Thursday, March 18, 2010

A bee in my bonnet, and a crow in my craw

This post works best if we all imagine we are living in the late 1880's. A time when women would get together to sew quilt patches and exchange recipes. We're all sitting in a circle and the matronly gossipy old bitty says, "I keep everything. I don't get rid of anything."
The young, willowy just-come-of-age woman of the group says, "Oh, surely you don't mean that. You can't keep everything you've ever owned."
The ladies all exchange glances about the group.
"Oh, but I do. It seems to me that you might one day need something from one gadget or another."
"For shame," mutters the farmer's wife whose warm smile disappears as she says it.
"I beg your pardon?" says the old bitty looking over the edge of her glasses.
The farmer's wife puts down her sewing, squares her shoulders as she prepares to speak her mind. "I said, 'For shame.' "
Some of the ladies arch their eyebrows as others fidget with their needles.
"For heaven's sake, why do you think that?"
"Because you are not helping anybody but yourself by having all of that junk filling up your home."
A low murmur starts in the group, as the old bitty shifts in her chair, raising her chin with a challenge in her look.
"I wouldn't expect a farmer's wife to understand or to appreciate what is called valuable compared to," and she took a moment to give her a withering look as she pronounced the word, "junk."
A middle aged woman with greying hair clucked her tongue and sent a knowing look to the young mother who was knitting furiously as a result of the growing animosity.
The farmer's wife had dealt with stubborn bulls before and wasn't one to be moved by looks. She shrugged her shoulders and said, "Well, if it is truly valuable let the world know by holding it as a treasure in your home. And if it is not, then help someone else with it."
A few heads bobbed up and down in silent agreement.
The old bitty's jaw opened to speak and then closed, her mouth in a firm line. She finally settled back while muttering, "Well, I never..." and grumbling, "folks always needing charity..."
The group continued in silence for a while until the tea kettle whistled calling for a change in conversation.

Moral of the Story:
You don't need to keep your garage, basement and two extra closets filled with all that junk. Yes, I said it: Junk.
If it's really valuable, prove it. Display it, wear it, frame it, enjoy it. But don't hide it in an attic under three boxes and a wad of newspaper.
And the rest of the stuff: give it away. Stop being so selfish and holding onto this stuff.
How many immigrants coming to Canada could use your old dresser that is holding papers from 1986 and the clothes you promised you would fit into again?
How many young couples start out with nothing and could use your old coffee table that you are saving for that summer sunny day when you finally getting around to the well-intended DIY project?
How many not-for-profit organizations, new ministries or care groups need some furniture to just to get things going?
And all those old clothes that have been in your closets since the 90's--get rid of them!
You aren't ever going to use them.

If there is one thing I learned from my grandmother's death (and I learned a lot but this is one is a gem). No child loves to spend four weeks going through old newspapers that can't be donated to museums. Nobody loves to spend hours packing up the myriad of grocery bags you just had to keep because who knows when a food shortage could happen.
I love you Grandma, but for heaven's sakes, nobody needed the box of rusty nails you hung onto.

Hello people, we live in North America. Every Salvation Army has a shirt you can buy for 2 bucks to be your much needed painting shirt. Throw the 90's clothing away. and now. This is my position on hoarding and holding onto everything you own because one day you might need it:
Stop being selfish.

What? Did that get your knickers in a knot?


Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Hear, hear!!! I'm telling you I'm not looking forward to going through my parents stuff when they go. They save EVERYTHING!!! It's going to be hard on everyone.

I am so the opposite. I get high off purging! When you have six kids you have to or you would drown!

Tracy said...

This is so fun, and it is something that I feel strongly about. I have much more work to do, but your post makes me want to hurry throw stuff out.

Thanks for stopping by. Blessings.

Jenny said...

I couldn't have said it better..after moving some upteen times, I would rather throw/give it away than continue to wash it, care for it, pack it and unpack it. Your stuff will start to hold you down....

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

YES! We live in a hoarding society! We just took a whole truck load of clothes and misc. to Goodwill a couple of weeks ago.

Nezzy said...

Nope, not mine. In fact underwear is optional here in the Ozarks! Heeeheehe. Hordin' is not a problem this Type~A, organizational neat freak has. Now Hubby.....that's a whole other story. He'll tell people, "don't lay it down around Nezzy, she'll get rid of it.

I agree that if something isn't used or isn't makin' ya'll happy...get it out of your home. Clutter just sucks the energy right out of ya.

I just wanted to pop in and thank you so much for poppin' over with your sweet comment.

God Bless and you have yourself a fabulous Friday!!!

Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

I looovve getting rid of things!!

Camie said...

Excellent post Allie! I am feeling an urge to purge!

Having less is so much easier and it feels cleaner and more manageable.

I hate clutter but it sure does sneak up on ya!