A whole lot o' nothing. And then some….
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Stuff It

We are li-ving in a material world. And-I-AM-a-material girl.
But sometimes, you need to pare down. To ditch. To rid, perchance to clean. Yup, I’m talking ye olde cupboard clean out. Let’s face it, the more space we have to fill, the more, well, we fill it.
I grew up with a basement of crap: cases of pop and bad-for-you canned goods. Old clothes, older toys, and even older appliances – all in working order. We’d go through our closets and get rid of anything that didn’t fit. Scan the shelves for things we didn’t use. And then it would all disappear. Into the basement.

When I moved into my own place, I was a ditching devil. A real pro. I’d go through my old clothes. Anything that I no longer wore (or fit into) I’d give away. Usually to my friends. And then they’d wear my old stuff and I’d feel the pangs. The pangs of regret. The pangs of envy – they didn’t look like that on me!! And I’d promptly go out and buy something remarkably similar to the previously ditched item.

Sometimes, I’d go one further – do the old extend-o-lend: let my friends borrow the item and then wait and see if I really did want it back. This can also be applied to furniture, by the way. I’d test-drive the empty space. See what, if anything, I was missing. Invariably I’d forget about whatever it was. Or, on the very rare occasion, call it in and take it back. Extend-o-lend would end.

Moving also helps. With each move, I’d fill bag after bag of no longer needed stuff. What was one person’s crap was another person’s treasure. Or whatever. Either way, I thought I was paring down quite nicely. I was embracing the whole simple living thing. Or at least pretending to. Really I was just getting rid of the fat pants/skinny pants – insert whichever fits.

I think there are keepers and tossers. No, Brit friends, not that kind of tosser. Those who keep, holding on and holding out for a rainy day or some other emergency. And those who dump. Ditch. Toss. There are also the worst of the worst – the toss ‘n keep. Witness the childhood basement full of stuff. Well guess what? I know have my own basement.

I’ve tried to ditch, really I have. Just last week I went through my cupboards and made piles of clothes to give away. And there they sat, waiting. They’ve been picked through slightly, but they’re still there. I even went back and rescued some things. Black pant kind of things…What? They don’t make ‘em like they used to.

Being a woman means never staying the same size. Us or the clothes. And being a mother means old clothes, when-I-was-thin clothes, maternity clothes, post-pregnancy fat clothes, post-pregnancy almost-there clothes, new clothes, etc. The list is endless. And that’s just clothing!

Actually, that’s just my clothing. Don’t think I don’t relish going through my kids cupboards and ditch-ditch-ditching. I daren’t touch my husband’s stuff. He keeps EVERYTHING. He even kept the stand from a defunct fan. Just in case we needed it. But he’s getting better now. The basement is his domain. One room in particular. And it’s filling up fast: cases of pop and bad-for-you canned goods. Old clothes, older toys, and even older appliances – all in working order. Wait, does this sound familiar?

Anyway, I see a garage sale in our future. Everything must go. I’ve already started giving away books. Looking for a good read? Take one. Take three. I’ve got shelves lining my living room three books deep. And counting. Come one, come all. Yet there’s still the little part of me that misses ‘em when they’re gone. So now I’m back to lending only. Just in case….

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