Sunday, April 12, 2009

STUFF - too much of it

In my young life, I have moved all of my "stuff" 14 times. I think that's about right.

As a result, my natural pack-rat sensibilities have been quashed by my hatred of moving "stuff". Every time I know I am going to move (which, let's face it, is like every year), I go through a frenzy of throwing things away. Just...getting...rid...of...stuff. It hurts so good.

I am currently listening to loud rock music and going through my clothes and getting rid of stuff I don't think I ever want to wear again and putting them in a Goodwill pile. Unfortunately, since I do this practically annually, I have not come up with a lot of stuff. However, I have ditched 3 pairs of daisy dukes I have not worn since early grad school. Husband was a little disappointed, but agreed that someone my age should NEVER wear those shorts. Ever. Ever. I can't believe I even have them.

So there - more grown-up-ifying of my wardrobe. I am also going through my purse collection. I used to have a big thing for purses and handbags. But that seems to have faded and I see no reason to drag a purse I won't ever use again that was in style 5 years ago from domicile to domicile. Especially since I have seen the light and don't even use purses at all anymore - I am now a wristlet girl. No more purses sliding off my slippery REI jacket!!

Any time I think about "stuff", I also think about how freaking lucky I am. Here in the US, we just have so much STUFF, most of it superfluous but much if it quasi-necessary to keep up with the pace of life we have here. I don't think I am particularly wasteful (I use cameras until they are no good - years, and same with my phones. I think it's insane to buy new ones every year or season or whatever - and I wonder what people who do so do with their old ones. I hope they dispose responsibly or donate or SOMETHING instead of tossing them in the garbage). However, I realize that I have more stuff than entire villages of people in Third World countries. And it makes me feel a both guilty and fortunate at the same time.

I just want FSM to know that I am very grateful for the life that I lead. But a little bit mad that life needs me to move. Again. Not only out to my internship for the summer, but out of our little apartment too. Sigh. And I don't know where I'm going to live come Sept. Awesome.


GirlPostdoc said...

I've stopped counting how many times I've moved - though in the span of 1 year, I moved 4 times. That was horrific. One positive thing you've pointed out is that moving forces you to decide what is important stuff in your life. After my divorce, I was literally left with a few boxes of things. Although, it was not a choice, I realized that I didn't need very much in life to make do. It's truly liberating.

Eppendork said...

Snap - I do it every time i move i throw a heap of crap out - but by the time i move again I have just as much crap as I had before - grrr - btw I have the keep pile, give to charity pile and the throw away in the bin no one will ever see it again sleeping with the fishes styles pile. Worked for me and I was ruthless (I miss ruth where ever she is) - has anyone ever been ruth? I dont know - hmmm sidetracked hehehe.


ScientistMother said...

Yeah moving sucks. Is Mr.PD going with you?

Mrs. CH said...

I love grand purges! Those are the best when moving, but we tend to do it at least twice a year. We recently did one after our wedding - to make room for more stuff of course - and then another about a month ago.

DH is amazing with chucking things. I've learned much from him, but still hang on to a few useless trinkets I have emotional attachments too. I also have this sick problem carried over from childhood: that inanimate objects have feelings! LOL

PhizzleDizzle said...

GirlPostdoc - I can't believe you moved 4x in one year!!! That would totally, totally deflate me and I would have to rely heavily on my mantras to deal with moving ("It's not that bad, just do it"). And you are right - we really don't need a lot of stuff. I always try to get down to the bare minimum, but then, as soon as I settle in somewhere I begin "nesting" and buying organizers or baskets and picture frames to make the new place homey....and then I have to pack them up again. Gar. GAR GAR.

Eppendork - I can't find Ruth either. I am trying to make sure she doesn't come back :).

SM - no, Mr. PD will not be coming with me....:(:( We'll be apart for the summer.

MCH - I don't think of inanimate objects having feelings but I do associate them strongly with memories, and for certain things I just can't throw them away because then it feels like I'm getting rid of the memory. Which is not true, but that's how I am, oh well :). Unlike Mr. CH, Mr. PD is also a pretty bad pack rat, but he's amazing at packing stuff up, so it works out ok for him :).

Toaster Sunshine said...

I have a very hard time getting rid of books of any kind. I have "Green Eggs and Ham" as well as Albert's "Molecular Biology of the Cell".

As for electronics, I use them until they break, and then I keep them for spare parts. I have a dresser full of dead technology that moves with me as is: I just tape the drawers shut and go. Were I to need to dispose of them I'd recycle them.

I've also noted an interesting difference in how men and women nest. I tend to tape some stuff to the walls and be done with it, leaving everything else for functionality. Women seem to have a few pretty baskets or place mats on tables or framed pictures hung on a wall. Do you think that perhaps this is due simply to men caring less about the appearance of their nests than women?

PhizzleDizzle said...

Toaster, we also have a box of electronics. Since I'm the computer dork I have kept a lot of stuff but he's even worse, somehow. At some point, it's just not worth the space for me (did I mention I've moved 14 times in 10 years?)

As for nesting, I don't know what it is. I like my place to be pretty. I'm too lazy to make it really pretty like some of my friends, but I have random bursts of effort where I buy wicker baskets and faux flowers to put in vases. In the end though, I can only dream. My home will never look like Martha Stewart's. Oh well.

Mr. Phizz does not nest. As far as I can tell, he just needs a TV, a couch, a table, and pictures of yours truly :) (which don't need to be prettily framed and hung up).

The lab pixie said...

Tha is alot of moving. I've only moved a few. Though it seems to get easier with time (or I get slightly less nostalgic...).

A total aside, I would consider myself somewaht of a handbag person, but you use many a word I did not understand...

I thought a handbag and a purse were both the same thing. Apparently not. I think we just have handbags. A purse is really a glorified walltet. And we pretty much just refer to them as wallets, no matter how pretty. But it brings me to a very important point, what the heck is a wristlet??

Good luck with the sorting!

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

I've now been in my current home for almost 3 whole years, which is the longest I've lived anywhere since I moved out of my parents' place when I was 18. It's really really nice, but I do need a good clear-out. Moving to a whole new continent with 1 suitcase and 1 backpack was a good stuff bottleneck, but I've accumulated way too much stuff since then!

Moves will be much less frequent from now on, but much more traumatic. I'd never owned furniture before buying our house, and did all previous moves in no more than 3 car trips.

PhizzleDizzle said...

Pixie, I think of handbags and purses as the same thing too, but a wristlet is a little bag that hangs from your wrist:

very small, usually, but I dont' carry a lot of stuff.

Cath: I am in need of a bit of a purge too, but now that we're married there's a lot of stuff we can't purge (like kitchen appliances we got for our wedding, dinnerware, etc). But I will find things to purge! I will! :)

JLK said...

Aaaaaaahhhh!!!!! You got rid of shit and didn't tell me?? Even though we're the same size??????

I'm not really ready to completely "grow-up-ify" my wardrobe. I've been wearing suits to work long enough that I feel I am entitled to some velvet sweatpants with a fleur-de-lis on my ass cheek.

PhizzleDizzle said...

No, I still have it!! It's just in a "ditch" pile. You can check it out :).