Trouble brewing! Mrs. 1500 is my proofreader. Not this week though because today’s rant is directed at her. Mrs. 1500 has not seen this post before it went live. Should make for an interesting day in the 1500 household. Before I get into all of that, some good quotes from Fight Club:
“The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything.”
“If you don’t know what you want,” the doorman said, “you end up with a lot you don’t.”
“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes. working jobs we hate, so we can buy s*** we don’t need.”
Have you ever seen Fight Club? It came out when I was a teenager and I remember seeing the ads. They showed a bunch of bare chested dudes beating the daylights out of each other. It didn’t look my cup of Cap’n Crunch, so I avoided it.
One day, I couldn’t find anything else to watch, so I plucked it from the VHS rental store shelf. It blew my mind! While the story was marketed as a bunch of testosterone infused violence, that was actually a small part of the movie. It’s actually a rant against materialism.
The movie struck a chord with me. I’m not as minimalist as I’d like to be, but I just don’t like having a lot of stuff around. I can take everything I need for a 7 day vacation in a backpack. I like to buy multiple copies of the same clothes. For example, I don’t buy shirts often, but when I do, I like to get 3 or 4 copies of the same thing (I was known as the “Black Shirt Guy” at one job). The bottom line is that I like simplicity. Not having to think about stuff just makes life easier.
Mrs. 1500, on the other hand, is a mini-hoarder. I say “mini” because the word “hoarder” these days stirs up images from those TV shows; a house that you can barely walk through because there are mountains of junk everywhere and 50+ cats. Mrs. 1500 is nothing like that, but she likes her stuff.
- Our children have at least 40 pairs of shoes between them. Most of them were hand-me-downs from friends, but no kids need this amount of shoes.
- We have boxes and boxes of old magazines and newspaper clippings (I’ll use this recipe someday!).
- Our children have enough toys to stock a pre-school or three or four. Again, mostly hand-me-downs, but it is overwhelming.
None of this was ever an issue in the past because we lived in big homes. However, last week we downsized from a 4200 square foot home to one with 1400. Our 4200 square foot home was filled. Every room was furnished with furniture. The basement and garage were used to store a bunch of stuff. So, you’re probably thinking we got rid of a bunch of stuff before we moved. Wrong.
I could see the trouble brewing when we were packing. I’d come across stuff like wrapping paper and suggest to Mrs. 1500 that we donate it. Almost every time, the suggestion was rejected: “I have a plan for that!” We were on a tight schedule and I was pretty worn down the entire time, so I gave up after a while. We ended up donating a 32″ tube TV, a couch and three Honda Element loads of stuff. It was a drop in the bucket.
Moving day(s) came and we rented a 17′ truck (only one they had available). Despite packing it pretty well, we ended up making three trips and filling up a 20′ and a 25′ storage locker. Our moving date coincided with temperatures in the high 90s. It. Was. Miserable. Uggggh.
As you can see from the pictures, all of this
stuff junk ended up in my new, beloved garage. See, I’m a tinkerer and the garage is my playground. I like to build things and work on the cars in this space. Not now though; the garage is the dumping ground. I used to laugh at the neighbors whose garages were so filled up with junk that they couldn’t even fit one of their cars in it. Now, we are those people.
What I really can’t stand about clutter though is how it robs us of our time. Instead of playing at the park with our children, they sit in front of the TV while we go through boxes. Instead of adding the bathroom and bedroom that I have planned, we go through boxes. Our stuff owns us.
This situation drives me nuts. I will not let it continue and there is only one way to resolve it. I have to step up and take action. Mrs. 1500 just isn’t able to part with her stuff. For example, 4 houses ago, she promised to get rid of her magazine collection. Where does it sit now? You guessed it; in the garage. Will it be missed when it suddenly disappears one week?
One of Mrs. 1500 siblings IS like those people you see on TV. There are piles of junk everywhere in his home. They even store stuff on top of picture frames! It is fascinating and terrible all at the same time. So, maybe Mrs. 1500 has a genetic disposition to this kind of behavior. I’m not sure, but it’s about to change.
I see a dumpster in our future.
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