I've watched enough episodes of Hoarders to be terrified of being buried under piles of stuff that have no value to anyone but me. I had a boyfriend whose Mom ended up with so, so, so many cats because they started off with three and didn't spay or neuter. And while I didn't actually live through that, listening to him talk about it....well, I think I'm safe from animal hoarding for life.
My grandmother was somewhat of a hoarder. It wasn't bad enough to be on a show about hoarding, but I remember thinking that when I grew up, I didn't want to have a bunch of stuff around if I wasn't using it.
So it always surprises me when we move how much stuff we actually have. I have Stampin' Up stuff that I haven't touched in about 5 years. I thought I'd spend countless Saturdays crafting with my kids and sending thoughtful, hand made cards to friends and family. HAAHAA. Not even.
In my defense, I have tried several times to do projects with the kids. Unfortunately, the type A control freak in me takes charge of my personality and I find myself getting mighty, mighty tense about the possibility of having to clean permanent ink of the wall, the carpet, the floor, the table, and the kids' clothes. Plus, we already have an issue with Sara and her liberal ideas of what constitutes appropriate art surfaces. Bedspread=no. Wall=no. Furniture=no. Sara's entire body=no. She does not agree. Don't believe me? Here's some proof:
And those are just a couple of the times I remembered to grab the camera. But still, in the back of my mind, I just know that one day we'll be crafting away, one big happy family. No one will be bickering or complaining that they are hungry, tired, bored, unable to use the good stamps or the best ink, or being looked at wrong. It's going to happen, I can feel it!
And I did donate a bunch of art supplies I rarely used to the YMCA where I used to volunteer. Sara is also responsible for the slow, steady decline of my paper supply. Bit by bit, we are whittling it down.
Anytime we move, we donate multiple loads before we leave our old house and after we've unpacked our new house. Sometimes I really think that the stuff multiplies during the move.
With our constant battle to minimize clutter and all things unnecessary, it's a little scary to realize how much of a pack rat my daughter is. Scraps of paper, dried up markers, every blanket she can get her hands on, nail clippers, books, rocks, ripped tights, and as many stickers and sparkly pencils as she can get her hands on - these are the things that she collects quietly and furtively and stores anywhere she can find that's out of sight. I'm okay with her having stuff - even a lot of stuff that I think is unusual or unnecessary - as long as it isn't going to rot or attract bugs and as long as it's semi organized. Out of respect for her, I try to always go through and clean up her room or the playroom when she's with me so she helps to decide on the donate, recycle, and trash piles. I don't necessarily want to change her, but I also don't want to have to dig her out of piles of clutter in 20 years. With a shovel. While her fingertips and toes are being chewed off by rats.