Feeling Overwhelmed


Twice a year my husband and I take a week long vacation to North Carolina. Well it’s not exactly a vacation, because there are always projects to complete and things to do, but it’s a good time to enjoy the weather and spend time with our families.

For some reason I use the week before our trip to reorganize the house, create piles for the donation center and wash all of our laundry including sheets and towels. I like to know that things are in order before we leave and better yet that the house will be neat and tidy when we return.

This time around I’m having more trouble then ever cleaning out the house. I started in my closets and realized that I haven’t worn two-thirds of the clothes in it. It’s not that they don’t fit anymore or that I don’t like them, it’s more that my wardrobe typically consists of clothing that is comfortable, easy to sit on the floor in and that I don’t mind getting covered in dirt, paint, crayons or play dough.

I usually have a rule about getting rid of clothing I don’t wear. If six months to a year passes it goes into a box and if it isn’t used six months after that it hits the donation pile. The trouble is I feel like I’ll wear all of these things again some day, when I’m not painting and coloring with my son. So I’m breaking the rules and keeping them where they hang. Most of the clothes in my dresser are worn, so I didn’t have as much of a problem with that one.

I did purge a ton of old, completely unused makeup. I don’t wear much, I’m an eyeliner and mascara kind of girl, but over the years my grandmother has given me every free sample she’s ever gotten. Some were tossed into a bag for donation and the others went into the trash, because I’m pretty sure five year old mascara will be clumpy and disgusting.

I also purged a bunch of face creams, lotions and other such things that all sound like a good idea when I buy them, but never seem to make their way out of the closet. I will not be replacing any of them. I’m sticking to one facial moisturizer and one bar of face soap from this point on.

Then onto the basement, which has become a mecca for my son’s belongings. I have written about storing my son’s belongings a number of times. I’m not sure how much to save for baby #2. No news on that front, I’m just not sure about getting rid of things in case we are blessed with a second child. Also the last time I tried to purge it was much harder than I expected it to be.

So I find myself unproductively looking at the plastic bins in the basement and wondering whether or not there is anything I should actually send to the donation center. At nearly two years of age my son has worn so many little outfits and played with so many toys that I feel absolutely overwhelmed by all of it.

Most of the items are hand-me-downs and some of them still haven’t been touched. I pulled them out of the boxes and bags we received, but my son has yet to play with them. I wonder how many cars and trucks does a little boy need and in the mean time maybe there is a little boy or girl out there that could really use one. So I managed to convince myself to gather up a few toys for donation, but really I think I could stand to get rid of a lot more.

I have taken many trips to the donation center in the past two years, but as the bins pile up in the basement I wonder if I shouldn’t get rid of more. I’m beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff in our basement.

When we return from the beach I might take a few hours to dig through the bins and really place weight on the belongings inside of them. I need to ask myself how much my son loved that toy or how adorable was that little outfit?

It would be much easier if I knew if we were going to have another child. Maybe I’m not so anxious about the stuff in the basement after all. Maybe I’m more anxious about that decision.

6 thoughts on “Feeling Overwhelmed”

  1. I used to struggle with this as well until I asked myself: how much would it cost to replace it versus the cost of keeping it just in case?

    That solved the problem of getting rid of ill fitting clothes because although they were nice, they were too big for me.

    • I have definitely considered letting everything go and starting over from scratch when the time comes. I did this with all of the clothes I used to wear to work. I decided when I found a job I’d buy new ones šŸ™‚

  2. Take care of yourself. As I was reading through your post, I too was wondering if it was the 2nd child issue that was creating some anxiety. Very understandable if that is the case.
    You may need to give yourself some time to process all of this.

    • Thanks Jen. I definitely need to take some time to process the physical ‘stuff’ as well as the ‘stuff’ in my head. Thanks for reminding me.


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