moving forward and reflecting on “stuff”

So, we decided on our real estate agent today.  He does a great job marketing and includes home staging in his costs … and home staging is big around here.  His staging person came today and gave us a big list of things to do!  We have lots of painting in the plans, and we’ll probably have hardwood installed (DH is very multi-talented and could probably do it, but there are some tricky parts and it may be worthwhile to have it installed.)

My lovely SIL and her DH were up for the weekend (before we met with the staging person) and she had lots of great ideas too.  In fact I was impressed with how often her advice tallied with the staging person.  I didn’t get proper “before” pics since SIL and DH started ripping out wallpaper, etc. right after our discussion!  So we are well underway.

One of the things we need to do is serious decluttering.  And one of the very, very hard things for me to declutter is books.  To me, they aren’t just books – they are other worlds, other places where I can go.  Depending on the stresses I feel or the escape I need – I re-read favourites and it is like escaping from my life and hanging out with a friend at the same time. 

Books also hold dreams for me.  I look at my copies of “Lost in the Barrens” (Farley Mowat) or “The Chronicles of Narnia” and I think how I cannot possibly get rid of them.  Not only are they old favourites of mine, but they will be wonderful discoveries for “the kids” when they dig through my bookshelves … I realized that I have these dreams tied up not only in books that I love, but in the hope that I can pass on the love of these to the next generation … that I can discuss, debate, share impressions about favourite characters (my book friends) – there is a whole world I hope to share and discover through new eyes.  Books I have really outgrown, and would consider getting rid of (because I don’t re-read them) – they are in the keep pile because of these dreams.

DSIL and I also discussed “stuff.”  I am not a shopper, but I have a hard time de-cluttering.  Things have sentimental value to me – the sweaters my aunt hand-knit, the items that passed on to me from my grandmothers, the gifts given by DH, my parents, my brother, my friends.  They carry memories, love, they capture a moment in time for me. They can be hard to part with, although I know I can take a photo, or think of them when I see a similar item. I even have an electric hand mixer that is quite annoying because the electrical cord keeps falling out when it’s in use, but it’s the same one that Grandma used and that my mom received as a wedding present! Why would I trade it for a new version that works better but doesn’t remind me of two of the most important women in my life ??

DSIL does not attach memories or great importance to “things” – which are, after all, just “things” which can be easily lost or damaged. And yet, she is quite a shopper and is on the cutting edge of fashion, home design etc. (in fact she will often pass on clothing etc to me, so I am very lucky this is so!) She has no trouble de-cluttering. I am thinking that stuff has a different meaning to her than it does to me. She shops much more (though she finds bargains everywhere!) and declutters much more. I rarely buy stuff for myself but the things I have are hard for me to get rid of.

I’d be interested to know how stuff and de-cluttering works for you too!

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2 thoughts on “moving forward and reflecting on “stuff”

  1. Jellybelly says:

    I have a very difficult time getting rid of books, even ones I didn’t enjoy. My room that is to be a nursery is filled with books! Paperwork is the one thing I find easy to get rid of, clothes and shoes too (although I don’t weed out often enough).

    My house is in such a state rig now that I feel like I need the team from Hoarders to move in to help me (not because I’m a hoarder, I just don’t have the energy to do it myself!).

    Btw, thanks for your comment. Nice to know that there’s another infertile in Ontario! 😉

  2. the misfit says:

    For so long I was never able to throw anything away because I could see that I might need it later, and the trouble of finding a place for it was so small compared to the burden of doing without, or paying to replace things again and again.

    BUT.

    Recently my peace of mind has been substantially eroded by the THINGS around me – things that have been in boxes through three moves and never been unpacked; things of whose identity and use I was never certain in the first place, but I packed because they might be useful later; things whose boxes are slowly bowing, causing a dangerous leaning tower in what has become the “storage” closet, whose floor I fear I never again will see. I relish throwing these things in the trash. Each square foot of uncluttered space I secure at their expense feels like a major personal achievement.

    But for MOVING purposes – can’t you box and store a lot of the “clutter,” if it’s important to you? Hope you find a balance of keeping and shedding that you can live with :).

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