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Buried Alive October 4, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Less IS More, Life Balance.

Reading Simplify Your life by Elaine St. James made me realize how cluttered my life had become ~ with people, activities, and things.

Perusing the lines
opened my eyes to a truth
I already knew

Like many people, I hung on to  “stuff” with the rationalization that I might need it someday.

Knick Knacks, Bric-A-Brac
Accumulated treasures
Safely packed away

Hanging on to stuff we no longer need exacts a price. We get so overloaded with the accumulations of a lifetime, we start to suffocate.

Stuff, stuff, and more stuff
Possessions overwhelm us
Goodwill here we come!

After finishing the book, I started letting go of things that no long had central importance to me.  It felt great.  Instead of stagnating, mired in quicksand, my life started flowing again.

The auctioneer chants
“Going once, going twice, SOLD!”
The lone bidder nods.

Goodwill’s bargain racks,
replenished with cast off goods,
help train the jobless

Craig’s List ads attract
the serious shopper and
the downright foolish

Flea Market vendors
grab up brass urns and tacky
pink-hued flamingoes

The more clutter I cleared from my life, the more clarity I gained.  It became easier to see what worked and what didn’t.

Your Utopia
Lies in imagination
Beckoning to you

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. ~ Lao Tzu

We travel best when we travel light.

Aah . . . that’s better!

* * * * *

Artwork available at Roderick MacIver Arts.  The beauty of Rod’s art lies in his ability NOT to control all aspects of the water ~ he allows it latitude to do its thing while he does his. The result speaks for itself.

Related posts:  Sunset (Gospel Writer) * Forward, Ho! * Simplify Simplify SimplifyCleaning Out the Closets of Life (Suzi) * Toy Story 3 Linked to Self-Diagnosis of  Disposaphobia (Janna) * I Don’t Want Stuff Anymore, Only Things  (Raptitude) * Woman Found Dead Amid Clutter * Clearing Clutter * Minimalism v. Moderation (Sandra)


1. creatingreciprocity - October 4, 2011

These are excellent points – and an excellent poem.

nrhatch - October 4, 2011

Thanks, Patricia. I used to hang on to things if I thought that I might possibly under a very bizarre set of circumstances want a item at some unlikely point in time down the road.

But hiking with an overloaded backpack is exhausting.

Getting rid of clutter is the best way I know to re-enter the flow.

2. Cindy - October 4, 2011

Do you need a Paypal account to use Goodwill and Craig’s list? It is nigh impossible to sell stuff in this country and actually get your money. It all seems to go into a ‘points account’ that you can only use to buy more STUFF! There is so much I would like to get rid of that would, maybe, allow me to afford a trip to a spiritual healing camp or something.

nrhatch - October 4, 2011

Goodwill is just for donations ~ we just drive the stuff over and drop it off. The money raised by Goodwill’s Thrift Stores is used to educate people to enter the work force. So, it’s a charitable donation.

Craig’s List is an on-line service. Unlike E-Bay, buyers and sellers actually tend to meet face to face to exchange money for goods. So, no, I don’t think that you need a Pay Pal Account.

Here’s the pages for Johannesburg & for Cape Town


We’ve done flea markets, garage sales, and even auctions to get rid of stuff . . . but we’ve never made much money. We also bartered some stuff in our last move in order to get a couple of strong young men to do the heavy lifting for us.

Even though we’ve made very little money from the stuff we’ve jettisoned . . . getting rid of it HAS made us richer. 😀

nrhatch - October 4, 2011

If you have a lot of stuff ~ you might look for an auctioneer to handle a living “Estate Sale” for you. Sometimes they do it on site, other times they cart the stuff away.

Another option is a consignment store . . . especially for artwork, books, furniture. We’ve sold quite a few things on consignment. The store gets 30%-40% of the sale price and sends us a check when something sells.

3. hugmamma - October 4, 2011

Wish I’d learned the lesson earlier in life…before all the stuff happened. 😉

nrhatch - October 4, 2011

That’s the wonderful thing about life . . . we have a chance every day to make better choices.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Enjoy!

4. Bridgesburning Chris King - October 4, 2011

I just keep at it..seems a perpetual struggle but a recent move gave me the proverbial kick to get motivated!

nrhatch - October 4, 2011

We’ve been at IT for 13+ years and still had STUFF that needed unloading in this last move to Florida.

It’s tenacious. 😀

5. earlybird - October 4, 2011

You are so right, Nancy. I did really well six years ago when I ‘downsized’. It was drastic! However (apart from my clothes cupboards) things seem to have ‘stuck’ to me again… the worst thing is the garage. Must tackle the garage… if the insurance worked out I couldn’t even put the car in there they wouldn’t be happy! 🙂

nrhatch - October 4, 2011

Each time we move, we get a smaller place so that we are forced to part possessions with unneeded weight.

We left almost all of our furniture in MD with our last house and bought this villa furnished. As we cleaned out the STUFF we inherited, it FILLED the garage. It took us a month to sort through the piles in the garage so that the car would fit.

We keep a box in a closet. Whenever we FINISH with something, it goes into the box for our next trip to Goodwill.

6. Linda - October 4, 2011

I have a really hard time letting go of stuff. I have too many hobbies! and I my books! I really do need to declutter though or at least organize.

nrhatch - October 4, 2011

Don’t start with the TOUGH STUFF.

Start with the easy stuff . . . the “I don’t know why I bought this in the first place stuff.” 😀

7. kateshrewsday - October 4, 2011

Phil loves shedding stuff. Problem is, it’s so often my stuff he has his beady eye on….I’m all for a little downsizing though.

nrhatch - October 4, 2011

BFF often feels the desire to part ways with MY stuff.

In response, I grab something equally “sentimental” to him (like his Car Magazines) and say, “Both . . . or neither?”

And so endeth the impasse.

Fortunately, both of us have reaped the rewards of traveling a bit lighter through life and we often encourage each other to jettison objects that have lost lustre to us.

8. Christine Grote - October 4, 2011

I love it when I clear things out. I have three bags of clothes ready to go out the door. I still have soooo much more to go. I collected things the first half of my life. My I’m trying to get rid of them.

nrhatch - October 4, 2011

Sounds like me ~ at least, I hope it was the first half of my life. 😀

There is something so satisfactory of letting go of “stuff” that we no longer value. Aah . . .

9. Paula Tohline Calhoun - October 4, 2011

Juts noticed that the “World’s Sexiest Blog” Award button has appeared on your site. . .if you will recall, I am the holder of that award for 2011. . . 😆

Since our house is on the market, we have been decluttering, decluttering, decluttering. We have been burdened with not only our own stuff collected over 36 years, but also the leftover stuff of my parents, Ashley’s parents, and his aunt – all who entrusted us to see to its proper care and/or disposal. It takes so dang much time to go through it all – it has just been filling corners and storage buildings gathering dust, and sitting unused. Well, we are finally getting down to the actual work of unloading it all – trying to be good stewards, and making sure that whatever we hang on to it is something that is needed and used. Otherwise it goes to people who need it. Share the wealth, or live in the poverty of the suffocating overabundance of STUFF.

nrhatch - October 4, 2011

You rock! Share the wealth, baby. It’s a Win~Win!

And you, of course, have the Sexiest Blog . . . the button just leads to the article I posted when awarding it to you. 😆

10. ceceliafutch - October 4, 2011

For the past year we have been getting rid of stuff. AND we still have a way to go. BUT we have gone from a four bedroom, three bathroom, living room, den, and a recreation room, to where we are now: small 2 bedroom, one and a half bath, small kitchen where I can stand in one spot and reach everything! A little tight, but much better. I like traveling light. Many years ago I backpacked in Nicaragua and everything I needed I carried on my back. That was one of my freest times in life. I often think of that…makes it easier to get rid of things–less stuff to weigh me down. 🙂

nrhatch - October 4, 2011

I think that’s exactly the right way of looking at it . . .

Focus on what you are giving yourself (FREEDOM) not on what you are giving away (STUFF).

And once our “backpacks” are lighter, we find it easier to enjoy the scenery on our journey through life.

11. ElizOF - October 5, 2011

Tell me about it… We will be moving in the Spring and I will use it an opportunity to let go of stuff accumulated over 19 years… I give away stuff every year but this will be a bigger haul. Love the poem. 🙂

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

Ooh, where are you moving to? I hope someplace that speaks to your heart.

12. Tilly Bud - October 5, 2011

If I really want to de-clutter I’ll have to start with the Hub. Almost you tempt me…


nrhatch - October 5, 2011

The Hub? . . . or his stuff? 😉

13. Julie - October 5, 2011

It IS so cleansing to get rid of things, so long as you don’t replace them with more things. I did that when we were getting ready to put the house on the market, and even though we’ve since taken it off, I’m ready to go through another round of purging!

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

Oh, no, you went to Italy for nothing?! (I kid.) I did wonder what was happening with the house sale but didn’t want to be nosy.

Moving as many times as we have (11x in 30 years) has really helped us to clutter bust with some regularity. It’s scary to think how ponderous a pile of possessions we’d be buried under if we had lived in the same place for lo these many years.

Good luck with Round 2. 😀

14. Pocket Perspectives - October 6, 2011

A good reminder…I keep giving things away, we don’t buy much anymore, but our home still feels crowded with “stuff.” Oddly enough, Goodwill etc around here is fussy…they usually refuse many items, even though they are decent/good quality items. I guess even Goodwill etc has too much stuff around here..

nrhatch - October 6, 2011

Our Goodwill won’t take building supplies . . . but Habitat for Humanity often will. Sometimes it is just a matter of knowing what will sell in their stores.

Enjoy your clutter busting.

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