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detachment in the name of simplicity

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

Ive got it in spades.  So much so that my husband gets really angry.  I see no need to keep much of anything.  I don't record events, I don't really have pictures of my kids (my parents do, dh does but I'm not sure I've ever really taken more than a dozen or so of any of them.)  Projects and papers from school?  Why do I need those?  Well, I don't.  But the argument is that my kids may at some point?  Am I heartless?  No one can believe that I don't have files of all this...stuff.

 

I remember when my mother presented me with my portfolio, basically.  it was full of drawings I did, projects I made, things I wrote etc. from age 2 on up.  It was interesting to look through, but I took it home and tossed it.  I mean, what the heck am I going to do with it?  Dh's mom is the same way.  She has so much CRAP from when he was little.  He's in his forties!!!  Seriously?!?  How long are you going to lug this stuff around!?

 

Honestly I just don't get it-the need to hold on to things the kids make or do.  You guys here *might*  be my last hope in striking a balance.  Are you supposed to keep child related stuff?  I'm willing to be wrong, and I'd love to hear what you all have to say.  It just doesn't come naturally to me.  So the question is how can I stay as minimal as I want to be without crushing other people's spirits? 

 

For instance, I love the cards they make.  Adorable.  I have no problem tossing them though.  Am I going to regret this at some point?  Is there some sort of formula about what to save if you do?

 

Right now I have several file boxes of school papers which dh wouldn't allow me to throw away.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Every bit of homework, every quiz, every art project....It's like 2-3 boxes a year.

 

I'm happy tossing everything.  I've been known to toss large boxes of things (my things) without looking at what was inside.  I no longer have any remnants of my life pre-kids.  I am just not attached to STUFF.  But, is there going to be a point at which that's my downfall?  Help!

post #2 of 45



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panserbjorne View Post

?  Is there some sort of formula about what to save if you do?

 

 


I saw a mama on here, I think, that had one rubbermaid bin per kid.  They saved the best stuff from the school year, and then at the end of the year, whittled it down to one folder.  So - 12 folders total by the time high school is over.  Seems like a good plan to me! 

 

ETA ... oh - you are asking *what* to save, not how much.  For me, it is the things that I like!  I toss the photocopied worksheets, and the art that is so clearly "follow these exact directions" type stuff where obviously the teacher did much of the work.  I keep the actual "arty" stuff that I think is cute.  And I keep report cards or personal notes from the teacher.

post #3 of 45

WOW!!! I could have written that post myself. I really don't have an attachment to things and people think I am crazy. I don't collect chotskies, I digitilalized all my photos and keep one of those digital photo frames out and love it. The only thing I have kept is my tassle from college graduation, as I worked my arse off to get it and a small baggy full of military memorabilia for my son. He also has his Paw Paw's flag. As far as DS's paper stuff, if he truly made it with his hands, I keep it. The few papers he has when he first started writing his name are keepers and anything he first put Mama on...and his handprints. I keep them in a binder in plastic protectors. I am ruthless but my son has more fun with the adventures we have than things. I did keep his first outfit from the hospital, which I had put in a shadow box. I have his first birthday cards. Since we are a tiny family, I don't have many. I guess I am just weird that I don't accumulate stuff or keep memories.

post #4 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by LVNTEXAS View Post

WOW!!! I could have written that post myself. I really don't have an attachment to things and people think I am crazy. I don't collect chotskies, I digitilalized all my photos and keep one of those digital photo frames out and love it. The only thing I have kept is my tassle from college graduation, as I worked my arse off to get it and a small baggy full of military memorabilia for my son. He also has his Paw Paw's flag. As far as DS's paper stuff, if he truly made it with his hands, I keep it. The few papers he has when he first started writing his name are keepers and anything he first put Mama on...and his handprints. I keep them in a binder in plastic protectors. I am ruthless but my son has more fun with the adventures we have than things. I did keep his first outfit from the hospital, which I had put in a shadow box. I have his first birthday cards. Since we are a tiny family, I don't have many. I guess I am just weird that I don't accumulate stuff or keep memories.

Yup another mama here who is detached in a major way from memorabilia type stuff...I am pretty merciless in general with our possessions. I don't save ticket stubs to events, I don't save pictures a lot except on the computer although I do frame the ones I really love. I don't do the little keepsake boxes for baby teeth or whatever..My mom actually bought me 2 engraved, pewter boxes for DD's baby teeth and hair and all I could muster in confusion when she explained why I needed them was, "thats gross, people keep their kids teeth??" 

 

I don't really get it and I DO feel bad sometimes about it for DD's sake but then like you OP I remember when my mom gave me a bunch of my old "stuff" and I pretty much just threw it away... I don't like clutter...at all and I feel like I can ALWAYS get rid of something else...

DH prevents that though...he never wants to get rid of things, but he's not a hoarder by any means...thank goodness

post #5 of 45

My mom sent me a box of my stuff. When I opened it, I was greeted with a whiff of cigarette smoke...YUCK!!! I tried to air stuff out but it was all ruined. Fine by me!!! I am not a sentimental person. I rather spend time with someone and make those mental memories.

 

Funny story- 7 years ago, I went home to get the rest of my stuff. I had gone in the military and had to leave the contents of my apartment behind. My mom had carefully packed 22 boxes of "stuff" and 8 bins. Of course, it was all in her house and smoke filled. BLAH!!! After several arguments about just giving it to someone, I flew home, loaded it all up into a small "rental" van under the guise I was going to drive it to my current home and store it. I drove 54 miles to a AmVets station and donated it all. :  ) I couldn't even remember half the stuff I had and after the cigarette smoke and 4 years of storage, I wasn't interested. The AmVets did open some of the boxes and did want the things. I insisted that if they didn't, I would just dump it all. They were very gracious and grateful.

 

I had someone come to visit me a few days ago. She was shocked at my little apartment and my lack of stuff. She asked me if she could look through all my cupboards because she couldn't believe someone lived like that. I found in humurous.  : )

 

I have lost items to fire, being stolen, lost in the mail or being ruined...and it really didn't affect me. I don't like things that are blatantly ruined but I believe in karma and passing things along to others.

 

I come from a family of packrats and everything is a keeper- from pieces of scrap paper to ticket stubs. My mom LOVES those home, boat and whatever shows, where you get the free stuff as you walk around. She would routinely send me magnets and bags of pencils. I donate them!!! : )

 

I am also a but of a gypsy. My time in the military taught me to live with very little but enjoy life to the fullest. I have been around the world twice and I am always amazed at how other people live. I have seen the huts in Guam, the tiny apartments of Hong Kong and the tents in the deserts of the Middle East. It amazes me how lucky I am.

 

My goal in life is to raise my son to be strong, independent and happy and then set off to travel the world, using Texas as my home base but possible living in extend a stay hotels or something similiar.


Sorry, I hijacked the thread, but I thought it was important to understand where I come from. Thanks. : )

 

 

 

post #6 of 45

Same as you. 

 

DH is starting to realize how nice it is.

post #7 of 45

I think I'm in the middle. When it comes to my stuff, I am ruthless. I don't have any old yearbooks, school work, projects, keepsakes, memoribilia etc. My husband too, he couldn't care less. My kids stuff is another story though. We unschool so we don't have school work or anything but my kids' drawing/paintings are definitely hard to keep whittled down. Right now my son has one basket in his room and hardly accumulates any. My daughter on the other hand, has a big box in her room and it's overflowing because she draws ALL the time. It's on my list of things to de-clutter.  I don't keep everything she draws, just ones that are particularly cool...but there's a lot of those. :)

 

In your case, maybe keep at least one per kid/per year? Your kids may not care in the future, but they might. I LOVED getting my box from my mom when I moved out. I have since gotten rid of it all because I went through the process of coming to my own conclusions about stuff and what was important to me. But I kept it for quite a while and it was important to me back then.

post #8 of 45

LVNTexas, I liked your story about the Amvets donation.  :)  My dh's parents saved boxes upon boxes of stuff for him.  We kept a small box of Eagle Scout stuff and pretty much pitched the rest.

 

 

Re: the op -- I find myself taking photos of the cool artwork and papers and throwing the actual items away.  I have a small photo album where I have their beginning attempts at writing MAMA I LOVE YOU and stuff, but that's it.  I'm not keeping boxes of stuff for the kids ----- I know we have at least two or three more moves for our family before retirement, so I'm not packing/repacking/unpacking and paying to move every tiny thing.  I imagine I'll have a small box of stuff/little photo album for each kid eventually, but I'm trying to stick with taking photos of everything.

 

I can handle maintaining a few megapixels, but I can't imagine stuffing my house full of boxes of childhood stuff they've long forgotten.

 

post #9 of 45
Thread Starter 

good ideas, mamas.  Keep 'em coming!

 

I'd love to purge the boxes today.  The problem is that if I ask dh he won't want to (he's not home so it's a theoretical objection in his head and yes...I've asked him before.)  IF I do it without asking it's kind of a violation as he's already expressed his position.

 

I get stuck between this rock and a hard place ALL THE TIME.

post #10 of 45

When I had a husband, he was resistant to purging and minimalizing. I gathered up his stuff that he never used but wanted to keep and neatly place it all in bins. It came out to 4 big bins but at least it was out of sight. They resided in the garage up until the day I left. I then was able to purge my stuff with freedom. I realized I couldn't change him but I can live my life. I took care of DS's stuff, so he never said much about me downsizing him either. It also made it easier to move out. ; )

post #11 of 45

I'm pretty minimalist with all kinds of mementos. I have thrown out yearbooks etc. We whittled down our photos by trashing all the unwanted or bad or redundant ones -though I'd like to scan and toss all the rest too. Some day-- we don't have a scanner, I think that's the biggest reason it hasn't been done yet.

 

I keep a box of mementos. My baby book and a note book where my mom (who passed away) wrote about me, a few letters from my family when I was away from home for a year as an exchange student at 16 yo.. Some item from my mother's and my grandmother's childhood. But it's really very few items and everything fist into a small box.

 

For my beloved daughter, I also write a journal of her, because we forget those things, and I loved reading that notebook about myself  after mom had died, about how she loved me, and the cute things I'd done. Just one notebook for all her childhood, probably. I don't write that often. I plan to only keep my very favorite pieces of art. She can of course choose to keep some on her own.

 

I think the key is to limit the amount, and only save the things that are really special, and will truly warm your heart and make you smile when you open that box :) This way I'm also not burdening DD  with tons of junk to go through later, but neither am I destroying everything physical that she MIGHT enjoy looking at and touching later or even saving. So, I see it as also giving DD a choice about this stuff. A choice I'm just making easier by keeping the stuff down to a minimal amount :D

post #12 of 45

I love the idea of the journal. that's sweet. I'll keep a digital version and can print it out for him later.

post #13 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniMum View Post

I think the key is to limit the amount, and only save the things that are really special, and will truly warm your heart and make you smile when you open that box :) This way I'm also not burdening DD  with tons of junk to go through later, but neither am I destroying everything physical that she MIGHT enjoy looking at and touching later or even saving. So, I see it as also giving DD a choice about this stuff. A choice I'm just making easier by keeping the stuff down to a minimal amount :D


This.

 

I am pretty ruthless with STUFF, especially my own stuff....but it makes me really sad to think of not saving a small box  of special things for each child.  Whether or not they choose to keep it when it goes to them - is up to them. 

 

What I expect to have saved for them:

 

a baby book (small) with notes and memories written in

A few special pieces of baby clothing, especially things knit or sewn by family

a few special cards with handwritten messages from close family (i.e. special wishes from grandparents on 1st birthdays, etc)

Some special drawings or paintings, first written 'I love you' note, etc.  Hopefully only a few pieces for each child. 

School papers - maybe one or two things per year - maybe a really funny story they wrote, or a personal note from their teacher

If they are in girl guides or scouts, I would keep their badges and pins for them

And anything else that is extra special - if they were in the newspaper, for example, I would keep a clipping for them

 

I don`t think a small box is too burdensome to store for them.  And I hope when they look through it later in life they see how loved they were, how special they were, and they get a glimpse into who they were (and who their family members were) in those years they don't remember.  Also, THEIR children might love to see these things some day!

 

I also have a small box of my own memorobilia tucked away for her to see - my baby shoes, my first dress, my baby book etc. I also have my mother`s first shoes and my grandmother's first dress and shoes. I loved looking at them when I was little!

 

 

 

post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by LVNTEXAS View Post


I am also a but of a gypsy. My time in the military taught me to live with very little but enjoy life to the fullest. I have been around the world twice and I am always amazed at how other people live. I have seen the huts in Guam, the tiny apartments of Hong Kong and the tents in the deserts of the Middle East. It amazes me how lucky I am.

 

My goal in life is to raise my son to be strong, independent and happy and then set off to travel the world, using Texas as my home base but possible living in extend a stay hotels or something similiar.


Sorry, I hijacked the thread, but I thought it was important to understand where I come from. Thanks. : )

 

 

 


yeahthat.gif

 

post #15 of 45

PS,. After I replied to this thread I went and dug out that 'small box' I am saving for her and threw out about two-thirds of it because it didn't meet my own criteria! lol.gif  Felt good!

post #16 of 45
Thread Starter 

That's too funny!  LOL!

 

See that's the other part too.  I was a circus performer pre kids.  I WAS a nomad.  I mean, I had stuff stored back home but I was on the road 11 months out of the year.  I'm used to not having STUFF.  I've remained in that mindset.

 

Dh, while not a hoarder, is close.  He grew up in an unstable environment and when he started making good money he started buying STUFF.  I get the psychology of it.  I do.  But it's really ridiculous.  We have things he bought and never used.  And the crap that his mother still has is absurd.  So we clash a bit on this.  He likes the *idea* of simplicity, but feels the need to have all this GEAR and whatnot. 

 

It's funny....when we moved here we brought what we had, which wasn't much at that point given after dd's birth we had to sell our house to pay her medical bills and gave away or sold most of our things.  (We're in a better place now for sure as is she.)  Anyway, I have like 7 large bins full of stuff that I have no clue about their contents.  A few weeks ago I pulled them out and started sifting through them.  There wasn't anything I was greeted by that I felt happy to see.  AND IT WAS ALL MY STUFF.   I said, "toss it."  It's all still in the shed because dh couldn't deal with me doing that. 

 

a. we could give it to someone

b. I could change my mind

c. we could sell it (I hate this one with the fire of a thousand suns)

 

I mean, the reasons are endless.  I'm happy putting them at the side of the road and letting people take what they want!  (and in my neighborhood it will be gone in under 2 hours.)

 

It's just hard to be in such opposition and know that neither one of us in 100% right and the solution lies in the middle.

post #17 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panserbjorne View Post

That's too funny!  LOL!

 

See that's the other part too.  I was a circus performer pre kids.  I WAS a nomad.  I mean, I had stuff stored back home but I was on the road 11 months out of the year.  I'm used to not having STUFF.  I've remained in that mindset.

 

Dh, while not a hoarder, is close.  He grew up in an unstable environment and when he started making good money he started buying STUFF.  I get the psychology of it.  I do.  But it's really ridiculous.  We have things he bought and never used.  And the crap that his mother still has is absurd.  So we clash a bit on this.  He likes the *idea* of simplicity, but feels the need to have all this GEAR and whatnot. 

 

It's funny....when we moved here we brought what we had, which wasn't much at that point given after dd's birth we had to sell our house to pay her medical bills and gave away or sold most of our things.  (We're in a better place now for sure as is she.)  Anyway, I have like 7 large bins full of stuff that I have no clue about their contents.  A few weeks ago I pulled them out and started sifting through them.  There wasn't anything I was greeted by that I felt happy to see.  AND IT WAS ALL MY STUFF.   I said, "toss it."  It's all still in the shed because dh couldn't deal with me doing that. 

 

a. we could give it to someone

b. I could change my mind

c. we could sell it (I hate this one with the fire of a thousand suns)

 

I mean, the reasons are endless.  I'm happy putting them at the side of the road and letting people take what they want!  (and in my neighborhood it will be gone in under 2 hours.)

 

It's just hard to be in such opposition and know that neither one of us in 100% right and the solution lies in the middle.


Circus performer?! Sweet.

 

I would have a problem with him preventing you from getting rid of your own stuff. I totally don't think it's OK to get rid of of force someone to get rid of their own things if they aren't ready and I also wouldn't force someone to keep things they don't want. I think having a policy of being in charge of your own stuff is a a basic starting point.

 

post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katico View Post

PS,. After I replied to this thread I went and dug out that 'small box' I am saving for her and threw out about two-thirds of it because it didn't meet my own criteria! lol.gif  Felt good!




ROTFLMAO.gif

post #19 of 45

Why not keep the really super special stuff, then scan the special, but not worth keeping the actual thing stuff and just keep it all together in one place on your computer and put it on discs every now and then?  The discs would be easy to store along with the super special stuff in a small box.  That way, you don't have to deal with tons of actual stuff, but anyone who wants it later on will have access to it.  It's a win-win I think, it's easy to do and no one will feel bad about not having the "stuff" to look at later on.  We have a very small scanner that is easy to stick in a drawer and keep out of the way when it's not being used so it doesn't really take up any space. 

post #20 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post




Circus performer?! Sweet.

 

I would have a problem with him preventing you from getting rid of your own stuff. I totally don't think it's OK to get rid of of force someone to get rid of their own things if they aren't ready and I also wouldn't force someone to keep things they don't want. I think having a policy of being in charge of your own stuff is a a basic starting point.

 




I should have been more clear.  I wanted to throw it away.  He was saying that you can't do that-you need to give it to someone or donate it or sell it...not toss perfectly good stuff into a landfill.  In other words...he's right, though it pains me to say it.

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