If You Were Starting from Scratch What Would You Buy Again?


My husband and I talk a lot about moving out of our current home. We had even gone so far as to pick the long distance moving company that we wanted to work with. We live in a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood, but the school system here is absolutely abysmal.

As I see it we have two options. We will either need to enroll our children in private school or move to a new home with a better school district.

My oldest won’t attend kindergarten until 2017, so we have a little bit of time to formulate a plan. The middle and high schools have extremely low ratings, but the local elementary school would probably support my son’s needs for the first few years, which means we could stay in this house for another four or five years if absolutely necessary.

As we sat at the dining room table discussing the possibility of a big move I began to panic a little. I started to picture myself packing up the kitchen and dining room. How many boxes would I need to gather up all of our plates, Pyrex containers, pots and pans.

How many of them would I really want to move? If I were starting over how many of these items would I buy again?

I learned a lot from the basement remodeling project we finished last year. We purged and streamlined our belongings with so many trips to the donation center that I lost count. Despite all those boxes and bags leaving the house I look around each room and realize we still own a lot more than we use or need.

Here’s an example. I own three sets of glass candlesticks, but haven’t lit a single taper candle in the fourteen years since we bought this house. I also own sixteen wine glasses, but never drink and rarely have more than two or three people in the house at any given time that might use them. These are all wedding gifts that are now really nothing more than pretty dust collectors.

Do I really want to box these up and move them to another place? How about the dessert cups that we never use? They would look beautiful with hot fudge sundaes inside of them, but we never reach for them after dinner. Instead we use the same bowls we eat cereal out of each morning. It’s time to change our mindset. It’s time to make use of them or get rid of them.

We made a significant dent in the number of unused items in our home, but we clearly have a long way to go. From now on I intend to think carefully about the objects around us and ask myself three questions about each one.

First, how often do we use this item or how long has it been since the last time we used it? Second, would I want to expend energy boxing and moving these items into a new home? Third, if I had to start over entirely from scratch would I buy this particular item again?

If I cannot say “yes we use it,” “yes I’d move it” and “yes I’d buy it again” then I think it’s time to find it a new home.

4 thoughts on “If You Were Starting from Scratch What Would You Buy Again?”

  1. This was a really important set of questions I asked in the year leading up to my layoff and then moving: How much of that stuff did I really want to have to move? I did a pretty good job of purging then, but we had to do another few months-long purge before LB was born. Clearly, we have to really stay on top of things to make sure that no more comes in than goes out, especially with our non-existent storage!

  2. It’s keeping on top of it that seems so tiring! We’ve removed a lot of our storage areas in favor of open space, but now I have no idea where to put anything, which makes me want to get rid of it all!

  3. Getting rid of things is such a daunting task. Although, when our budget gets really tight all the sudden we have a huge urge to go through things and sell everything!


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