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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

7 read-a-long: Possessions - exasperated with our stuff!

I'm currently reading the book "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess", by Jen Hatmaker and I've joined this blog read-a-long by Marla Taviano to discuss each chapter on Tuesday's. Here is a bit of background on the book (from Amazon):

"7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence."

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.”
Chapter 3 - Possessions
I have the same problem as the author, filling my home with needless stuff, only 90% of ours is "found".
  • Coffee Table - found side of road in Pittsburgh 1997
  • Porch Table and chairs - given to us by coffee shop I worked at in 1996 after they remodeled
  • TV Stand - was found next to dumpster last year and remodeled by husband during one of my trips to Asia
  • Dining Table - another dumpster find, also remodeled
  • All kids furniture - gifts
These are GOOD finds, what is not good is the pile of stuff that's taken residence in our garage, closets and pantry. The majority of which we don't use on a regular basis and it just sits around taking up space. Much of it is very old - for example, we've carted blankets from Pittsburgh to Florida, to California, back to Florida that are never used.

This chapter about possessions didn't convict me in terms of buying too much, it was more about hording too much stuff.

We live in a hurricane zone - south Florida coastal living and we can't even get one car into our garage because it's so full. Every year I beg and plead with husband to let go of some of our stuff so we can get the car into the garage and we just can't seem to part with all our stuff. What if we need those art supplies from 1996? We can't throw away perfectly good gardening and fish tank supplies! We have books in boxes that we don't have room for in the main house so they sit, waiting for a bigger house to be displayed. I find myself exasperated with all this stuff.

I may not have gorgeous bags to donate like the author did, but I'm quite sure some of this stuff could go to someone more in need. For example, my husband can fix bikes, maybe he can fix up the bikes he's collected from the trash and donate them to the neighborhood kids? I'm sure we can always find more bikes later when our kids are the right height.

So are on a mission to clean and purge until we reach a reasonable level of stuff.


Loraine said...

Love your mission! A reasonable level of stuff, sounds freeing. Love how much of what you own you have found, that's awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Brooke F said...

our problem is being objective with what we truly need/use and what we have just because we hate to get rid of it. very little in our house was purchased outright - we've found deals like yours, acquired from family and the like. and of course when your MIL gives you a table for your house that use to belong to her grandmother, its hard to know what to do with it when you no longer have a place to use it.

Marla Taviano said...

I hope you write more about what you guys do with your stuff!