I found this website doing a desperate Google search. I've been feeling like the walls were closing in on me for awhile but it seems like there is always something going on that keeps me from having the time and/or energy to do anything. I'm also emotionally attached to things in a way that I can't understand or explain.
First, I grew up very poor and often homeless. We would have a house and then be evicted and leave everything behind. I never really learned to declutter because every few months we had to find new things. I do okay for awhile and then we have something in life that upsets things and I find myself clinging to stuff again. I KNOW that it stems from insecurity but that doesn't seem to fix it. My poor husband was in the Army before our marriage and has no attachment to material things and doesn't understand why I need help getting rid of stuff.
My daughter is a child of divorce and we've both been guilty of compensating so she has TONS of stuff. Her father is sentimental and she feels like she's betraying him if she gets rid of things that he's given her. I've sent things to his house but he lives in 500ish sqft so that doesn't work. We also homeschool and all 3 have been diagnosed with ADD.
I say that I live with Einstein and his protege and sometimes it really feels that way. My husband will wear mismatched socks, not comb his hair and leave things all over the house but write amazing code that is great for our finances (so HOW could I complain?) but still leaves me feeling dazed and overwhelmed. There are a billion half-done projects or grand ideas that were never completed but it seems impossible to give up on them (feeling like a failure) and the funny thing is that HALF of them are "decluttering" and "organizing" tasks.
Our biggest problem? I don't know where anything is and neither does my husband. We have hundreds of socks (I'm sure) and 50 tubes of neosporin and blah blah. We have a very well stocked pantry and freezer (food insecurity is in full force there) and I feel uncomfortable if we don't have 2-3 packages of toilet paper, paper towels, tampons... you get the picture. I went without basic healthcare and medicine for so long that I FEEL better just knowing that we have 100 bandaids and enough Advil to last through a nuclear winter.
I take on too much and I'm not sure how to prioritize them. Are there any tips to mentally "forgive yourself" or let yourself let go of something? I get so overwhelmed that I shut down. It usually starts with me getting sick or going through something big (I've lost a family member or close friend every 3-6 months for the last 4 years!!!) I just let everything go and end up with 20 loads of clean laundry in the living room and dishes piled to the ceiling and a carpet of toys and art work and randomness.
I never let things get unsanitary (the bathroom and kitchen are priorities but scratch cooking means 2 loads of dishes a day!) but I still fear that someone will call child services or something.
I probably need to find a therapist instead of a forum but we spend our disposable income on eating out so that we don't have to face the kitchen (totally defeats that whole cooking from scratch thing) and I'm just ready to pull my hair out. DH is helping out today and my DD is gone for the day but it just seems daunting. I also feel guilty that he works and goes to school and has to help keep up the house.
I sometimes fantasize about running away and starting over. It seems so insane since I've spent my life looking for stability and financial security (which we didn't have in the beginning but we've built a life where I don't even have to work now.) If you could picture your local Target or WalMart or whatever and imagine having just about 1 of everything... that's my house. People come over (when things are cleaner) and mention that they need XYZ and I go find one. I just don't know how to distinguish between a well stocked house (what I want) and a mental illness. I wish that there was a master list somewhere of the 100 or 300 or whatever things that every house should have and then I'd know. I'm always trying to anticipate DH and DD's needs and make sure that we have those things ahead of time. We typically do and they're accustomed to being very comfortable but it's gotten out of hand and after moving in with a family member after the death of her husband and only coming home to pick up supplies before going back, then spending a month sick almost as soon as we moved back home (not able to get out of bed for a few weeks) everything is nuts.
I think the spark that started my desire to change was when I realized that I hadn't been to the store to pick up anything in a month and the only thing we didn't have was 3oz cups for the bathroom. Sure, hubby ran to the grocery store for some milk and bread and stuff but woa. How much is being a good wife/mother and how much is being a bad wife/mother by drowning them in stuff?
I know that this is TOTALLY opposite of living simply. My IDEAL life would be very simple. I don't buy status items, we don't let our kiddo watch TV with commercials, we buy things 2nd hand and try not to have an attachment to consuming things that are OBVIOUS but the little things are killing me (medicine cabinet, soap/lotion/etc, craft supplies, homeschool material, books, linens, upcyling projects, 8 different kids of laundry detergent from trying to find one that works best and not being able to tell a difference...) I wish that someone else would be the decision maker in my life sometimes. My husband is a great man but he has no opinion on the whole thing and wants whatever makes me feel good because he doesn't really see the stuff, he is in his head and when he is home we sit around having deep conversations and (as long as the internet and his curiosity machine don't go away) he'd not care if we lived in a hotel room with 2 outfits and a hot plate.
Sorry for the long ranting post.
TL;DR - I'm feeling lost and overwhelmed by stuff and want to find some structured way to know what to KEEP. I grew up with nothing (homeless) and have no idea what is appropriate for a household. My husband was in the Army and lived out of a backpack and my daughter thinks that she should keep ToysRUs. I find myself buying 1 of everything at WalMart or Target or Ikea or whatever. Point me to a list or something!?