Monday, August 13, 2007

Learning to live with less ...

This is a lesson I think I need to learn. And well, I'm going to learn it very quickly! However, I might be kicking and screaming a bit while learning it.
I am the type of person who wants more - more things, more money, better cable packages, more toys for the kids, more clothes for everyone, more yarn, more fabric, more living space, more time, more, more, more. And I have to wonder, when will it end? When can I sit back and be content with all that I have? Will I ever reach a point where I say "Wow. I have enough. I'm content." I'm gonna guess the answer is no. Because if I was able to sit back and feel that, I would have done it a long time ago.
I look around my house. We have stuff everywhere! We can't even put it all away there is so much of it! Really, it's sad. I have tons of stuff, my kids have tons of stuff, the kitchen is packed, the bedrooms are packed, the basement is packed, even the laundry room is full of stuff! Honestly, it's disgusting. And it's distracting.
I think being surrounded by so much tricks my mind into thinking I need more. And the truth is, if we had less things, that would mean less clutter, and then I think I would feel more content and relaxed.
But, on the other hand, it's really hard! ::said in my best whining voice!::
I like all my stuff. I use some of it a lot. I use most of it often enough and some of it, I just might need one day!
I read recently that kids really only need 10 toys (and if I remember the blog I will link back). My kids probably have 10 times 10 toys each. Ugh.
And as we face a cash flow shortage, the buying, the spending, the constant getting more will have to end. And it will be hard. I'm also thinking, really, not only do we need to not get more but maybe get rid of some things we already have. (yes, it hurt to type that. because I like my stuff and I don't want to get rid of it! wah!)
::sigh:: I think it's what needs to be done though. Because we need to learn to appreciate what we have instead of always desiring more. And right now, there is just too much here to really appreciate what we have. It will be hard. I will drag my feet. I probably will take too much time picking what to keep and what to say good-bye too, but I think in the end it will be worth it.
And I do wonder if the money crunch is to force us to do this. (Well, by us I mean me. My dh could survive on very little and thinks I keep too much anyway. My girls are definitely taking after me though!) Not that I am going to enjoy budgeting and spending wisely, but hey, I gotta find the lesson in it. It makes the sting feel a little less painful.

With that in mind, look for updates on me actually following through with this.


Smoov said...

Girl, get rid of some stuff! Start small. I promise, it feels good and freeing to get rid of stuff. Decluttering your life! I've been doing this lately, getting rid of stuff (I promise I'll send the clothes, I just need to remember to get a box for them!) and it really is a great feeling. My kids only play with a few toys and that was where I started. I gave away a lot of toys, stuff they didn't play with. At first they objected but eventually they got into it also. Then their old clothes. I got rid of dishes we never use. Why do I keep all those freakin' coffee cups? How many coffee cups does a family need? It was hard to just give away perfectly good dishes....cups, bowls, plates, but really, we wash dishes every day so why have so many? I try to thin out my own clothes twice a year. That is really hard because I think, I might want to wear that someday. But man, it feels good to not see so much crap all over the place!

And sorry to hear about the money crunch. I know that sucks, I've been there!

ornery's wife said...

Just found your blog and thought I'd say "Hi" and put in my two cents here.

Having home schooled for 15 years, now an empty nester, I can tell you that I wish I had simplified and streamlined even more than I did. You are right in that you never know when you might use that ___, but the question is, "will you be able to find it when you want it, or even remember you have it?"

A HS friend of mine had her kids (6 of them) go through their things once a quarter and remove 10%; that included clothes, toys, etc. Living in the consumer driven society that we do, it is likely you increase your "stash" by more than 10%, so they won't even feel the loss. It helps them to place value on things that are important instead of on things that are not, and it would be a good way to introduce taking care of the planet, too.