A few short months after we were married, I already saw the clutter beginning to accumulate. It has the most sinister ways to creep in. Old newspapers and bills, empty plastic bags, a few items that were lovingly given to us, but are of little use… it takes a time to sort through it all!
In addition, I soon discovered a slight difference of attitudes between my husband and myself when it comes to stuff. I see anything that isn’t useful or beautiful as superfluous, and will gladly throw or give it away. My husband will stick to anything he thinks we might ever use, someday, somehow In a house with very little storage space, this usually means piles of clutter.
Here’s what happened one night shortly after we were married. My husband came from work, holding two unrecognizable metal objects in his hands.
“Aren’t they nice?” he asked enthusiastically.
“What are these?”
“Well, I don’t actually know. But aren’t they cool?”
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining. I have a creative and resourceful husband who can take what others would label as “junk”, make a few tweaks here and there, and produce excellent and useful items. Our very first living room table was found abandoned on the curb, and restored just a few days before our wedding.
Most of our furniture was either found and repaired, or we got it used. It saved us a good deal of money, and is very useful. However, we also have much (too much, in my opinion) stuff that gathers dust on our shelves, taking up limited storage space. Not that I think having more storage space is a solution! Rather, it tempts you to hoard more and more stuff if you have such a tendency.
All our house moves were seen by me as opportunities to get rid of unnecessary clutter. Moving is the perfect time to do that, because you are forced to go through all your things and decide what is important enough to be wrapped, put into a box, and taken with you to your new home. Often, you will find things you even forgot you had – and ironically, even though you hadn’t used them for years and didn’t miss them at all, once you see them you are unable to say goodbye.
There is a certain box that has been sitting with us, unpacked, through two house moves. I figure that if we could live without thinking about its contents for four years, we aren’t likely to ever need it. My husband begs to differ. I have learned to let some things slide, however.
I think that once in a while, I will just pretend we are moving again, and simply let go. Let go of unnecessary items and simplify our life. It feels good.
6 thoughts on “Clutter: the perennial problem”
Ooh, boy! This is us, but in reverse. I am a pack rat, verging on being a hoarder. The Squire sheds belongings the way a duck sheds feathers.
Most of the things I save have some sentimental value – my grandfather’s suspenders, a single place setting of dishes from the boarding school I attended, newspaper articles that interested me for one reason or another. I think it’s genetic; my grandmother and my mum were the same way. To make it worse, I’m “into” dollhouses, so I tend to save things that – like your husband – I can make into something else.
The Squire and I have been playing “Let’s Pretend We’re Moving” off and on for years, but now it’s serious. And painful!
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I can honestly say I don’t imagine moving house after living in the same place for as long as you had! The amount of work involved must be staggering.
I struggle with cluttering up the place…I am married to a man who often throws things away…sometimes later woefully wishing he had it…they say you often marry your opposite…and in this matter, must be true…ha!! We need to have checks and balances for each other don’t we?
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Haha yes!! That’s just how I feel. I want to strip the house bare and he wants to hoard.
Getting rid of junk is my favorite thing about moving! I hate clutter! I do have some antique collections of things I love and a vast fabric collection for my quilting but apart from those things I abhor ‘stuff’ I try to only have the basic, simplified life necessities around me. Oh and I have lots of books too 😜🤣 now that I think about it living an uncluttered life is a goal of mine I guess not an achievement 😁
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I, too, think I’m relatively clutter free… until I start packing!