Lucky Mom

Nov. 20, 2010

The Anti-Hoarder

I’ve been getting rather anxious lately as the holidays are upon us and I know what that means.

No, not eating too much, more STUFF will be coming into my house.

I’m constantly cleaning OUT my house. I’m a regular at the various local charity drop-off locations. I really LOVE it when they call me (pretty much weekly at this point as I think I'm on their speed dial) and say a truck will be in my area….I start to feel giddy with ideas of what I can dispose of. I also love consignment shops and selling stuff on Craigslist.

I think I have a real anxiety condition as I feel claustrophobic and very uneasy when there’s ‘too much’ stuff in my house. That's why I have an eight piece child toy maximum.

I know it’s not normal as everyone who comes over to my house asks ‘where’s all your stuff?’ like we haven’t really fully moved in.

We have a rather large house and it overwhelms me when there are too many things. Not just toys, but furniture, décor, home accessories, frozen food.

My husband always wants to ‘put stuff in the attic’.

My prerequisite for this to occur is simply two-part:

1. We must expect to use it again and,

2. Expected use must be no more or less than annually. (If I have more than holiday decorations up there I’ll lay awake at night and try to remember what it is and if it can be sold, donated or disposed of).

I’ve decided I’m old enough to get to eliminate that stress, hence the above rule.

I’m always secretly getting rid of things when no one is home. The objections get barked out like impassioned trial lawyers if anyone gets a glimpse that I’m getting rid of anything.

They challenge every little fragment of anything and everything like it is their most cherished treasure.

If it hasn’t been used, played with, looked at, sat on, worn (well, with the exception of say shoes, I'm not completely bonkers), slept in or eaten in the last month, it gets tossed.

I’ve been attempting to get my family on board with a ‘no gifts’ Christmas program this year but so far to no avail.

I covertly kind of got them on a 'one gift' program for their respective birthdays but not everyone willingly participated. Some birthday party participant parents thought I was completely crazed and pretty much told me so. I asked them to kindly include a bottle of Xanax then.

I’ve suggested going on a weekend road trip (though we really can’t get far and no where near where they really want to go) or working with a charity and passing out gifts to those less fortunate. How about serving soup or holiday meals?

No dice.

I even threw in ‘how about we go and enjoy the theatre and a yummy dinner’? They just looked at me with tilted heads like I was speaking Mandarin.

I’ve still got a little bit of time before Christmas to try and sell the plan. Otherwise, I’ll just dispose of more stuff in order to be ‘in the red’ after Christmas, stuff speaking.

I wonder if I can get a reality show. The Hoarders get one so why shouldn’t I?

7 Comments Posted (Add Yours)

1

Hey, Kristine, I'm with you all the way! When I see how much stuff my grandkids have, I shudder! They all have enough for 14 other kids. I finally have given up birthday/Christmas with as much family as I can. And this year, what I do give is going to be less. At my age, nobody needs anything - not even my kids - and they are happier with what they buy themselves than what I get for them. I so think "a nice dinner and a movie" would be a great way to celebrate. Stuff is just stuff. (I do like shoes....but I'm a walker and they are a necessity!) I'll be ready to sign your petition for "less is more."
Happy holidays - Love, Sonja

2

Ha! We share brain waves on this topic. Can you come to our house and help me????

Sincerely,
Surrounded by Things.

3

Lady, you would need Xanax just to visit my house. My friend is just like you and I wish to emulate her, but to no avail. She frequents Good Will weekly. HELP, I can't control my stuff! p.s. i went to a birthday party today and all the gifts were to be donated to a charity. The Kindergartner agreed to this.

4

When my ex-husband and I moved from a three bedroom house with two car garage and out building to a very tiny city bungalow, we made the rule "for anything that came into the house, something of equal mass and volume had to leave the house." Gifts needed to be consumable, i.e. tea, bath products, candles, food items, things that could be used up. It was very difficult to get certain people (his mother) to comply.

Good luck with your people!

5

You are completely at odds with the Watson family in the UK - we love 'stuff' and everytime I go to a garage sale, car boot sale or charity shop, I come home with as much as I take. Its amazing how much old 'stuff' came in useful when my 2 children (one of them your husband) were setting up home in their first homes. Think to the future....today's stuff may be tomorrow's antiques/vintage.

6

Hey Kristine!!!! Miss you so much here. Your blogs started going to my junk mail so just saw this. There's been a lot of school emails I'm not getting lately so decided to check it out.

Was looking for recent photo's of your kids, but didn't see any current ones. Are you on Facebook? I have a lot of pictures of Zachary posted there. Just pull up Michelle Mays. Need to catch up with you. Sounds like things are going well for you. Such cute kids!!! xoxo

7

Michelle!! Maybe because you have a zillion friends on Facebook you forgot I AM ONE??!! : )

How are you gal! Miss you!! Definitely would like to catch up with you!

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