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Stuffed! March 24, 2014

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

The best way to avoid clutter is not to buy it in the first place.  We learned that lesson the hard way by moving our stuff . . .  more than a dozen times.

Our first visitors
stumble o’er moving boxes
“Let’s go out to eat!”

Wikipedia ~ Moving Company

In our younger years, we had a number of buying triggers (CD’s, books, zebras, Santas) ~ all manner of collectable collectibles.

Unpacking becomes
A logistical challenge
We have Too Much Stuff

These days, we seldom shop for anything but groceries.  And still we have things cluttering up our life which would benefit from more pruning. 

Back to the basics:
load, unload, unpack, repeat.
We have Too Much Stuff

Wikipedia ~ Collecting

When we bought this villa we inherited a literal ton of knick knacks and paddy whacks which we stashed in a make-shift staging area in the garage.

After our umpteenth trip to Goodwill, the garage floor reappeared with an opening large enough for our cars.

Life’s small victories
mount, as stuffed garage swallows
a Toyota van

Wikipedia ~ Moving Company

The less we have to distract us . . . the more time we have to live!

Rain drops on hutches
and bartered possessions ~ our
moving saga ends

 Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote to Ponder:  Until you are happy with who you are . . . you will never be happy with what you have.

Related posts:  Pack & Live Lighter (My Light Bag) * Possessions: The Stuff of Life (LA Times) *  Collectable Collectibles (Colonialist) * Expand Time Energy Money (Love Out Loud) * Timely Advice


1. suzicate - March 24, 2014

Love the video!

nrhatch - March 24, 2014

I heard that song for the first time at the Academy Awards ~ WOW! They still got it.

2. Morgan - March 24, 2014

U2 is awesome 🙂 great post !

nrhatch - March 24, 2014

Thanks, Morgan. Ordinary Love is a favorite song this year. U2 still knows how to rock the house.

3. Pix Under the Oaks - March 24, 2014

I think we are still doing good in the not adding stuff department. I see more stuff going out then coming in. Or what’s coming in is doing the job of 5 or 6 things!

nrhatch - March 24, 2014

Yay! It’s almost a game with us ~ to see how much stuff we can give away. Eventually, the extraneous will be extracted, leaving only the essential. 😀

We travel best when we travel light.

4. katecrimmins - March 24, 2014

As I’ve gotten older, I find that I can control the buying impulse better. Perhaps I have been hoodwinked enough times that I know nothing effortlessly peels a garlic better than smashing with a knife. I worked with a guy who retired to Tennessee several states away. They sold or gave away ALL their furniture and most of their possessions. When they moved down there, they bought stuff that fit their new home perfectly. I admired that.

nrhatch - March 24, 2014

We left almost all our furniture in MD with the house, planning to do just that. We brought heirlooms, antiques, and a few other small pieces with us. We ended up buying a furnished villa. So, instead of shopping for furniture, we whittled away at the pile of STUFF we inherited.

And we haven’t missed the stuff we left behind at all. Except for my piano ~ but that wouldn’t fit in the villa anyway.

5. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - March 24, 2014

Great post, loved the last quote! I’ve worked very hard to not gather “stuff”!

nrhatch - March 24, 2014

You are wise, Kate!!! Having fewer distractions around (that have to be cleaned and dusted) frees up more time to LIVE.

6. jannatwrites - March 24, 2014

We could stand to clear out more stuff. Problem is, a lot of the clutter belongs to the kids. The best we can do right now is to make them keep their stuff in their rooms so we don’t have to look at it 🙂

nrhatch - March 24, 2014

That’s your best option – kids need clutter. It’s in the Rule Book.

7. Carol Balawyder - March 24, 2014

So true. There’s some comfort knowing that we have everything we need (except groceries). I like the idea of minimalist and try to apply it to my life but it’s not always easy. You should see the clutter on my desk !!!

nrhatch - March 24, 2014

It’s nice only having to shop for groceries. Surface clutter is “less dangerous” than stuff we stuff into dark closets and recesses.

Carol Balawyder - March 24, 2014

Oh, my God! Less is the new more 🙂

nrhatch - March 24, 2014

I concur.

8. ericjbaker - March 24, 2014

ironically, most of my clutter is packing material and boxes for stuff I’m selling on eBay. One of these days, it’ll all be gone!

nrhatch - March 24, 2014

Good luck to you, sir! I hope that you are able to find fine adoptive family for all your stuff.

9. diannegray - March 24, 2014

Brilliant song!

You just never know how much you’ve got until you have to move. Minimalism is a must these days! 😀

nrhatch - March 24, 2014

Yes! That song is fabulous. From what I’ve seen of the RUC, you don’t have any excess clutter lurking about . . . just that one rat.

10. librarylady - March 24, 2014

The older I get the less stuff I want – or need. There was a day – newlyweds – when our house was empty and our walls were bare. what fun it was to decorate. Now 30 years later we’ve gone into pruning mode. No more garage sales, unless it’s our own. Clutter be gone!

nrhatch - March 24, 2014

That sounds much like the path we’ve traveled . . . I get as much fun out of pruning as I did during our Acquisition Phase.

11. Three Well Beings - March 25, 2014

We’re learning this the hard way, Nancy. For years we’ve been paring down, and I am really not a “shopper” or significant collector. But because we have storage and haven’t moved in 40 years…oh my goodness what we have stashed away. We’ve been working so hard at really getting rid of things and it’s a huge job. We’re committed to finishing it, but it’s made me really contemplate how over the years our thoughts have changed on what and why we hold onto things. What a chore!

nrhatch - March 25, 2014

Possessions often possess us . . . and hold us hostage.

That’s what happened to my parents. Overwhelmed at the thought of moving (i.e., dealing with their stuff), they stayed put long past the time it made sense to do so. Having too much house and yard to care for left too little time for enjoying the fruits of their labors. Chore though it is, keep whittling away at shedding that excess weight ~ it’s sure to pay dividends down the road.

12. Grannymar - March 25, 2014

I do have a collection, but it might lose in the retelling….
Nancy, you can check it out here: http://grannymar.com/2008/06/15/collections/

nrhatch - March 25, 2014

Thanks for the link ~ I love your button collection and feel I should gather all my buttons into a suitable “display.”

Grannymar - March 25, 2014

Only yesterday, I saw a collection of bags/purses decorated with buttons.

nrhatch - March 25, 2014

It’s a great collection to have . . . in part because it takes up less space than collecting cars, for example.

13. Val Boyko - March 25, 2014

The best way to avoid clutter is not to buy it in the first place….. boy is that not the truth Nancy. I think a part of me wanted to move so often so I could get rid of things along the way… and then buy more!
Now that I’m older the impulse to acquire/nest has gone. What would you call this phase? The Shedding years or the Releasing years or the Letting Go Years?

nrhatch - March 25, 2014

Let’s see . . . there’s “Acquisitions & Mergers” early in life. Perhaps this is the “Divestiture” stage?

Moving helps to speed the process of “letting go,” as long as you don’t hire a moving company to do the packing ~ they pack anything, including waste in waste baskets and dirt in planters.

14. My Light Bag - March 26, 2014

I completely agree: it’s only when we move house that we realise how much crap we have! Moving to a different country has kept me from going overboard in the past three years. I’m always saying to myself ‘One day, you may need to move your stuff with just a suitcase’. Thank you for the pingback.

nrhatch - March 26, 2014

Yes! Moving from Here to There is much easier when we aren’t carrying around a bunch of stuff we no longer need.

15. Booksphotographsandartwork - March 26, 2014

Oh but I love my stuff 🙂

nrhatch - March 26, 2014

I got that impression from your last post . . . the one with all the pottery. 😀

16. I am J - March 27, 2014

I’m attempting to declutter now. Only problem is I really like my stuff… 😦 I tell my husband it’s not clutter. It’s preparation for when I have time to use it all 🙂

nrhatch - March 27, 2014

My goal is not to get rid of stuff that I still want, use, love, wear, etc. ~ it’s to make time for that stuff by clearing the decks of detritus. We keep a box in the closet. Whenever we come across something that has outstayed its welcome, we put it in the box. When the box is full, we donate the stuff to Goodwill.

Because of the time lag, we know we can retrieve items from the box before they head out the door . . . but we rarely do.

17. Perfecting Motherhood - March 31, 2014

Welcome to America, the land of stuff! My only weakness is cameras and art supplies…

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

I don’t view art supplies as clutter either, Milka. Even if I haven’t painted in a while . . . I know I will get back to it someday.

Perfecting Motherhood - March 31, 2014

I did oil pastels this weekend and it was a lot of fun!

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

It is fun! I don’t know if I’ve seen any of your art work ~ other than on your dry erase board for the boys and, of course, your gorgeous photography.

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