inevitably find lots of stuff past its expiration date.
I read somewhere that a rule-of-thumb about stuff is “if you haven’t used it or worn it in the past two years you probably never will”, so get rid of it.
For some people, hanging onto stuff is so serious they fall into the category of having a hoarding disorder. Did you know . . . ?
10% of all adults in the U.S. rent storage units to keep the stuff they don’t have room for in their homes, and then just leave it sit there for years paying rent on it.
25% of homes with two-car garages have those garages filled with so much stuff there is no room for the cars.
The average 10-year-old kid has 238 toys but only plays with around 12 favorite ones.
Americans spend $1.2 trillion a year on non-essential stuff.
23% of adults pay late fees on bills because they can’t find them in their clutter.
Each of us will spend, on average, 3,680 hours of our lives looking for stuff that we can’t remember where it is.
After cleaning out my dad’s house four years ago I started to think about what my son would have to deal with in cleaning out my stuff when I’m no longer here or able to live on my own.
Right now, the mess I’m leaving behind is far worse than what I had to deal with at my dad’s house. So I’m starting to minimize and downsize.
I’ve put a self-imposed “Stop” on more purchases of clothes, jewelry and personal items. Because I split my time between two homes, I have clothes, jewelry and personal items in both homes. I actually set up a spreadsheet on my computer to keep track of it all. Some of it travels back and forth with me. Most of the time I can’t remember what is where.
I am in the process of canceling all my magazine subscriptions except one. I am trying to get my name removed from all catalog mail lists. The amount of catalog and magazine mail that piles up at my houses is absurd.
Both of my kitchens are so well stocked with cookware, bakeware, dishes, vases, flatware, glasses, stemware and party wares I could open a restaurant or catering business. No more new kitchen stuff!
At my house in Florida I have an electric wok. When I got divorced from my first husband in 1976 we both wanted the wok. I got it! I think I’ve packed and moved that wok 9 times since 1976. Can’t remember the last time I used it. I know it hasn’t been used during the six years it’s been in a cupboard in Florida.
It’s ridiculous. And it’s that way with so many things.
What about you? What will you eventually leave behind for someone else to deal with?
“Once you get a spice in your home you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I’m taking with me when I go.”Erma Bombeck
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