Sunday, December 12, 2010

I'd Like to Move

The idea of moving half way across the country is appealing to me. I like the idea of a clean break and going to a completely different place. I have lived within a thirty mile radius my entire life, although the environment of growing up in a lower middle class family in a solidly middle class shoreline town in New Haven County and now living in a wealthy town in Fairfield County sometimes feel like they are two different planets. This difference is underscored since my relatives still live there and when I visit I am reminded of my childhood versus the life I'm leading now which some may classify as most closely fitting the 'soccer mom' stereotype (only because so few know much about homeschooling so they put me into the nearest familiar category).

When we moved to this house we wanted more space and specifically, storage space. Our first home was a ranch with no attic storage and a finished basement with just a small area in the unfinished furnace room for storage of things like Christmas decorations. The problem with this house is there is too much storage, the unfinished basement is the same square footage as our entire former house. We could make the attic useful for storage too but we don't need the space as we already have too much. That plus walk-in closets and under the eaves storage invites saving of too much stuff.

Today I started on a quest to put on a clean pair of jeans to go to church in. I was excited to see the special Christmas choir presentation. One pair of jeans I know we washed last week has gone missing before I ever wore them. One pair was wet in the washing machine. The third pair is also missing. I had not yet switched out my summer and spring pants for whatever winter pants I had in the closet in boxes. I refused to wear sweat pants or yoga pants to church (or summer cotton capri length pants) so we skipped church! Instead I dove into the closet to swap out the summer for winter clothes. I also went through every drawer and touched every single thing in the under the eaves storage area. I have put things into bags to donate to charity thrift shops and some things to be given to my brother to use for rags.

I was raised in a family with pack rats on both sides and multiple grandparents who lived through the depression. Growing up without much money, my parents emphasized not wasting money on buying things and to use everything until it wore out. It feels wrong to get rid of good stuff that I just don't like or doesn't fit well or is out of style even though it is servicable. However I do let go of some of it.

One thing I hold onto is clothes I really like but that I no longer fit into since I've gained weight. Honestly I am the same weight I was in the first year of my marriage (fifteen years ago) when I was in my late twenties. I was this weight when I got pregnant with both kids so I can't blame pregnancies or even age for me being this weight. This is what I am when I lead a sedentary lifestyle. This is also what I am when I exercise moderately which makes me feel defeated so I give up on exercising, why bother if I see no results? My only hope of shrinking back down to my former petite size is to go back to exercising 1.5 to 2.5 hours a day six days a week. So far since becoming a mother and homeschooling I have not been self-disciplined enough to do that much exercise though.

I own a fair amount of stuff we're not using but it's not causing a problem to keep it. If we were to move I'd be forced to get rid of much of this stuff. Especially if we move to certain locations where homes are built on slabs and storage space is limited I'd be forced to give up even more of my packrat ways.

Another weird thing though is when money is tight such as when my husband is out of work, the feeling to save it all in case I need to use it takes over and makes it hard to let go of stuff. It would be foolish to give away things we may desperately need later.

I'm in the mood to just get rid of everything. I started today so even if we don't wind up moving we'll still own less, which can only be a good thing.

So there are some thoughts from the mind of a packrat who has been trying to reform her ways for years.


Sandra Foyt said...

Moving does force you to evaluate what is worth keeping! But, didn't you do a great job clearing through your books? I still haven't got around to taking on that chore.

christinemm said...

Hi Sandra,
I got rid of a lot of books to the basement to resell but now have too many to try to resell so am re=sorting them for donation to libraries and thrift shops and just a small amt of curriculum to maybe resell to homeschoolers at a spring used curric sale (if we are still living here).

But I have even more books to get rid of. I owned over 8000. About 1200 were given to me free when a parochial school was closing, all good kids books for educational purposes and fiction pleasure reading.

I also still probably own too many of my kids outgrown toys. Sentimental about some of them and some so high quality DH wants to save for the grandkids. (But that doesn't make sense if we move.)

nebby3 said...

I can relate to the weight bit. I would love to lose a little more but I also know that I would either have to exercise more and therefore do something else less or eat way less which I know from past experience would make me cranky and a bad mom. So for now I guess I just have to accept that this is where I am. And I know that it is because other things in my life are important too and I don't want to neglect them for the sake of losing a few pounds.

Angie Goodloe LMT, Herbalist said...

I also have a huge book problem:) What i did is do a giveaway on my blog (my authentic mama blog) when I started it. It is a lot of work, but I got to meet some really nice people who really appreciated the books:)
I always get the urge to clean this time of year, I think it is because I am stuck inside so much.
As far as exercise, I walk daily, this does not sound like much, but it gets the kids and I out and keeps me in shape (I walk up hill as well) weather in the PNW is iffy, but i just bundle us up and go for it!

Sandra Foyt said...

It sounds like moving could be a very positive experience for you!

Big and Little said...

I'm not sure how garage sales go up there in the winter - but you could sort and organize for a sale in the spring. Or Craigslist. Then you could get rid of stuff and make a little cash.

FWIW I was former military and moved all the time. It was great - you get rid of stuff, clean out, really see what you need. I've now lived in my current house longer than anywhere else since childhood - and DH and I are both ready to pack up, chuck stuff and move!!