Friday, September 4, 2009

In a Funk

I'm grouchy this morning, because I have too much stuff! After spending a few days in Rugby, TN and the Appalachian Museum in Norris, TN, I've realized on a deeper level that the things I own are keeping me from the kind of life I want; even desperately desire. I'm paralyzed by the unpacking and accumulation of mail and e-mails that stacked up during the week we were gone. It almost makes it not worth it to go away!

I'm really sick of 'stuff'. I'm looking in my jelly cupboard and see 26 different kinds of tea! I would like to keep about five: An Earl Grey decaf, Yorkshire Gold, Sleepytime, Chamomile, and a green tea. It's the cute tins that lure me in to buy. Resolution: I won't buy any more tea until I run out. And then it'll be replacement tea to put in the cute tins I already have.

The house at the top is one at the Appalachian Museum that belonged to one man. It's less than 100 sq. feet; a little bigger than Darcie's playhouse. He had a bed, stove, shelves for his few belongings, and a calendar with a picture of a cheerleader on it. That cracked me up. He had room for everything he needed. He just didn't need much.

Going through the museum, I noticed that whatever the settlers needed they made. If they couldn't make it, they'd trade for it or do without. Their handiwork and craftsmanship were beautiful. These were my ancestors. It makes me proud to come from such hardy and handy folk.

It also makes me ashamed that I've come so far from my roots. I really want to be more like them and start making useful things again. To get rid of all this superfluous junk and have wide spaces inside the house and inside my mind.

This book, Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life, is excellent. She goes way beyond the usual decluttering and focuses on the WHY of your stuff. We keep things for emotional reasons. Once you can figure that out, you're much more likely to kiss it goodbye for good.

I'm going to spend today, Saturday, and Monday asking myself some hard questions and trying my best to let go. I'll let you know how I do.


Gretchen Joanna said...

Debbie, this speaks to me--I should get that book. But I keep a lot of things because I think that one of my children will want them. Does the author talk about that?

laurel said...

I will be interested to see where this takes you. I had a pow wow this evening with Saulsy, and "operation get the legos out of the living room" commences tomorrow. Did a little decluttering of my own, after our conversation this afternoon. Stuff drags us down.

debbie bailey said...

Hi Gretchen,

I believe she does. She hits on just about any objection we have as to why we have to have our clutter. It's a great book!

Oh, by the way, I've used that reason myself many times!

Katy said...

I've been thinking about a lot of these things recently as it is consistent with simplicity and going green. Also, get that book, Better Off. You will really like it, I think.