Monday, December 4, 2006

My first post

Ok, I am really new at this - and this is my first blog entry - so I think I will take this time to say, "HI!" and lay out some ground rules. First of all, I welcome all comments - but please be kind and resecpt everyone right to their own opinion. Since it is my blog - naturally I am sharing my opinion already. I welcome discussion, that is how we can all learn something from each other. I think I will establish a bit of schedule - so that I can group my thoughts through out the week and be cohesive. So here it goes:

Monday - My thoughts on something that has occurred in the previous week

Wednesday - My thoughts on something political or a current event

Friday - my top ten of something. This should be fun

So here it goes:
Too much stuff

I have to preface this entry with the fact that I am a reformed pack rat. Honestly, this tendancy is possibly genetic. My mom is a big pack rat as was my maternal grandmother. Stuff, Stuff, Stuff. I am finding this reformation both liberating and difficult. I find that it is freeing to get rid of clutter and stuff, but somehow more stuff shows up. My goal for 2006 was to cut down on clutter. On a scale of 1 to 10, I have to say that I managed a 4. One of my biggest successes was to stop the flow of junk mail. No joke, the beginning of this year, I was getting 4 to 5 solictaions from charities a day on average and close to 3 to 5 catalogs a day in the mail. It took me about 10- 15 minutes a day to sort thru the junk, tear off our name and address, check for hidden names and addresses, shread the names and addresses and then recycle the mail/catalogues. WHAT A WASTE OF TIME. So I began an email & letter writing campaign to get companies to stop sending me so much junk and while that took up a bit of time, in a matter of months - the flow of junk mail ceased. Cool! I also worte and had our name taken off a few common direct marketing lists. This really does work, if you want to invest the time and energy. I made form letters and used labels - which I stuck on the stuff and mailed it back with the postage paid envelopes provided.
Sadly however, my mom is also on a cleaning binge from time to time - so more junk shows up here. But slowly I am winning my battle to have less clutter. Same goal for 2007 and I hope to up my 4 to a 6!
I have to say that I am hoping to stop the clutter bug with our kids. We try to keep toys and games at a reasonable level. Santa brings a few items, not a sack full. I am working with the grandparents to reign them in as well. Honestly, kids need time and attention - not just stuff. I think my two have too many toys as it is and I cull them on a regular basis. Like next week, I plan to get rid of the more baby toys our little one has and look thru the others for stuff not played with. I routinely donate what is not favored. No reason to keep it and store a toy that does not interest my two - when there are kids out there who might get some enjoyment of it.
I have to say that I struggle at gift giving occassions. I do not want to contribute to someone else junk explosion and I try hard to not over do it as well. This hard though! Not to appear cheap, but also to be thoughtful and engaged. I find that not everyone feels like me. Collecting stuff is an American past time of sorts and in our very material culture, I am finding that my ideas are counter to the norm.
I am also tring to make sure that they develop a sense of place - a storage or personal filing system. My 4 year old is a cleaner and will not go to bed until her room is cleaned up. She has a great sense of order. Good! Very Good. I do not have that and therefore it is a struggle for me. A struggle I am winning, but still not a natural in grained sense of order. MMMMM, must go back to the pack rat genes.

1 comment:

IHateToast said...

oy! blogger didn't post the first comment. i wonder if it will after i rewrite it.

just checking in and saying i'm going to try to go from start to current to get caught up.

am excited to see what you posted.