A month ago my sister and mom and I decided to have a yard sale this October.  I’ve been slow with getting stuff together.  I just had a big sale last year, I probably didn’t have much to sell.

But suddenly I’ve been bombarded with reading poignet blog posts about stuff and then there was that Hoarder’s marathon that come on Monday. Tomorrow I’ll show you my garage full of excess stuff that you can’t even tell I removed from my house.  But, today I’m still in deep thought about the stuff.

Last week, Thrifty Decor Chick  wrote a post entitled “STUFF”.  It’s a great read and prompted me to think about why I keep stuff around.  One of my biggest issues is that we have moved so often recently, I’m afraid to get rid of something we might need in our next house.  I always feel like I can’t be one of those people who says ” we don’t have a place for that” because we don’t even really have a place.  Therefore, if I see something I can afford and I like, I tend to buy it.  And I’m pretty good at working stuff in.  However, the result is a really full house of items bought for $3 each that I’m not wanting to get rid of because I might use it when we move.  Not my goal.

Another one of my issues is that when a person like me, who loves and appreciates beautiful spaces, rents a plain, run of the mill ordinary home with no special features, I tend to compensate with accessories.

Pretties and Posies

I look at photos like this of Melanie’s beautiful, welcoming home and I long for the simple uncluttered, purposeful look.  And I know one of the reasons I think I can’t get that is because my rental house lacks character.  I have scant mouldings, an incompetent fireplace, my windows don’t even have casing around them, and I’m tethered to the fact that we don’t own the house so big changes are out of the question.  So instead of going after my style, I sometimes wreck it up with too many accessories.  I know my weaknesses.

Then, I read a post that  Sherry from Young House Love wrote about their tiny closet. After living in tiny spaces in NYC, she has learned the fine art of only surrounding herself with things she really needs and loves.  I marveled at this quote that Sherry included from The Lucky Shopping Manual:

Don’t buy anything on sale that you wouldn’t consider at full price.

Um, I think that might have just changed my life. Seriously, I’ve never even thought of it that way.

It’s not noble to purchase 10 things for a steal for $10 {that you kind of needed or thought you might use} compared to buying one thing for $100 that you really needed.  It’s just poor stewardship.

I think my lean to thriftyness has been skewed so far that I have forgotten that the best purchase we’ve made is our sofa.  We paid full price for a small scale sectional from a lower high end or {higher low end?} maker and it’s still the most comfy sofa I’ve ever laid my tush on.  It’s lasted 7 years and has held up to 3 boys.  So worth the money upfront.   And the thrifty police have yet to arrest me to invest in a piece of furniture we use every day.

On my journey of thinking about stuff and its impact I have decided to pretend like we are staying at this house for a long time.  If we don’t have a place for something now, it’s gone.  If I’m so great a finding a deal, I’ll find it again later, right?  Unless I find a clawfoot tub for $5 or something.

Erin from Rare and Beautiful Treasures sold their dream house that they built so that they could begin their journey to their dream life.

A family that we are close friends with recently sold most of their belongings, bought an RV and are getting ready to pursue their dream of traveling around with their children.  They were brave souls who didn’t let stuff get in the way of their goals. It’s not always easy for them but, they are certainly enjoying their new way of life.  I so admire that.  I’m not at all saying that everyone should sell their stuff in and move into an RV but, I don’t want to let stuff get in the way of our family’s own goals and dreams.

Erin’s family and the Mattern family both found freedom in knowing what they don’t want to do.

I want to be aware that the stuff I am accumulating can easily hinder me and clog up my home, time and being.  Because we all know, it can be gone in an instant. So, I’m getting rid of the excess while reminding myself that I love handmade, I love trash to treasure, I love items from nature, I value meaningful beauty.  I still love and want and have a decorated house, but I want  it to serve me and my family, not the other way around.