I promised to share a little of what Jen Hatmaker's book "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess" has
done to me inspired me to think about. I realized there are
a few areas where I don't just have belongings, I have
Here are areas I thought of, off the top of my head, where I've acquired an inventory. Some I can donate, some I can use, and some is quite frankly... JUNK.
Food – I grocery shop almost every week. I can barely fit anything into my canned foods cupboard. Yet, I bring home a little something for that cupboard every single week. My baking cupboard is equally full, though I only purchase stuff to shove in there between October and December 20th. Except last week, when I bought a variety pack of orange sprinkles for Halloween cookies to bake with my grandchildren. I have a freezer in my basement. I “needed” this freezer to hold the large portion of beef I would buy - of better quality and price than supermarket beef. I also needed to store my garden harvests in there. Well, I've had the freezer for at least 4 years. I haven't bought that beef, and my garden harvest has been nil since 2010. However, my refrigerator broke down 3 times and this was my bestest friend on those days. So... this is revolutionary people... we are going to eat our food! REALLY? Yes, that's my first goal – to eat the food we have. Then, I'm going to unplug the basement freezer until I need it. I love to garden, so that may be next summer. Everything we need will have to fit into my refrigerator freezer.
Crafts & Sewing Items – I have drawers of good quality craft paint. Numerous boxes of plain glass Christmas ornaments. Yards of fabric. Several packages of quilt batting. I'm also behind on family quilt gifts. Three of the six grandchildren received a hand made quilt from me. This means, I still have 3 to make. An apology goes out to Luke, Grace & Conner for my malingering. I'd also like to give one to each of my daughters for couch snuggling. I could make at least 2 just from my stash of fabric. (more, if they'd like them made with Christmas fabric.) I have enough batting to make all of them. Plus I have ribbons, terracotta pots, candles to paint, various wood items to decorate and a HUGE bag of rice to make those snaky things that block drafts under the door. I have little pieces to make angel Christmas ornaments complete with long ringlet blonde, red or black hair. Christmas will have handmade gifts this year. I'll start now so I'm not shelving projects on December 20th that are half done and running to the store to shop for gifts. I'm also going to make Kindle covers for upcoming giveaways on this blog. I mean... who wouldn't love a Kindle cover made with little snowman fabric?
The Attic – I moved from 840 sq. ft. plus 100 sq. ft. storage to 1780 sq. ft. on the first floor, plus 900 sq. ft. of attic storage and 1780 sq. ft. of basement space. There were 4-5 of us living in 840 sq. ft. 2 of us live in this new space. We also now have a shed and a garage. I have stuff in all those spaces and we've only lived here 8 years. We've stored baby toys, pieces of a crib that will never make a whole bed - but they're pretty and maybe I'll “do something with them,” decorations, furniture with sentimental value, boxes of china I bought at an auction, boxes of video games in languages my current computer doesn't even speak, the old computers that could speak that language, (and may have a component we could use one day – who throws away a computer, for crying out loud? – all said in my husband's voice) and a couple sets of encyclopedias because I always wanted a set and they are a STEAL on the last day of a yard sale. I'm a little sick when I think of what I have in the attic. I hate to throw away things that might have a use, (Yes, you've heard this a hundred times on Hoarders.) but right now its only use is as an obstacle course for the mice, and framework for spider webs.
My husband's tools – Nope, not allowed to touch those!
Books – Oh, my beloved books. I have some that I don't even want to read, but I sold used books online for a few years and I know they have a value. I have a box of romance novels (not a fan) that I was hoping to make box lots from but I don't have enough of any one author to make them salable. One doesn't throw away old computers or old books around here, apparently.
I have 3 rolling pins. They are all the same, no special uses. One is sentimental. Yes, I have sentimental kitchen ware. I realize rolling pins don't actually deserve an entire paragraph of their own, so I'll add in.... a like-new electric griddle I haven't used in 10 years because I hate how it works, disposable mini bread pans I planned to bake some goodies in to give away, and cookbooks for foods I don't even like... OK, that's a paragraph.
So, I'm in the mood to simplify, reduce, not just reuse but USE, and share. I'm embarrassed about so many things in this article.. not just because I've laid it out there for everyone to examine with disapproval, but because I've allowed myself to look at the bits and pieces and not this entire excessive stash of MY stuff.
If you were to list one area that you have a stash of things... what would it be? What would it take to change that? Share, as it's impolite to let me dangle out here in my embarrassment all alone.
Come back Friday for my post – 'Tis The Season Of Excess and Stress