Monday, January 10, 2011

January Reflections-Stuff

Stuff: Do you like stuff? What stuff do you have that you could do without? Is your stuff well used? Organized? Burdensome?

This is a topic I know all too well. I come from a long line of "lovers of stuff."
When I was growing up, my mother had lots of stuff. And her mother had lots of stuff. And I fell right in line.

My grandmother's "love of stuff" had an innocent start. She grew up during the Great Depression. She remembered truly going without and when she was able to get excess of something, she did. We used to joke about the brand new gifts she had tucked away, waiting for just the right moment to be used. Or the 20 sets of sheets she had for the bed.
My mother continued the trend but more in a trinket sort-of-way. Also, I inherited from her my tendency towards "the pile."
Being that my mother and my grandmother have both went to be with the Lord, I have held on to a lot of their stuff. Their memories are my memories. I treasure the stuff because I don't have those ladies in my life.
I also like to shop. And I don't love to throw things away. When Tim helped me move my "stuff" for the first time, I thought he might back right out of the engagement.

Over the last 10 years, I have gotten much better about throwing things away but the most important thing that I have learned is not to bring it in, unless it has a specific place. Being the bargain shopper that I am, I gravitate towards buying because it's a "good deal" but if there's no home for it at home, it's not a good deal.
I still struggle with piles. On any given day, you can find one lurking.

The pink folder on the bottom of that pile is my school binder. Having three children in school this year has really put my tendency towards piles into overdrive. There are papers galore. So I came up with the idea of having a binder with sections for each child. It's a great system and works best when not buried underneath a pile.

I definitely struggle with being organized with the stuff. Living in a house with 6 people, there is a lot of it. We have systems in place for clothes, shoes, etc. I am teaching my children that there's a place for things and the machine runs well when you pay attention to detail.

Like all things though, there's a balance. And that's where I try to live. I don't want the "stuff" to dictate my time or my attitude.

For more January Reflections check out The Glorious Impossible.

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