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Do You Have Too Much Stuff?

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I’ve mentioned a few times that our family of 6 lives in a 1,200 sq. ft. house. Because of this, I’m constantly throwing something out, donating something, or giving things away. Space is a constant factor. I am a little neurotic about having several spaces in the house that are spotless. Certain countertops aren’t allowed to have anything on them. Leave something on it for 24 hours and I’ll get rid of it. If I yell out ‘Do I see something on the counter?!?’ all the kids will come running for fear of whatever it is getting thrown out. We don’t buy much but if we bring in a bag of stuff from Target, I expect an equal sized bag of something else to leave.

I prided myself on having hardly a thing in my house that wasn’t a necessity. The kid’s toys and clothes are regularly rotated out of the house when they start to get worn. My husband and I share an 8-foot-wide closet. When you only have 4 feet for clothes, you simply can’t own something you only wear occasionally. School stuff is very organized. Everything has a place. I’m a champ at this. I was Marie Kondo before Marie Kondo existed!

Or so I thought.

Chris would like me to consider switching jobs to 100% remote. He’d like to sell the house and travel for a couple years with the kids. When I stopped laughing, I tried to figure out how I could live in a trailer without losing my mind when I can barely keep it together in a place 10x the size. I told him I’d be willing to have a serious conversation about his idea when we get back from our travels. It will either solidify the lifestyle or make our home feel like an enormous mansion. Either way, win-win.

As I walked through our home the last few days, I paused to look at each item I considered a ‘necessity’. We have more than a dozen plates in our house. We have 6 in the trailer. We also only have one cup, one fork, one knife, etc. per person. Four feet of closet space would be a luxury in a trailer. I only have 15”. I have a medicine ball and a couple kettle bells at home. In the trailer, you have to consider size and weight so I never take them with me. Instead, I ask my 3-year-old to hop on my back while I do squats. Trailer life forces us to truly figure out what is a necessity.

No, I’m not going to get rid of all our stuff anytime soon but it changed my perspective on ‘necessity’. You may be looking to buy something because ‘I HAVE TO HAVE IT!’ but do you really need it?

It’s an interesting exercise. Walk around your house today and ask yourself, ‘Do I really need all this stuff?!?’ Maybe it’s time to sell or at the very least, hold off on buying something new.


4 Comments

  • Reply Denise |

    So your husband wants you to change your job and lifeste so that he can in essence stop working and travel? I would think long and hard about that. Didn’t you say that if you moved you would never be able to afford to rebuy in the same area where your family is? Is it worth giving that up so your husband can travel full time for fun?

    • Reply Beks |

      My husband is a stay at home homeschool dad. We all love the travel lifestyle and he thinks we would all enjoy it.

  • Reply Drmaddog |

    As someone who just downsized from a house to an apartment half the size, YES I had too much stuff. And still do!

    This pandemic has been the proverbial straw on the camels back in cementing to me that I have no time and less desire to maintain a house. I gave away so many things and so much stuff. Some items caused an emotional twinge to pass on, but it is so freeing, outside of chiding myself for what I spent on these possessions that were going out the door.

  • Reply Holly S |

    I downsized from an almost 1600 sq ft condo to one that was 985 sq feet about a little over 3 years ago. My youngest was starting college and my oldest was already in college so I knew it was going to be a tight fit when they were both home but I figured we could make it work. It was a bigger adjustment than I thought it would be. Currently it’s just me as my oldest graduated college and got his own apartment with friends. My youngest is away at school starting his senior year so the condo suddenly feels spacious again, lol. I love watching the Tiny House hunter shows but I’ve decided that I really wouldn’t be happy living much smaller myself.

    Have fun on your adventure. I’m sure, like you said, this will be a good indicator if it’s something your family will want to do long-term.

So, what do you think ?