Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's just stuff, right?

I am spending the week sorting through stuff in the basement, particularly the area where I store children's clothes.  After 10 years here... and 9 children... the amount of clothing is staggering.  Also, I have so much of it that it is not useful because it is too difficult to get what I need and I'm out of space to store anything new.  While I firmly believe in reusing clothing (it has saved us bundles of money over the years), it has now become a burden instead of a blessing.  In an effort to clean things out and raise some money for H.'s adoption, we are planning a big yard sale later in the summer.  Cleaning out everywhere is step one.

I will admit that I am the biggest part of the problem.  While I am quite able to give away many things, clothing my children have worn is very difficult for me, particularly the baby things.  On some level, it feels as though I'm giving away a piece of my children to give away something they've worn.  Rationally I know this is nuts, but sometimes it's difficult to override emotions.  And with the baby things, giving it away is acknowledging that we are done with that phase of life.  The whole thing is an emotional mine field.

But, the problem has reached such epic proportions that I am compelled into action.  I also love having everything neat and organized, so it's as if two parts of my brain are at war.  I while ago I made a personal commitment to only keeping things that I loved and made me happy and stop keeping things for any other reason.  The room in the basement has stopped making me happy long ago.  So, with the help of A. and her friend H., we are working on the room.  And I'm being very brave and am moving out boxes without even looking in some of them.  If I know I don't have any boys smaller than K., why torture myself, right?

I have suggested to J. that perhaps it would be better if I wasn't present on the day of the sale.  Everyone is a little worried that I will snatch something (or many somethings) out of someone's hand telling them that they can't have it.


Erica said...

I am so there too. I have actually been trying to be ruthless with myself and get rid of any clothes that the kids never wore, but we still have tons in the basement, though I am keeping them since we're planning on more kids still. But when I see how much "stuff" is down there, that doesn't get regular use I wonder what is the point of having any of it?

sandwichinwi said...

I have a box labeled "sentimental baby things" and a few of my very favorites go in this bin. It's not a very big bin. Will I ever use that fleece snowsuit again? No. But I loved it and I can hold it and remember my babies... Most if the items in the bin are things that multiple children wore.


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