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Struggling to Part with My Belongings

I’m pretty certain I’ve created a monster. After watching box after plastic box move out of our basement and into our garage my husband has suddenly declared everything must go! After nearly a month of work the contractors finished their remodeling efforts and my husband declared the downstairs a storage-free zone. He wants to keep the space as open as possible, which for the time being means he wants to see nothing but furniture and a very small number of toys.

The great purge began back in October as part of my crazy need to begin nesting. Five months later, and more trips to the donation center than I can possibly count, I can honestly say I have cataloged the majority of items in our house. I have touched just about every item, questioned it’s importance and either discarded, donated or found a proper place for it to reside.

I’m pretty proud of the dwindled down pile of plastic boxes remaining. The biggest offenders at this point are boxes filled with toys and clothes ranging from six months to four years. As you can imagine there are a lot of these boxes. The boxes are sorted by type and there is a box for every item of clothing; shoes, coats, pants, shorts, t-shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts and swim suits.

Part of me wants to ship all of these things out the front door and the rest of me thinks that’s crazy. After all, if I’ve held on to them for the past three years I might as well hold on to them for a few more. I know it would cost a lot of money to buy everything again, but I will kick myself if the majority of clothes don’t fit because child number one is born in the fall and child number two is due in the spring.

I also don’t want to part with the three or four bins of infant and toddler toys. Again I feel this is somewhat crazy as grandparents, aunts and uncles are always inundating my son with gifts. I’m pretty certain baby number two wouldn’t miss a beat if I sold everything today and set the toy pile for toys back to zero. If my husband had the ultimate say they would all be gone tomorrow.

Once baby number two is born I’ll have a better idea of his or her general size and growth patterns. That should sway the decision on what to keep and what to donate. Maybe that factor alone will help me decide just what I really should keep.

I find it difficult to part with things for practical reasons. My mind keeps telling me my next child will play with those toys or wear those hand-me-downs.

I’ve had similar, conflicting feelings about the ridiculous pile of gift bags and rolls of wrapping paper sitting in our basement. In my head I know that I probably paid less than $1 for any one item, yet as I look at the stack I hate to part with any of it. I know that one day I will need to wrap a gift or find a pretty gift bag for a special occasion.

Quite honestly I’ve convinced myself that I’m keeping them around for the convenience factor. After all, who wants to drive to the store with two kids in tow just to buy wrapping paper? The other part of me knows this is ridiculous. How many gifts do we give throughout the year? Not that many. The rolls in the basement may last me a lifetime.

This isn’t the first time I’ve struggled to part with strange things, yet every time it happens I’m surprised by either the sentimentality or the stubbornness with which I want to keep stuff I don’t need.

Have you ever struggled to get rid of something you know you don’t use? Do you find yourself holding on to things for practical reasons, when in reality you know you probably don’t need them?

Lauren

Thursday 12th of February 2015

I wouldn't get rid of the baby/kid stuff yet. You never know how your second will grow, so I would wait until the new baby is a few months old to make the decision. My second is a peanut .... She just turned 2, but still fits in a lot of 12 month clothes!

I try to keep one bag of wrapping stuff on hand. It is so annoying to have to run out to buy a gift bag or bow, especially with 2 kids! My 4 year old is starting to get invited to birthday parties for daycare buddies so it is nice to have bags and wrapping paper around.

I do want to start a major stuff purge this weekend. We only moved into our house 6 months ago, but it feels like we have collected so much junk in that time!

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 12th of February 2015

It definitely seems crazy to consider getting rid of it now. Three years ago, two years ago, even a year ago, but with a baby less than two months away it seems rather insane. If the baby turns out to be a girl I can probably get rid of a bunch of clothes, shoes and coats. If the baby turns out to be a boy he might be able to fit into the same things. If I wanted to purge it seems like I should have done it a long time ago. I think I was a bit superstitious and wanted to keep it around in the hopes that I would conceive again. I suppose that's the craziest part of it :)

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 12th of February 2015

I am definitely on the verge of tossing everything, but with less than two months to go it seems insane to get rid of things right now. I keep trying to remind myself that my nesting instincts, along with my husband's ideas, might force me into a bad decision. Of course, the other side of me thinks, just get rid of it all, (sell as much as I can), and buy it again if and when the need arises. Ugh :(

Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

Wednesday 11th of February 2015

I think you could probably get rid of everything. But with a baby on the way it does make sense to me to hold onto things for just a couple months more to see. Plastic bins can be stacked nicely and not be an eyesore/clutter corner.