Too Much Stuff

Too Much Stuff

This is how much stuff I just cleaned out of my closet to be given away or sold at a garage sale.

How on earth does one acquire so much stuff?

Some of the things I am finally giving away are clothes from my freshman year of high school. Just craziness.
Too Much Stuff

After getting rid of all that. My closet looks like this.

Too Much Stuff

And this. Pretty full still.

I got the urge to purge after our trip to California.  It was mostly a road trip and my husband Peter and I got to talking about how we really need to travel more and how are we gonna prioritize our life so that traveling takes top priority.

We have a pipe dream of buying an RV and traveling the country. Getting rid of all our worldly possessions down to the very bare minimum and just going. Once we really started day dreaming, I looked around my house and thought, well, none of this could go with us in an RV. Do I really need this? Do I really love this?

Once my perspective changed about what was really needed, I realized that it’s nothing.  As long as I have my family, I am happy. I don’t need nice furniture or a big house, or trendy clothes. I just want to live simply and not get caught up in This American Life.

Peter and I always considered ourselves not your average American family, we have always tried to keep our consumption down, but we are ready to take it to the next level. Peel away another layer.

Owning my perfect house has been really good for me, don’t get me wrong. I love my neighborhood and the opportunities it gives Penelope. It’s been really healing for me to nest and try out this kind of life. But at the end of the day, and now that Penelope is actually here, I think it’s not for me. Peter and I both have such independent, sprited personalities. Being tied down to a mortgage is not the best thing for our family right now.

Not sure what the plan is, but anyway, just wanted to share. Whether we move to a smaller house or get an RV, we for sure, are going to be buying less stuff.

Do you feel like you own too much stuff?

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  • Lindsey @ The Hill House
    August 1, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    I had one of those "I need to declutter!" moments this weekend too! Between work and school I feel like everything is so chaotic; when I come home, the last thing I want to see is more chaos of overflowing stuff. So I purged some things this weekend as well, and plan to do much more over the next several weeks. I hope your dream comes true, by the way. 🙂

  • Kristen
    August 1, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    I am currently in the process of decluttering and minimizing our stuff. It is a bit easier now that we are done having kids and Hunter is outgrowing his baby clothes so rapidly. I have piles of maternity clothes and baby clothes ready to go. I have been getting inspiration from

  • Kristen
    August 1, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    I am in the process of decluttering and minimizing. I like the unclutterer blog for inspiration. It is a lot easier to do now that we are done having kids. I have piles of maternity clothes and outgrown baby clothes that are waiting for the One Week Boutique.

  • Lura
    August 1, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    I still have too much of certain things too, kinda funny how that works. And the amount of kids clothes I've accumulated is crazy. But, I personally have only a few items of clothes to wear. Let me know when you're going to sell your clothes and what size =D
    And traveling the country by RV is so tempting to me too, I think it would be fabulous to be free to go wherever, whenever. Good luck as you purge.

  • PharmaMom
    August 1, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    Stephanie, I stumbled upon your blog I-don't-know-how awhile ago and ever since I feel like we have quite a bit in common. My husband and I actually just took the plunge and put our dream house on the market in hopes of renting again, yielding more time to spend with our little family. People laugh when we tell them why we're selling.. and when we say things like "if you have a big yard, you never get to enjoy it because you're spending so much time taking care of it" – we kind of have a non-traditional history of rent/own/rent/own again .. throwing renting in the middle of our two homes we realized how much more time we had to go to the park, travel on the weekends, and just overall enjoy life. Not for everyone, we realize, but we can't wait for what the future holds!
    Nicole @

  • Stephanie
    August 1, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    @Hill House…thanks! I hope they come true too. Good luck with your purge! And by the way, that was on of my thoughts too, the less stuff I have the less laundry, cleaning up, organizing, etc I have to do!
    @kristen, the fact that we may or may not be done having kids, keeps plenty of stuff in our house right now. I can't wait till I am in your shoes and can get rid of all that stuff. I bet it feels so good for you right now!
    @Lura…I certainly will. Its mostly really nice things. Things that I didn't love, but was keeping it because it was name brand, our attachments to things can be so strong!
    @PharmaMom…that is so cool! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Ali
    August 2, 2011 at 2:06 AM

    Hells yes we have too much stuff! As you know we have this conversation all the time at our house and even after purging there is too much. I am still working on my 10 toy categories. That site we were talking about – with the couple that has a picture of everything they own on the site is manvsdebt dot com / stuff. Ah… Work in progress.

  • Monica
    August 2, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    YES! I've been feeling over-cluttered for quite a while now. Every day I try and tackle going through things, organizing, and boxing up things to get rid of–but, I have a little one that likes to hamper such progress! I'm really feeling the cluttered space, cluttered mind thing. Kind of wears me down a bit. Plus, I still have some of Kurt's stuff that I must get rid of, not to mention clothes from high school as well! Why, oh, why would I keep size 2 clothes in my closet?!

  • Stephanie
    August 2, 2011 at 3:30 AM

    @Monica, oh I feel ya. Everything takes longer.
    @Lindsey..shut up!! That is awesome.

  • sk
    August 2, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    I definitely have too much stuff, and have been feeling the pull to declutter! I have tried in the past to get rid of things but I seem to hold emotional attachments and when it gets tough I kind of give up and think I'll try again later.
    Thanks for inspiring me to give it another shot this weekend!

  • Dana
    August 3, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    Hi, I am Dana. Just found ur site through a pinterest post on ur crock pot frozen meals!! First of all that idea is AWESOME!!! But onto this post..I soo feel ya! I have recently been feeling the urge to simplify my life and everything in it. I just looked around the house and realized there is just too much stuff! I don't want to get caught up in the american life, but it has been hard!! I am so glad I found ur blog! Gonna follow ya 🙂

  • Stephanie
    August 3, 2011 at 4:18 AM

    @sk..I know the emotional attachment is so hard. I don't know how I am every going to get rid of Penelope's old clothes.
    Hi Dana! Welcome! So glad you are here and following. It is so hard, but I think just being conscious of it is a really big step, way ahead of most people.

  • Cotton Bottom Mama
    August 8, 2011 at 7:00 AM

    Hello! I have a baby Penelope too! 🙂
    We went to El Salvador last summer, and it really made me realize how much stuff we have. When we returned home, I donated 3 contractor- size bags of stuff to Goodwill. We moved this summer, and I was again reminded how much stuff we have. There is nothing like moving to make you want to simplify and purge.

  • Stephanie
    August 10, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    @Cotton Bottom Mama…that is so cool! Yes, international travel, always makes me think about life differently than before, one of the reasons I love to travel so much!

  • Staceze
    August 11, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    i have no problem getting rid of stuff – if you need some advice, I've got some: if you haven't worn it in a year – DONATE IT. If you haven't used it in a year – DONATE IT. My husband and i do this once a year, start going through all the closets and garage and getting rid of stuff we thought we wanted and ended up not using again. Take the emotion out of it, and just remember it's just stuff and mostly everything is replaceable. Just my 2 cents for a clutteraphobic:)

  • Naturally Attached
    January 10, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    I've always been a regular purger but still I feel like I have TOO MUCH STUFF! As we're following the weeks after Christmas I go into even more of purge mode. When more stuff gets brought into the house I want to get rid of more. My guest room is currently full of stuff to be donated. It's theraputic getting rid of stuff. I think I'm a serial purger. 🙂

  • Stephanie
    January 10, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    @Staceze…if I could get Peter to do that I would be thrilled, she is certainly not a a pack rat, but he is much more emotionally invested into his things than I am. He JUST recently got rid of several board shorts that he has had since high school. Part the problem is that he is still the same since as he was in high school and can fit into everything!
    @Naturally Attached. I totally agree, I am a serial purger as well. Anytime, I feel a need for change or need for my life to be a bit more prosperous or have something new come into my life, I start cleaning out the junk.