A couple of times a year it hits me. Maybe I trip over a toy, maybe I get all the laundry all washed and folded and try to put it away (yes, this is a rare occurrence, kind of like all the planets lining up perfectly, maybe I try to find something and it takes me 20 minutes to put my hands on something that should have been right at my fingertips. Maybe I have company coming. Whatever it is, something happens that makes me look around and declare that we have Too Much Stuff.
It happened this summer, so our family gathered together all the things we decided we could probable live without, keeping only those things that we really needed or wanted. We sold a ton of stuff, and what didn’t sell (mostly) was taken to the thrift store. Okay, I kept the wing back chair that we’ve had since we got married even though we don’t need it and don’t have room for it. I kept some of my favorite baby things, but hats about it. My husband even gave away some tools. At the end of that very long weekend we were thrilled. All the extra stuff was gone! Go us!
Fast forward a couple of months. Josh is coming home from school for the holidays. Our oldest daughter and our granddaughter (and grand dog) are coming home for the holidays. So we thought we’d make our basement a bit more living room and less basement. So we thought we’d paint the floor to lighten the space up a bit (dirty battleship gray is fine for a basement, not so fine for a living space). But in order to paint the floor, you have to see the floor. Oh. My. We have Too Much Stuff!
And for the record, I did not go out on a shopping spree to replace all the things we got rid of. I think the things multiply in the dark when we aren’t looking.
So, the sorting and purging has commenced again. This time I’m being much more ruthless (but I still want to keep the wing back chair). Piled up next to the door are bags and bags of things to donate. Clothing, toys, baby gear. Fabric I don’t need is waiting for a new home. I wonder how much we can get rid of. I’m inspired by those who get rid of so much they only keep one set of dishes for each family member. That sounds pretty appealing to me, but I doubt we’ll go that far.
What do you think? How much is too much? How little is too little? Definitely not a dilemma for a large percentage of the world’s population, but in this land of plenty we really do need to ask ourselves how much we really need.