Too Much Stuff

I broke down and bought a rake. And then I went a little crazy and got a hoe, too. What makes this a topic at all is the fact that we already own these tools, but they are buried deep within a storage unit. A storage unit we can’t bring ourselves to tackle. We have been there, opened the door, stared inside, and then locked it right back up. It requires energy we haven’t been able to muster for months. Maybe never….

To understand our malaise when it comes to this odious task you have to understand our history with storage units. They have been a necessary evil in the last few years. It all started when we moved into the old farmhouse in 2007. The house prior to that had a nice size attic that was chock full of important stuff. You know the kind of stuff I’m talking about. Things I was sure we needed to save. (Note the singular I. My husband takes no ownership in this issue.) Kids’ old clothes, toys and books. Family keepsakes. Old moving wardrobe boxes containing costumes, grandmother’s dress, clothes we would never fit in again. Boxes of college textbooks, ours and our kids’ as they moved past that stage of life. Really important stuff.

That particular attic had the fairly convenient pull-down steps that allowed for easy access. At the old farmhouse no such steps existed, nor could they be added due to the beam construction of the attic floor. There was one little “hole” into which a ladder could be shoved. Early on my hubby tried to stagger up that ladder holding heavy boxes of books and other detritus from the previous attic, with me at the bottom holding the ladder steady. We had a fairly hilarious moment of envisioning the two of us dead on the floor from him falling off the ladder with said heavy box and smushing us both. Ok, not really so funny, but in those days we were often in that state of exhaustion that leads to black humor. (Restoring an old farmhouse will do that to you.) After stashing about half of our normal attic contents we gave up.

So here we were with an attic roughly the size of a basketball court that was basically unusable. Plan B? A storage unit. And thus began the slippery slope. We rented a unit and moved into it all that leftover attic stuff with the promise to ourselves that we would find a weekend to really sort thru and get rid of most of it. What actually happened was we kept adding to it until it was stuffed to the brim with…..everything! And nothing! And who knows what! Then we rented a second unit to hold just the Christmas decorations. In my defense the old farmhouse required LOTS of Christmas decorations during our event business days, so the 25 tubs of garland, etc. had to go somewhere. But then there was some extra room in that unit so we put other stuff in there, too. Here we were with two packed storage units.

And then came the the tipping point….we moved out of that big old farmhouse into an apartment and we needed THREE MORE storage units! At this juncture you might wonder WHY we moved into an apartment when we clearly had more stuff than four families put together. I’ll just say it seemed a good idea at the time. We carefully selected the six pieces of furniture that would fit into our much reduced space and the rest went into storage.

This is where I mention the move from hell. And the movers that came with it. We had a contact for an “independent” mover, a guy with a truck and some more guys, the main benefit being that he was cheap. Really cheap. But always heed that old saying “you get what you pay for”. This crew filled our storage units to MAXIMUM capacity, even if it meant stacking a 2-ton buffet on top of my dining room table. The word gentle was nowhere in their vocabulary. I could go on and on about this subject, but suffice it to say that we might have needed even more storage units except for their tight packing methods.

Of the three additional units, the first two held mostly furniture, dishes, books, etc., but the last one held all the flotsam and jetsam that came out of the shed; the final load from the farmhouse. This included all our outdoor tools, flower pots, hoses, and yard bric-a-brac. Also in that shed was tub upon tub of party/wedding decor and all manner of other junk that never made it to the attic or earlier mentioned storage units. (Yes, we have a serious STUFF addiction. I should start a support group.) And our highly professional movers crammed it all in the last storage unit willy-nilly, such that the mere opening of the unit sends us scurrying home to hide under the covers.

So, as of now, that unit remains to be emptied. (Well, and the very first one, because we don’t even really know what is in it anymore so we don’t count it.). And in that last unit is my rake and hoe, buried deep within, behind the boxes of cake plates and centerpieces. Behind a rack of tablecloths. Behind glassware and misc. misc. and more misc. We can’t face it. Who knows what else lurks in the shadows of that unit. I’m missing a couple of mirrors that could be there. We may never know because at this point it is easier to go buy new stuff than it is to dig out the old stuff in that storage unit.

P.S. My new support group will meet on Tuesday evenings at 6:30. Bring your own cake plate.

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2 thoughts on “Too Much Stuff

  1. As you are aware, I AM the PURGEINATOR…as evidenced by our recent move to smaller quarters and the resultant loss of 2200 square feet of domicile. I would consider it an honor to reduce the clutter in your life. But realize, once loosed upon the massive pile, there’s no turning back, and I am cruel and relentless in my mission. There is an alternative…the choice is yours.😎


    1. I’m not strong enough to accept your offer. But when I’m gone, feel free!😁


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