I’m an admitted collectiholic, but there is no 12 step program for one such as me. It may be from having depression era parents who were savers and never threw anything out that had a hint of future usefulness. It is a philosophy that suits me, and spills over into everything I do.

If I have two of something, it begins to look like a collection and I end up with 15 t-pots, or 5,000 magazines. (You think I’m kidding.)

DSC04174 (Copy)The problem comes when you run out of room. I have a wall of shelves in by office. Every picture album, every vacation scrapbook, albums of the features I had published, souvenirs, nick-knacks. Then over the albums, I place wall hangings because there is no room left on the walls to hang anything. I have 15 pieces, paintings and artifacts of some type hanging on the wall of my office.

DSC04175 (Copy)No matter how narrow a wall might be, it has something on it, like these beaded rings from my trip to Africa.

DSC04192 (Copy)If there is a wall, it is filled from floor to ceiling. And, I love and enjoy my treasures. And for many years, with growing children, I resorted to easier to store items made of paper. Just yesterday, while assembling  several different stamp collections to go to the thrift store, I found  notes that made me laugh:

HANZOFF!  Or I’ll sic my dirty P.E. clothes on you-they walk under their own power.

and:  Mary kenny hitted me   sally and kris wont play with me.

Silly stuff.

And, I’ve kept my mother’s name collection. She would sit with her cup of coffee in the morning and read the paper. Her rule was to only collect names of people whose last name was an adjective, verb or noun. Like Earl Silver, Rita House, Cathleen Clinker, Susanne Doubled. It had to be spelled correctly.  Then she expanded it to humorous name juxtapositions like: Mrs. Rum divorced her husband and assumed her maiden name, of Selma Sober. Warren Nipple married Carla Breast. Jean Sucker married Roscoe Candybar.  Dr. Michael Fox is an animal psychologist. I put it out for the thrift store, but took it back. Who would want something like that? She has a couple thousand names in her book. I finally decided nobody would want it and I loved her beautiful writing and took it back. See?  Downsizing is tough for some of us.

DSC04194 (Copy) (Copy)My entire brick wall has pictures of birds on it.

DSC04179 (Copy)My son Doug built me five floor to ceiling cases to hold my magazine collection. I had to take a pick-up load of magazines to the dump. I’ve had guests who remove and examine every magazine.

I have plenty offers of help. People who say, I’ll help you. If you haven’t used it in a year, its time to get rid of it. OMIGOD. I shudder and quake at the thought. But, I know it is freeing and that my kids have warned me, “we are just gonna toss this stuff.”

It is painful and conversely freeing to get rid of  “stuff”. Jim estimates 5 years. I’m hoping for two.

It is something I have to do and can enjoy my stuff one last time before it gets tossed



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6 thoughts on “DOWNSIZING

  1. igibud

    2gadabout has some awesome stuff. I acquire very little stuff, I hardly display any of it, I have no kids, and I avoid looking at it. But I face every one of the same issues articulated here in terms of getting rid of it. You may not have any “12-step group” for this, but at least posting about it is something. This “problem” is probably more prevalent with the generation of kids of depression-era-into-postwar-consumerism people who went a little overboard acquiring store-bought stuff they never threw away. Know that you are not alone with your “stuff” hangup.

    • 2gadabout

      It is true I’m not alone. I know others who have similar issues. I’ve tried to analyze why I can’t seem to resist “collecting” what is mostly useless stuff. A friend of mine once told me I’m not a collector I’m an accumulator. He was right. But I took joy in doing it. Collecting engaged me even if now it overwhelms me. Life has seasons, and downsizing seems to be my season right now. (Smile).

  2. Virginia

    Something handwritten by your mother = treasure.
    A magazine printed in thousands of exemplars 50 years ago = kindling. (After you’ve read it.)

  3. Sue Lambart

    Dear Mary,
    I want to wish you a happy belated birthday !! I enjoyed the pictures of the birthday party that your kids gave you!! What fun!!

    I am very much a saver too and know how you feel!!! Our basement looks like a bunch of hoarders live down there!! Art’s gun stuff is everywhere and then my stuff, what a mess!! Tell Jim hello for us and have a great Thanksgiving!!
    Love Sue

    • 2gadabout

      Thanks for the support, Sue. I never would have known.(chuckle) Jim is here right now, off to get oil changed on the Bronco. He’ll leave my place the day after. Thanksgiving. I often think of your mother-in-law and wonder how she is doing?

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