Hi there, Mrs. 1500 back again, from a summer hiatus.
As Mr. 1500 told you, I have a new job. The littlest 1500 started full day Kindergarten in mid-August, and I had been thinking about getting some sort of job to do while the girls were in school. In May, the perfect opportunity came up, and I couldn’t say no. They practically bent over backwards to accommodate me, and the least I could do was say yes…
So Mr. 1500 still has a regular 9-5 job (Mr. 1500 note: more like 8-6. [Mrs. 1500 sub-note: more like 7-7]). I still am sort of a stay at home mom, at least during the summer because the girls were out of school, all the camps had filled up, and I didn’t really have steady childcare. The neighbor girls were amazing, helping me out 3 days a week. And it was really nice to ease into work again after 8 years off, rather than going straight from mom to employee.
Yes, I know being a mom is a tough job. I am not belittling it, or trying to make it sound like it isn’t important. I stayed at home to raise my girls for the last 8 years. But I truly believe there is a difference between being a stay at home mom, and working outside of the home for a paycheck. For one, I can stay at home in my pajamas all day long – and have (Mr. 1500 note: I’m looking down, shaking my head and sighing. At least she brushes her teeth.)!
For another, when I am at work, they expect me to be presentable, with teeth brushed, hair combed, and not smelling like baby vomit. Not a necessity when you are staying at home. (And I like how Mr. 1500 is talking smack about my not getting out of my PJ’s. What do YOU wear, buddy?)
We Finally Get to the Question
But I totally digressed. Today, I want to hear what you have to say about how much should you have. I’m not talking about money – I’m talking about stuff (Mr. 1500 note: Mrs. 1500 has NO shortage of stuff). For those of you who remember, I come from hoarders. My mother likes to keep stuff around, my dad can always “use that for something” and my brother could be on one of those TV shows. My sister – who coincidentally is adopted, making a strong case for nature over nurture – is the neatest person on the planet. She can’t go to sleep at night if there are dishes in the sink. More than a touch of OCD, but not enough to be on a TV show.
As we finish up our house, I am finishing the unpacking, too. (About time – for those of you keeping score, we just celebrated our 2 year anniversary in this house.) There are things I couldn’t find, so I bought another, even knowing I had one “in a box, in the garage, somewhere.”
But there are other things I know I have too many of. (Again, for those keeping track, this list is 100% First-World Problems. I get it. Life could be so much worse. My “problems” are really not problems. But it’s my blog – OK, Mr. 1500’s blog but I’m sleeping with him so I get to claim it – and I can talk about whatever I want.)
Digression, thou art a bitch…
OK, NOW We Get to the Question
So I have too many things (Mr. 1500 note: Vast understatement). I think the biggest problem is that I know how much I spent on most things in my house. (I can’t do division, but I can remember how much I paid for those shoes 6 years ago. Sigh.) So I can’t, in good frugal consciousness, toss out something I paid good money for. When I say toss out, I mean remove from my house. I donate almost everything that leaves us, except for those few items in such a state of disrepair that even the thrift store would turn up its nose.
(Mr. 1500 note: At one point, our children had over 50 pairs of shoes between them.) (Mrs. 1500 rebuttal: Both children are girls. It makes no sense to take shoes outgrown by the older one and toss them, only to have to purchase them in 6 months for the younger one. So most of those numerous pairs were waiting for the little one to grow into, and sometimes shoes fit differently than others, and almost every single pair was a hand-me-down to begin with. But yes, even I have to agree that 50 pairs is too much for our little Imelda Marcos-in-training…)
But those of you who don’t remember, we moved from 4,000 sq ft, to 1,800 sq ft. All the stuff doesn’t fit. Some of it has to go, and while it is easy to get rid of some things, it is difficult to toss others.
I have six hairbrushes. (Mr. 1500 note: Six is the number we can find at the moment. There are many more.) I have one head. There are four of us, but one of us has 1/2″ long hair. He could go years without brushing it. I keep one in my gym bag. The girls could each have one in their (shared) bathroom, and I could keep one in mine, and we would still have two extra. What do you do with extra hairbrushes?
I have 19 pillowcases. (Mr. 1500 note: WHAT???) Again, there are four of us. And they came with sheet sets, it isn’t like I went out and bought them specifically. But still 19? We have four pillows for four heads. We have two additional pillows for guest heads. But even if I kept duplicates for wash day, that still leaves me with 11 too many. Do I toss them?
Some things I have purchased specifically for staging our last home to make it sell quicker. Some things I thought I wanted, but it turns out I don’t use them. Some things are for the girls, who are about 2 sizes apart right now in clothes and 3 sizes apart in shoes. It doesn’t make sense to toss shoes that don’t fit the biggest little 1500, when the littlest 1500 will fit in them by the end of the year.
My sister is ridiculous. She throws away anything she hasn’t used in a month. She literally has the most sparsely-furnished house on the planet. She is the absolute opposite of a hoarder.
I want to stop. I’m making good headway in my battle. But there are still days when I think “I can use that someday.” Ah, ‘Someday’, the bane of all hoarders. I haven’t been to my brother’s house in years. They have 4 kids, and it hurts me to see all their piles of crap. It makes me angry that they are showing their children this is an acceptable way to live.
And then I feel bad for being so judgmental. Sigh.
No, Really. NOW We Get to the Question
So, back to the original question, if you are still reading… How much stuff do you need? Do you need only one? Doubles? Nine? Does it depend on the item?
Boy, this felt good. I miss you guys. I missed writing to you. Now that the girls are in school full time, I should be able to pick up this Ask the Readers thing again. I’m so excited about that! I’m literally jumping out of my skin…
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