Sunday, September 07, 2008


Lately I've been trying to clean the clutter out of my life, both literally and figuratively. Literally? I've been holding on to things that my children have had for like, seven years. And that's just ridiculous, you know? The kids are more willing to get rid of their toys than I am. I think that might have something to do with my infertile ass rather than anything to do with them at all.

I'm also cleaning out my own cabinets and drawers and I keep finding all of these things that I call my things but they aren't actually my things at all.

When I married Jason he had his own house and I had my own house. He moved into my house and brought all his crap with him and so we had two houses full of crap to deal with. Jason has even more of a problem than I do getting rid of things. He had a chef's jacket that he bought in, seriously, like 1997. Back when he worked out five days a week and could run ten miles at a time. Now? Not so much. And, not to mention, he doesn't work as a freaking chef anymore. But God forbid he get rid of that jacket because, "I might need it someday". To do what with, I have no idea.

What's weird to me is that there are so many things that have no meaning or history to me. I guess another reason I hold onto "things" is because they mean something to me. I remember buying certain toys for my children when they were in the hospital. I can't give those away. I clearly and vividly remember certain events and times and the items associated with them.

But there are tons of things in my home and in my life that I have no idea about.

There is a mirror which hangs in my living room. It's beautiful. Probably an antique.

I have no idea where it came from. Due to my husband's brain injury (no, I wasn't kidding about that), he has no memory of it either.

Knives and plates and books. I use them every day.

It feels like I am cheating. Like I'm using someone else's things. Not my things.

Jason has been around a long time. A lot of the things we have are "our" things. Things we have bought together. Things we have bought each other. Things I know.

But there are things I'll always wonder about, I suppose.


AndreAnna said...

I hold onto things that I attach sentiment to as well. I have the rose petals from the first boquet of flowers my husband sent me and the cork from the first bottle of wine we drank.

I started learning how to preen things down though. Rather than save ALL the rose petals, I saved a few. And as far as clothes and toys from my kids that I want to keep, I started keepsake boxes for each of them so it's at least confined somewhere.

Sometimes, I go on a tirade and purge things and have to put them to the curb and run away before I find a reason to hold onto them

AndreAnna said...

Oh and did you try Shred?

Tarasview said...

My husband keeps absolutely everything too. His speciality is keeping old ratty t-shirts for absolutely NO good reason other than to take up valuable closet space.

I have a hard time getting rid of my kid's stuff too because of the attached memories. I was so crazy with post partum depression that I barely remember my sons' infancy... anything that triggers ANY memory at all I have a hard time letting go of.

Angie said...

You know, for me, as a HUGE fan of "Clean House" I have to admit, I struggle with this.

There are some things that I am totally over--and want them to go away ASAP. But there are other things. . . like the stuffed animals Caroline got when she was in the hospital (both at birth and for her heart surgery) that I cannot let go of.

But, I keep trying to remind myself that stuff that just SITS around my house isn't doing anyone any good. And for some of the really usable stuff, there are people in real need that could use them.

. . . but it doesn't make it any easier to let go.

OH--and from my blog? Yeah, today was pretty amazing. I'm exhausted and excited all at the same time!

Priscilla said...

I know what you mean. BH was 60 something when I got him. Lots of stuff there. His 60+ and my 40+ years of stuff. I throw nothing out. Just in case. I sure wouldn't want him throwing out my memories.

Wait! Did you say brain injury?

Did you blog about this before?

If not, please do.

No reason, I'm just nosy.

Kiki said...

When I moved out of the house that I lived in with my last boyfriend I had to put most of my stuff in storage... along with his stuff. We moved into different houses because we were in the process of breaking up. He died shorly after that. Suddenly that stuff that we had to have together... that STUFF that we shared and was so important to me to keep... that STUFF that I am paying $350 a month to keep didn't seem so important. I would give it all away to just see him one more time. I can't even go and look at it. The relationship didn't work but he was a great person and I miss him every day. I am a saver of stuff as well but I am starting to learn that stuff is stuff. :-)

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

What a beautifully written post this is, Steph.

It's such a surreal feeling you describe.

Anonymous said...

I totally understand holding onto things for their sentimental value. This is a huge issue for me. I believe it is an issue for me because my Dad was in the Army for 25 years, so I do not have a place that is "Home," so I think that I have attached that feeling of "Home" to things as a replacement...or, I could just be a total pack rat. One or the other!

Jocelyn said...

As long as you know where Jason came from, keep him.

I have these tendencies, too. Occasionally, I make myself enforce a "if you haven't used it in three years, donate it" policy. It always feels good.

But one of your kids might want to dress up as a chef for Halloween, so don't toss that jacket.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

I am such a pack rat. When I look at pictures of this house from eight years ago, when we first moved in, I see so much less clutter and it looks neat and tidy. Now? It's a big ol' mess of stuff. I need to clean up, too.