Monday, June 21, 2010

The battle of "stuff"

My husband and I are in the middle of moving. (No, we didn't buy a house, we will continue to be renters, but found an opportunity to both save money and move to a more desirable area!) I hate moving. I'm easily bothered by clutter (even my own), and the process of packing and unpacking leads to a lot of clutter around me, which stresses me out.

However, moving provides an opportunity to take stock of my possessions and rid myself of some of my "stuff." You know ... that stuff you have that is of no use, provides no purpose, has no sentimental value ... it is merely taking up space. My theory is that the value of "stuff" is relative to the amount of space you have. If you have lots of space, then "stuff" isn't that much of a nuisance. But when you are moving from a 2 bedroom apartment to renting one bedroom in a shared house, suddenly that stuff is a huge nuisance.

Sidebar: I read a story recently, I think it was in Real Simple magazine, about a couple whose large impressive home burned down, so they moved into one of the small cottages they had on their property that they were planning to renovate and ... do something with. So they went from a large McMansion to a 2-room house. All of their stuff was lost in the fire, and living in such a small space forced them to stick to what they truly needed. As I was reading, I was almost envious at their freedom from "stuff."

As we are packing, all of our stuff is being sorted into three groups: Keep, Store, Get Rid Of. And the Get Rid Of stuff is divided into Nice Enough to Donate and Actual Garbage.

Regardless of the dollar amount of this stuff, it's true value is measured in other ways. Is this something I need in my day-to-day life? Is this something I don't need daily, but is worth the hassle of packing and moving it into storage? Or, is this something I honestly don't need and really all it does is take up space, but it does have some value so I'll donate it? And, is this something that I don't need and it's cheap or useless or worn out, so it's going in the trash (and why have I been holding onto it in the first place!)?

It's amazing the stuff we hold onto, as long as we have somewhere to put it. For me, this included:
  • Old hair products that I used for a little bit but didn't really need in the first place and barely used
  • An odd collection of glasses, mugs and cups ... including a cheap plastic Halloween goblet and souvenir shot glasses (This is why the place setting gift at our wedding was little boxes of candy)
  • Really old worn out t-shirts for working out ... even though I use maybe half of my workout clothes between laundry days
  • Scuffed picture frames
  • Lamps that I got second-hand but never used them because 1) we didn't really need them in the first place and 2) they required a type of light bulb we didn't have
  • A little hand held "sewing machine" that didn't really work all that well (or maybe I just couldn't figure it out)
  • Fiction books that I read once and probably never will ready again. Really, other than classics, why do I need them? This is also why I stopped buying new books and now everything I read is from the library or a second hand store.
These photos are from when we moved in ... but gah ... STUFF!


My closet. For our current move, I tried really had to edit my wardrobe to what I need and wear. We're going from two closets and two dressers to 1.25 closets, and only one dresser will fit in our bedroom.


Now, I have an interesting dilemma. I think I'm going to put my entire CD collection in storage, but I almost feel bad about it. I got rid of the jewel cases awhile ago, so my many CDs have all been in CD books for awhile. However, I don't remember the last time I listened to a CD. The stereo in my car has a CD player, but over time it stopped reading CDs (even originals), so I don't listen to them there. Plus the stereo has an Auxiliary hook-up, so I wasn't listening to that many CDs anyway. When I'm on my computer, I listen to iTunes or Pandora. At work I listen to Pandora through my phone.

So CDs really have become obsolete, huh? They are now "stuff." (I know one of my best friends will disagree with me wholeheartedly on this.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Goodbye, hair (eventually)

This past Friday was my third Relay For Life event.

Relay For Life Frankfort/Mokena

First Lap: (Cancer) Survivors Lap

Relay For Life Frankfort/Mokena

With my best friend Gennie, who lost her Dad to cancer. And she's not my only teammate who lost her Dad to cancer. And we didn't have a very big team (5 of us total).

Relay For Life Frankfort/Mokena

The event was a success!! Overall, the event raised over $160,000 for the American Cancer Society. My team (one of 68), raised over $2,500 and I personally raised $1,100.

Which means I reached my goal of raising $1,000 ... which means I have to cut off my hair and donate it to Locks of Love.

I think I'm going to let it grow just a little more before I cut it ... more to donate, right???