Saturday, April 09, 2005

Purging

Profgrrrl was talking about purging 1 the other day and it got me to thinking about my own purging. This weekend we began the process of swapping out winter clothes for spring clothes. I usually get rid of a few things in this process--from both seasons--and the kids' stuff gets purged too. Mr. Geeky is less of a purger because he doesn't really involve himself in the process. Once, I finally convinced him to purge his t-shirt collection when I stacked them all up on the bed and the stack was taller than him.

In my ideal world, I would spend a few days every couple of months purging everything. The problem with purging in general is not any emotional attachment I have to things. That happens sometimes, but not very often. Side note: Those shows where people won't get rid of back issues of random popular magazines because they're emotionally attached to them . . . I don't get it. No, emotions aren't the problem. It's the actual work of getting rid of stuff. Here's the weird thing. When we lived in a poor, rural state, there were plenty of places to get rid of stuff. We had Salvation Army, Goodwill and any number of smaller, local places. And we could always have a yard sale. Around here, a thrift store is hard to find. The nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army is 45 minutes away. I once took some stuff to a local thrift store run by Junior League. They only take "high quality" stuff, the woman told me. I don't know if my stuff qualified or not. Even if I could manage to sort everything out and decide what to get rid of, I'd have a hard time getting rid of it.

We have a lot of stuff and a small house. We do this to ourselves partly. Mr. Geeky and I love books and are bad library patrons, so we buy what we need or want. We tend not to deny the kids much of anything, though we reserve large purchases for birthdays and special occasions. Our big problem is relatives--well-meaning and wonderful relatives, of course. They send us lots of stuff. I know they're trying to make up for being far away, but stuff doesn't make the heart grow fonder. In fact, I'd say it makes the heart grow harder (mine, at least). My inlaws, especially, send a box of stuff for every occasion. Besides Christmas which is monumental, they send stuff for Easter, birthdays, July 4th, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. Plus, whenever they travel, they send a box of souvenirs--shells, jars of sand, t-shirts, shampoo from the hotel, coffee from the hotel, knick knacks, photos, postcards, you name it. It's meaningless stuff.

The Christmas stuff is sitting on the landing of the stairs, waiting to be put away. It has not been played with. Much of it is in its original packaging. Since Christmas, we've received three other boxes of stuff--two trips and Easter. I hate thinking of gifts as a burden, but that's what they've become.

And we have tried explaining this--to all the grandparents--but it has not helped. There are two more grandchildren on Mr. Geeky's side of the family and I am hoping that keeping up with 5 grandchildren will be too much and the amount of stuff will start to decrease. I keep telling them to put money in a trust fund or something. But the request falls on deaf ears.

Purging has become nearly impossible. I am truly hoping to manage a yard sale or something because otherwise I will drown in stuff.


1It took me forever to find this post. She's gonna think some weirdo was over there spying on her or something. Plus, I zipped over to Hedgical Trevor's blog so Geeky Boy could see the latest pictures.