Growing Up · Home Life

The Battle with “Stuff”

Going through things and getting rid of them is not easy when you tend to lean more towards the packrat side of the spectrum. Every now and then I watch an episode of Hoarders, and I’m grateful my packrattiness is not that serious. I usually also have a desire to clean and get rid of things afterward.

However, my childhood inner-self does not like to get rid of things. It ties the memories to the objects. Every time I try, it’s pretty much like this:

Memories

Wow, that yellow was bright. It did not look that bright when I was drawing it. But you get the idea. And no, I do not plan on getting rid of my Sorry or Jenga games. I did that once and just recently went out and got a new set. I forgot how much fun they are. My nieces and I love playing them.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes. So cleaning is this ginormous battle with my childhood self where every object no matter how small or seemingly insignificant becomes the Most Prized Possession the instant I think about getting rid of it.

There are several reasons I end up feeling this way. You see,Β I know that these things are gifts from people I care about and who care about me. In some instances, they are the only connections I have left of those people. It always feels like a slap in the face to them if I get rid of things they’ve gifted me. But I hate having all this stuff, and I’m starting to believe they’ll understand if I get rid of things I no longer have use for and let someone else enjoy them. Or so I hope.

In other cases, I feel guilty because I know they paid good money to give me these things and I am throwing it away. And then, lastly, I feel guilty that the things will go to the landfill and I will further the problem of too much garbage.

Thankfully, someone invented resell and thrift shops, which helps with the latter of my dilemmas at least. Another benefit is that I apparently take remarkable care of things. My old childhood desk was ten years old, but it still looked brand new, a sentiment everyone in my family had to tell me too before I got rid of it. Not making things any easier here, guys.

But I did it, and it felt wonderful. I imagined some child would see it and their parents would buy it for him or her. The desk would then be loved by someone new and everything would be glitter and rainbows and happiness. I have no idea if that’s what happens, but at least I tried to find it a new home, right?

Not long after, I gave away more things. It was exciting. I think I’ve reached the point where I almost want to start over. I want to rid myself of everything I don’t use so that I can better organize the things I do use. Plus, it’ll make cleaning and putting things away easier if there is less stuff. There’s always that nagging feeling in the back of my mind though that says, “You’re going to need this later.”

Yes, it’s true. I cannot predict the future. I might have to buy those things again, or I might find another way to make do without them. Or I might not even miss them at all.

So all in all, I’ve gotten better at ignoring this childhood self. Or rather, I acknowledge the attachment and sentiment I have to the object, which is namely that it reminds me of someone. I am thankful for the memories and remind myself that I’m giving it away to a new family. I think of Woody and Buzz Lightyear and imagine my toys find a loving home like Bonnie’s and not something like Sid’s house. And then I imagine a living space where things are in their place, and I don’t have to spend all my time reorganizing and trying to find a place for everything.

It’s been interesting, that’s for sure. I found a lot of things I forgot about, and if I didn’t remember even having it, it seems likely I don’t need it at all, regardless of what that childhood inner-self of mine claims.

Your Turn

Are you a minimalist or a packrat? How organized is your home? Could you have visitors over at the drop of a hat, or do you suffer from CHAOSΒ (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome)? Any cleaning/decluttering tips?

I love hearing from you! If you cannot leave a comment here, feel free to continue the conversation in to Facebook or Twitter.

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24 thoughts on “The Battle with “Stuff”

  1. Being duality my middle name I find myself being a minimalist in certain areas and a packrat in others, and my house suffers from a big case of CHAOS, unless I am in a minimalist phase (which doesn’t happen often) πŸ˜‰

  2. I have a tendency to be a pack rat even if I want to be a minimalist lol πŸ˜› My house is a chaos because of my little boy but I try to clean them to no avail, so if ever I have a visitor, I have to shut the voice saying “please don’t come my house is a mess” lol πŸ˜› They want to visit let them deal a bit with chaos lol πŸ™‚ How are you Kristina? Glad to know you are writing again πŸ™‚ – Shine

          1. I’m way behind myself. Never even started or checked in with either. I think I need to leave my house to be productive. I don’t know. I’m going through a stage where I am wanting to create tangible things, so the computer is not my first choice sadly. At least you are keeping up with reading. I’m behind in that also it seems.

          2. I really don’t write much but I love reading post, commenting and meeting new friends. I find them worthwhile but I also have work and household chores and a family to take care of. Aww, if only we have all the time in the world. πŸ™‚

  3. Hello Kristina πŸ™‚

    NIce to see you again.

    “Are you a minimalist or a packrat? ”

    Minimalist.

    “How organized is your home? Could you have visitors over at the drop of a hat, or do you suffer from CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome)? Any cleaning/decluttering tips?”

    I can have the entire world at the drop of a pin. No syndromes. Besides, my mom, grandmom take care of that lol πŸ˜€

    Decluttering tips?

    Yes. My mom was like you. I mean she still is, unable to part with most of the things. I suggest you practice detachment and let it go. When you let it go you feel free. A lot of energy gets released. The world is a temporary place. Breathe in, breathe out and let it go. Don’t worry about future. Live in the present πŸ™‚

    LOve and light ❀

    Anand

    1. I think I remember reading that post. I still always think I’ll need something as soon as I get rid of it. Or in my current case, I’ll need it when I get a place of my own again. But, I’m starting to think I only use about 20% of the stuff I own 80% of the time anyway, so that 20% that I need the other 80% of my stuff doesn’t seem worth it.

    1. I KNOW! That’s the worst part! You finally think, OK I can do this! Then it’s like the universe comes and bites you and reminds you that getting rid of things is BAD.

      Someday it’ll be easier. I’m starting to think that 80% of the time I only use about 20% of my stuff anyway. Less stuff means I can use it more efficiently perhaps? I have in my mind what I want my place to look like but getting there is a struggle.

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