Is it really that weird? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 08-30-2005, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I suffer from American consumerism in reverse, where I obsess about how to get rid of stuff I own and how to own less. I'm not bragging--I think I obsess TOO much, and also I still do have a hard time parting with things, and I still do have occasional compulsions to buy things I don't need.

But my boss was complaining the other day that some people she knows are giving away a bunch of stuff in preparation for a move, and people aren't taking it all. "You stupid, picky people! Take it! It's FREE!"

The thought of having more stuff really does give me the shakes. I already have too much.

See, I was raised by compulsive hoarders. My mother and aunt are big time packrats, like the kind you see on self-help TV shows. I was raised to think it's normal, and it took a few years of living on my own to reform. But BOY have I reformed. I see how the clutter burdens my parents, sucks their finances dry, and hurts them more than it ever does help. So now I am equally compulsive about NOT hoarding because I don't want to turn into them.

I'm already on the right track--I live in a very small house and I have gotten rid of many, many things. I don't even feel guilty when people give me things as gifts and I take them straight to Goodwill if I'm not going to use them. But still, I spend a lot of my time fantasizing about how to get rid of stuff (even stuff I am using!) and as I said, the thought of acquiring more stuff gives me the shakes. And I still think I own far too many things.

Mommy to eyesroll.gif (age 7) and mischievous.gif (age 3)

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#2 of 5 Old 08-30-2005, 03:15 PM
 
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I can totally relate to your post. I'm becoming obsessed with getting rid of stuff. Unfortunately, dh seems to be becoming a packrat so this makes me feel like my head is going to explode. My parents are packrats and I desperately don't want a house like theirs and my dh SAYS he doesn't want a house like theirs..... :

I really feel like all this stuff is a weight around my neck. I look around and can't believe we actually need all this stuff. I've gotten rid of so much and yet our house is still full. I look forward to the day when I can look around my house and not feel tired and overwhelmed.
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#3 of 5 Old 08-30-2005, 05:50 PM
 
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i think there's a distinction between pack rat and antipackrat. But the problem is when you either let stuff consume your life or you let the process of anti-stuff consume your life. You probably aren't living mother teresa style, so some stuff is essential. It probably isn't healthy to be thinking TOO much about how to get rid of stuff.

Turning down free stuff isn't a bad thing. If you don't need or want it you don't need or want it. period. Perhaps your friend's friends aren't doing it right (giving it away that is)...freecycle it. That way you reach a targeted audience. People who are looking for stuff meet people who have stuff. I will say that LOTS of people I know turn down used stuff because they want NEW.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#4 of 5 Old 08-30-2005, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc
You probably aren't living mother teresa style, so some stuff is essential. It probably isn't healthy to be thinking TOO much about how to get rid of stuff.
Yes, thank you, that's the advice I need today. I can think of some good examples of stuff, too--cookware so you can save money eating at home instead of going out, and cloth napkins/diapers/menstrual pads so you don't have to waste money and environmental resources on the disposable kinds. Plus I enjoy sleeping on a bed, writing at a table, etc.

Last spring I got rid of of 99% of the toys I had as a child, and I'm holding on to the other 1% either because I tried to sell it on eBay and it didn't sell and I was too lazy to relist it, or because I'm still emotionally attached to it. I can "justify" keeping it because "my kid can play with it," but that isn't a valid argument since my kid will have her/his own toys to play with.

I would also love to get rid of the extra computer and video game systems, but dh and I both are attached to them. Such time- and money-wasters they are, though!

Mommy to eyesroll.gif (age 7) and mischievous.gif (age 3)

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#5 of 5 Old 08-30-2005, 06:10 PM
 
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another thing to keep in mind as you aquire possible stuff is that it is ok for stuff to see a revolving door:
my dd was totally a climber at about age 12 months. I live in northern minnesota and was going totally nuts trying to find safe ways to keep her occupied. Friend drops off a slide with something to climb, a little fort, etc. Erin plays with it for about 6 months....now it is headed over to my friend's house for her little climber to play on for 6 months -- with the caveat that she either needs to pass it on to someone else or give it back to me (if my baby 2 is a climber too!).

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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