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Why do we hang onto the things we do?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
This thread was inspired by Danidama's question of "what would you take with you if you were moving". Everyone had relatively short lists, including myself. Bejeweled even said she could look around the current room she was in and not want to take any of it with her *and* she likes her home! Sounds a little like me.. I like what I've got, but I wouldn't be devestated if I couldn't take it all with me. Then I thought "why"? Why are we hanging onto this stuff when we wouldn't even think twice about it if we had to move? I can't even fill a quarter of a small sized room with the stuff I would want to take with me and yet at the same time my house is overflowing with stuff.. and apparently I need it all.

What's the go? Discuss.
post #2 of 11
In a nutshell:

1. The fear that we are not enough
2. The belief that things have inherent value
3. The belief that things can make us happy

Put them all together, stir in a billion dollar industry committed to convincing us we need stuff, and voila, you get homes and lives drowning in stuff.
post #3 of 11
Because they're too heavy to move on my own?
post #4 of 11
There's a lot of stuff I own that if I moved just with my car, I'd have to re-purchase when I got to where I am going. I only listed the things I am attatched to or cost a lot of money. For example, I'd have to re-purchase furniture, bedding, linens, personal car items, cookware, my digital camera, my computer, etc.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthyMamaofDaisy View Post
There's a lot of stuff I own that if I moved just with my car, I'd have to re-purchase when I got to where I am going. I only listed the things I am attached to or cost a lot of money. For example, I'd have to re-purchase furniture, bedding, linens, personal car items, cookware, my digital camera, my computer, etc.


or would be difficult to replace. I'd probably have UPSed more stuff to my destination.
post #6 of 11
I was thinking about this question whilst reorganizing my dd's outgrown clothes. Yet again. Everytime I open these eighteen gallon totes (I have two) I find more things to let go of. I have two eighteen gallon totes and dd is fourteen months old. I'm working on number three, though right now it just has "maternity clothes". I keep my favorite outfits, and I keep anything gender neutral. Why? It's hard for me to let go of some of my favorite stuff she's outgrown. It's hard sometimes so see how big she is already. I also feel this big need to be prepared. What if I get pregnant while we're broke? What if it's a boy? etc, etc. I know rationally I could replace almost everything, and yet it seems wasteful to get rid of it when I know I'd like to get pregnant sometime this year/early next year.

Also, maybe it's a control/safety issue. We have decided to "go with the flow" as far as birth control is concerned. We know we want a second one, and soonish, so we've decided to relax and let nature take its course for now. Maybe not actively ttc makes me feel less in control? Hmmm...

I also don't make myself get rid of it, because right now I do have room so it doesn't bother me. If I stack up a couple more totes I'm going to have to take serious stock, but also by then dd will be two or older, and if I'm not pregnant by then I probably won't be for a while or have decided to wait/stop at one little one.
post #7 of 11
If I were in your situation, I'd keep the clothes for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by happyhats View Post
I was thinking about this question whilst reorganizing my dd's outgrown clothes. Yet again. Everytime I open these eighteen gallon totes (I have two) I find more things to let go of. I have two eighteen gallon totes and dd is fourteen months old. I'm working on number three, though right now it just has "maternity clothes". I keep my favorite outfits, and I keep anything gender neutral. Why? It's hard for me to let go of some of my favorite stuff she's outgrown. It's hard sometimes so see how big she is already. I also feel this big need to be prepared. What if I get pregnant while we're broke? What if it's a boy? etc, etc. I know rationally I could replace almost everything, and yet it seems wasteful to get rid of it when I know I'd like to get pregnant sometime this year/early next year.

Also, maybe it's a control/safety issue. We have decided to "go with the flow" as far as birth control is concerned. We know we want a second one, and soonish, so we've decided to relax and let nature take its course for now. Maybe not actively ttc makes me feel less in control? Hmmm...

I also don't make myself get rid of it, because right now I do have room so it doesn't bother me. If I stack up a couple more totes I'm going to have to take serious stock, but also by then dd will be two or older, and if I'm not pregnant by then I probably won't be for a while or have decided to wait/stop at one little one.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
Because they're too heavy to move on my own?
You are saying that you would take everything you currently own, to your new place, if there was no transportation issue?

I wasn't sure if you were being sarcastic or not but just to clear things up for anyone else reading, I am not referring to situations such as these where transportation issues are the reason your 'take' list is short.

I am referring to situations where our 'take' lists are short if we had to get up and go, simply because the remaining possessions weren't important enough to take along.. Yet at the same time if we weren't moving, would still feel compelled to keep in our current home.

Make sense?

I am sure everyone has possessions of this kind, even if only two or three. And so my question remains, why do we feel the need to hang onto them?
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by treespeak View Post
In a nutshell:

1. The fear that we are not enough
2. The belief that things have inherent value
3. The belief that things can make us happy

Put them all together, stir in a billion dollar industry committed to convincing us we need stuff, and voila, you get homes and lives drowning in stuff.
Thanks. You hit the nail on its head.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamameliaISback View Post
You are saying that you would take everything you currently own, to your new place, if there was no transportation issue?

I wasn't sure if you were being sarcastic or not but just to clear things up for anyone else reading, I am not referring to situations such as these where transportation issues are the reason your 'take' list is short.

I am referring to situations where our 'take' lists are short if we had to get up and go, simply because the remaining possessions weren't important enough to take along.. Yet at the same time if we weren't moving, would still feel compelled to keep in our current home.

Make sense?

I am sure everyone has possessions of this kind, even if only two or three. And so my question remains, why do we feel the need to hang onto them?
I mean that I might have an unnecessary piece of furniture, for example, which I would not take with me if I moved; but which I haven't gotten rid of because Goodwill doesn't pick up furniture in this area and I don't always have any volunteers to help me move it and take it to Goodwill. Ditto for some other heavy-and-useless-to-me things.
post #11 of 11
for me, i tend to hold onto things for emotional reasons.

we had the biggest purge of my life recently, and now i'm in the opposite space. we have 8 bags with us plus two computers and the baby's car seat.

we are getting an unfurnished apt, so i'm going to buy a table and chairs and a bed (with drawers under for our clothing and linens).

it's hard buying things. LOL i want nothing, but i do need a bed and a table/chairs.
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