I promised a new house tour – and I am getting there, I swear! Here’s the truth – the rooms in my house have been too cluttered to photograph. I recently made a GIANT revelation that will change everything. Drumroll…ENOUGH WITH THE STUFF!
Our move was scheduled to take 4 hours – it took 12+. All my thrift trips, garage sale Saturdays, online bargains, black Friday must-haves and 40% off J.Crew & GAP sales were very meticulously organized into hundreds of boxes. When we moved everything into our new house – which is three times larger than the old place, I was totally appalled at how quickly we filled it up. Enter my epiphany – I have an emotional attachment to things. That was a really big issue to admit – my snapping point was finding TWO entire plastic tubs of brand new with tags J.Crew clothes. After being thoroughly disgusted with myself – the purge has actually been rather easy! Which brings me back to why I have not done a house tour – our rooms are full of totes and shopping bags as I go from room to room, thrusting unnecessary stuff from the closets into giant organized piles. Listing everything on Ebay, iPhone apps and local buy, sell, trade sites has been a daunting task but I am slowly weeding through it all. There will be a garage sale in the Fall for everything else that is tucked away.
This epiphany has been a long time coming. We are blessed and thankfully my husband is very talented and has been a wonderful provider, which might be why it has taken me so long to come to this realization. Let’s get something straight – shopping is in my genes and that will probably never change – though I have made several new revelations that will change my organized hoarding tendencies into a more productive lifestyle.
#1. Shop with a purpose. I no longer allow myself to peruse online sites and buy, sell, trade sites without a shopping list. I have deleted myself from email lists for my favorite retailers. (No more juicy 40% off sale reminders for me!)
#2. I cancelled all of my store cards. They were really silly to have in the first place and I will tell you – we are debt free (besides the house) and paid them off every month but hear this..JUST HAVING THEM encouraged me to shop more. People like me get sucked in and having a specific store card for my favorite brands was DANGEROUS. Lots of caps there, sorry about that – but I am serious about this subject (Dave Ramsey might be in my head just a little bit) I canceled Victoria’s Secret over two years ago and get this – I used to make monthly purchases from them to use birthday discounts, seasonal discounts, etc. Since canceling the card two years ago, I have not shopped there one time. Not once. I canceled J.Crew three weeks ago – that was my hardest string to cut. I used to make weekly purchases from J.Crew – since cutting the card up I have not shopped there once. Not once! If you are an emotional shopper, having a credit card to your favorite stores is asking for trouble. I have been a devout Dave Ramsey follower for years now, he has made fun of emotional shoppers more than once on his radio show. He has obviously never been one – we have our own “baby steps” to deal with before starting his.
#3. I love thrift shopping, it brings me joy and is one of my hobbies. In fact, I blog about it so it’s not all a lost cause! My new rule is simple – if I don’t have a place to put it or a use for it – I cannot bring it home. I used to stumble upon a name brand or a unique piece and convince myself that I could sell it for a profit or hoard it for one of my unborn children to wear. Yeah – reading that back to myself out loud sounds insane…there is (almost) nothing worth buying if it’s going to take up precious space in your home and life without a specific purpose. I don’t want to downplay the importance and sheer fun of indulging your hobbies – I will always thrift shop. I will always buy fun things that bring a smile to my face. That’s what makes me tick. BUT, I will not let the things that I buy define who I am.
#4. So it’s a bargain you say? It may be the bargain of the year, it may be the best sale the store has ever advertised … it may be the very last velour chevron Mini Boden baby jacket that is ever in existence so I better bid high so I don’t miss out….NOT. Don’t buy into your emotional mind’s not-so-feeble attempts to get you to overspend – your wallet and spouse will thank you.
#5. My stuff has a higher value in my mind than in the real world. When I started putting some of my favorites out into the market and there were no bites, that was a huge reality check. All of these possessions that were practically trophies in my personal life, were easily bypassed by people in the public. Talk about humbling!
#6. One is enough. No really, it is. I’ve got a lot of great stuff that I love and use daily. I also have multiples of the same stuff in several totes. Why? You got me! If I really like something, I am oddly compelled to buy it again – just to have it. During this purge, I found two large totes J.Crew clothes – brand new with tags attached and still in plastic. Digging through, I found several of the same shirt in sizes too big for me now. Amongst many others – that was a clue that I have got to make a big change and make it now.
#7. Last but not least – get rid of. It’s fun to get new things, to find something new to enjoy. But don’t attach yourself to your new toy. Be willing to enjoy it for a hot second then post it on Ebay or Poshmark, etc to let someone else enjoy said toy.
When our new house started filling up way too fast, something inside me broke. I had to get real with myself about the reason we moved. It wasn’t to live wall to wall with possessions, that’s for sure. We wanted to give our children more room to roam, we wanted both the kids to be able to sleep on the same floor as us, and to live in a neighborhood that inspired creativity and relaxation. We wanted to entertain more, to spend quality time with family and friends without feeling cramped. We wanted to be able to host guests without wondering where everyone was going to sleep. All my stuff may be hidden in storage rooms, but it was slowly stealing my joy. This move has made us happier as a family. I want to make sure that my focus is on loving my life, getting closer to God and most importantly, on being the emotionally stable and present parent that my children need to thrive in their lives.
Wishing you your best day yet and God bless!
I apologize for the long blog post, just had to get all this out 🙂 Check out the picture below. My sweet babies shared one last outdoor memory at our old home. After proofreading my post I feel ridiculously materialistic – their happiness should and will always be my priority and I am so thankful that I have come to that realization before their youth slips away!