Ever have days where you feel like you are sinking in all the ‘stuff’?
Sometimes it is the ‘stuff’ that everyone wants from you.
Sometimes it is the ‘stuff’ that you have to do.
Sometimes it is the ‘stuff’ of life that can weigh you down
and sometimes it is just STUFF!

We are blessed with a very spacious house but I think that has meant that we can spread the stuff out further…or add more stuff to fill up the empty space. We arrived in Perth 3 and a half years ago with a couple of suitcases and now we have a house full of toys, clothes, shoes, books, couches, toys, paperwork, books, cooking things, clothes, books, blankets, paperwork, clothes, photos, books, clothes and more toys!
We could seriously open a book shop with the amount of books we have. Thanks to my time at Learning Ladder the kids have books that will last them for years to come (yet we seem to read the same library book for a week), Rick has a love of reading too…I find books of his spread from the toilet to the car. While I am not so bad with owning books I have hijacked a heap from the children’s ministry cupboards that I keep forgetting to take back.
Then there is paperwork! What do you do with it all? How do you keep track of everything without using a dozen filing cabinets?!?!?
Now the clothes!! It is winter, so I know that washing is piling up in everyone’s houses (at least that is what I keep telling myself) but we also have the added ‘problem’ (really not a problem….just an issue) of a full container of clothing from size 0000 to size 4 for boys, and for girls. That is 1 box of 0000, one box of 000 one box of 00…you get the picture, for boys AND girls! Now the toys! And it is birthday month is a couple of weeks! Is there a way you can say ‘please don’t bring toys!’We have puzzles and games and lego and dolls and baby toys and cars and ponies! My goodness! When it is all put away nicely, in the kids bookcase, looking like the photo they each have of how their bookcase is supposed to look, it really doesn’t look like a whole heap of toys. But when it is all out, littering the playroom floor I seriously feel like I am drowning in the stuff! But here is the thing…I didn’t buy all the stuff! I have brought storage things to store all the stuff, I have made many a trip to Ikea for lovely square compartments (really whoever thought of the Expedit bookcase is a genius!)

You know how there is always someone you know who is great at taking hand me downs? Well, I think I am that someone for many people!

I LOVE getting hand me downs. I love that I only ever have to buy a couple of things for my kids each season and that is mainly singlets or leggings. I love that I have only brought Caden 2 things that are new (it has made packing away his clothes every 4 weeks a little easier) The kids get really excited when I buy them a special new outfit for Christmas and their birthday that has been made especially for them (Thank you WAHM’s). The puzzles in our cupboard all came from a boy I looking after back in 2004 (so I have been doing the same puzzles for 8 years!), so did most of the games. The dolls clothes and furniture were all mine when I was a little girl, the cars were all my brothers. Even my clothes are mainly hand me downs! I don’t really know the last time I went out on a shopping spree! Now with the accessibility of Gumtree…even the random, really need this but don’t want to buy it, can be found as a hand me down for a decent price. Hand me down’s have saved us thousands, probably 10’s of thousands actually. But as I have been looking around our house at all the stuff and thinking ‘I have to pack this up’…I think I need to find someone to hand down the hand me down’s too!

After all the sorting (and chucking of the things I can’t justify handing down) I have decided that this process is going to take a much longer time then I have till moving day. So because of this (a tiny bit) and because of some other bigger reasons we have decided that it is just best to stay where we are for now. Hopefully over the next few months I will begin to say enough is enough, and work on clearing out some of the excess stuff (seriously….I am after people’s way of dealing with paperwork!) and not gather more stuff to fill the space. Feeling a conviction to ‘live simply’ at the moment, and some of that has to do with getting rid of some of the ‘stuff’ that is clogging up the corners of my house (some of it has to do with getting back to doing less, some of it has to do with generosity too….but more to come on that later).
Anyway, I have taken a break of the stuff to write about stuff while I sit and look at stuff all over the computer desk, so if you have a way of dealing with paperwork (bills, statements, payslips, random mail, things you need to keep but don’t need to have all the time) please let me know!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Amy says:

    Same boat here Louise! I’m feeling ocerwhelmed, often suffocated with the volume of stuff we have, and were coming up to the kids birthdays again too and I’m getting panicky thinking about all the stuff they’ll get then! So here’s some ideas I’ve come up with to help me get through it all… Birthdays – experiences can be expensive. Jordan is old enough to appreciate a movie voucher, ticket to the zoo, etc as gifts now. Things that cost us money we don’t really have and something he can enjoy and remember for years to come. As for the clutter, I’m leaning to be really ruthless (I still have a long way to go though!) kids toys that they say they can’t live without but never play with get passed on. Mcdonalds toys that aren’t played with go in the bin, and yep, the invaluable expedit storage system! Baskets for categorizing stuff, puzzles in one, trains in another, soft toys in another etc. Office stuff? Easy 🙂 unless it’s tax related, anhthing over 6 months old is shredded/binned. We have school type folders, paid bills go in there for 6 months for reference, birth certificates, wills etc get filed in one that stays out of the way in the linen cupboard. Pretty much everything you need should be able to fit into one or two thin lever arch folders, no need for a filing cabinet! Pinterest is awesome for inspiration, I’ve started a life organizer folder. It has a yearly calendar at the front, and monthly calendar sheets behind it (the current month I have on the pantry door and the other months are kept in the folder til needed) inside the folder is upcoming bills which get filed away as soon as theyre paid. Then it’s menu and meal ideas, recipes I use frequently, budget meals, fancy ones to try out. Then a folder with vouchers for pizza, DVDs, the menu for the local Chinese restaurant. Emergency contacts which I’m yet to fill out, needing to be filled out with important info on medical history for us all etc. I found it’s only 10% full but I’m using it so much and it expands all the time. I’ve got a long list of things I want to do, projects, random cleaning stuff that needs to be done, all filed away. Not sure if thats inspired you at all but it helps me cope!

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