A Surfeit of Stuff

Lately I’ve been thinking about a lot of stuff.
As in, “Man, we have a lot of stuff.”
Stuff on the kitchen counter. Stuff on tables. Stuff on chairs. Boxes of stuff on shelves and piled on the floor. Stuff that makes it hard to put anything down and awkward to have anyone stop by.
Most of it is good stuff. Stuff we want, stuff we’ll use. But it’s getting in the way.

The Slider Puzzle That is Our House

I’ve long maintained that we have room for all our stuff, if only it were organized and put away.
If, for instance, MrH went through his tools and the tools he inherited from his dad and the tools he inherited from his aunt, they’d be much more accessible and take up less space. Then he could get around to some of the projects he’s been wanting to do.
If we could move the big bookshelf into the dining room, we could unbox and shelve the books sitting there waiting for a shelf.
Ah, but we’d have to move the stuff against the dining room wall where we want to put the shelf. And my computer table, which has the shelf boxed in. Oh, and the boxes of stuff currently on the shelf. Because of course there are boxes of stuff on the shelf.
And we have to move the bookshelf before we can move the writing desk from the living room. And we have to move the writing desk before we can move the other shelf. Which is also covered with boxes. Andandand.
I’ve been itching to work on this, and I have—or could make—the time. But there’s a lot I can’t do without MrH.
I’m not sure I could identify all the power tools, let alone organize them. Someone else could identify the books on the shelf for me, but only MrH knows which he wants to keep and which he’s ready to let go.
Unfortunately, his time is much more limited than mine.

How Much Stuff Is Too Much Stuff?

Though the overall process has been slow going, I have been sorting what I can. This has led to a few burning questions:
Do we really need more than a dozen coffee cups? (No.)
Is there any sane reason this household has fourteen refillable soap dispensers? (Also no.)
How on earth have we managed to accumulate over eighty cookbooks? (Because reasons. Shut up.)
Apparently, somewhere along the way we’ve slipped into Too Much Stuff territory, at least in some things.
I’m a long way from becoming a minimalist, but the older I get and the more I value space over stuff, the easier it’s become to let (some) things go.
Coffee mugs and soap dispensers have been winnowed, mugs into a box destined for our church’s yard sale, soap dispensers into recycling. Our son is going to go through the cookbooks with me, though I suspect he’ll be disgusted by how many I choose to keep. Baby steps, kiddo, baby steps.
I’m ready to pass on embroidery kits I once looked forward to but now can no longer use. Some nick-knacks that, as my son so tactfully put it, “don’t fit our aesthetic” will go to the church sale along with the mugs and a box of dishes.
As I look around, I have to remind myself that the house didn’t get in this state overnight, and it won’t get straightened out overnight, either. But I want to—need to—keep chipping away at it.
What about you? Are you comfortable with the amount of stuff you have? Do you find it difficult to let certain things go, or is it easy for you to pass them on? Are you an organizer or a clutterbug?

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