Posts Tagged ‘home’

The House of Stuff

We’ve been cleaning out our spare room this week, trying to create a ‘grandbaby-friendly’ space.  It’s been twelve years since we moved here, and we’ve collected too much stuff in that time.  Since our daughter moved out of the room, it’s been too easy to use the closet and the rest of the room as a storage place.  So I’ve pulled everything out of the closet and made the rule that something has to justify its existence before it’s allowed back in.  When my son came home from work, he looked around and sheepishly asked what was going on.  I told him we were moving.  I think he almost believed me.

My husband, who requires a little more warning, knew what I was planning to do.  In fact, much of the stuff-sorting required his attention.  But the thought of making room for a grandbaby gave him the motivation he needed to actually throw away those boxes of 3 ½ inch floppy disks.  As a result of these efforts, we had a larger-than-normal-sized garbage pile for trash pick-up this morning.  And before the trash men came to retrieve it, several of the items were gone! Other stuff-collectors had made the neighborhood rounds.  I noticed this as I was leaving to spend the day shopping with my daughter.

Wait, shopping?  Does this make sense?  I already have a house with too much stuff in it.  Yet, as we drifted through thrift shops all day, looking over stuff that other people had gotten rid of from their homes, I managed to find more stuff that I felt compelled to bring home and put in my house of stuff.

Right now, it looks like my house threw up.  Between my usual decorations, pictures and knickknacks, and the stuff that’s been pulled out to be voted up or down, and the stuff I brought home, I don’t think there’s a surface in my house that doesn’t have stuff on it.  I’ve always considered myself a person to whom worldly possessions were not important, yet, I still seem to collect lots of stuff.  It’s embarrassing, really.

Several years ago, when we moved our stuff across the country for my husband to go to seminary, my father-in-law found a very unusual mover for us.  He showed up in an old parcel delivery truck, painted checkerboard orange and white.  The unusual part was that this truck was not only his business, but also his home.  This young man and his wife strapped their bicycles to the back of the truck, threw their backpacks behind the seats, and moved people across the country.  They camped out in a national park for part of the year, and then put an ad in a newspaper, offering their moving services.  They worked their way around the country this way, staying in campgrounds or with family members.  He told me his philosophy was that people had a tendency to fill up whatever space they had, so he preferred to keep his space small.  Small space equals less stuff.

Does anyone know where I can find a checkerboard truck?  I’m sure we can still create a space inside for the grandbaby to visit.

Copyright 2010 Mary E. Egidio.  Permission is granted to share this work with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.  (You can share this, but tell folks who wrote it, where you found it, and don’t sell it)