This Totally Caught Me Off Guard

A few months ago we decided that our goal was to sell about 80% of what we own before we start our Gap Year because stuff drives us crazy.  Besides clothes, books and two nice lamps, I’m pretty sure my husband and I could be minimalists.  But our house doesn’t reflect that right now…with 3 kids and some this-is-in-good-shape-and-I-feel-guilty-getting-rid-of-it-because-I-could-use-it-someday stuff, we have too much.

I knew we had too much, but it wasn’t until I started going through my kitchen cupboards and realized that I have about 23 kinds of tea that I realized I really have too much.  (I’m pretty sure that I could host our neighborhood for a tea party and still have some left!!!)

You don’t realize how much non-essential stuff you own until you have to come face-to-face with it and have to make a decision about what to do with it.

Sure we drink tea everyday in our house and I love trying new kinds, but seriously….23 kinds?  This isn’t a tea shop.  😉

While this might not seem like a big deal to have tons of tea (and toothpaste and soap, you know the stuff that you use all the time), it really caught me off guard.   We get so accustomed to overabundance that often we don’t even see it for what it is.  


We mistakenly think that variety makes our lives better, when really simplicity makes our lives… Click To Tweet


If I could describe in words the feelings my husband and I had when we sold nearly everything 12 years ago and moved to Australia with 2 suitcases, 1 backpack and my violin, you would probably have the biggest garage sale of your life – tomorrow!!!

There is no way to explain the freedom you feel when you own less.  There is no way to explain how you spend your time when you own less.  There is no way to explain how much more you go out there and experience life when you own less.

Less really is more.

Nearly everyone I know complains about the amount of stuff they own.  You probably moved some non-essential item just a few minutes ago before you jumped on your computer.

We live in a society that equates stuff with success.  

Think about it.  We get stuff for holidays and birthdays.  We give stuff to people as presents all the time.  Ironically, people often feel awkward when they don’t give stuff to others for birthdays and holidays.

But the stuff doesn’t matter.  It’s the thought that counts.

I know that is an old saying, but it is true.

The thought is the care.  Stuff doesn’t care.

Ask anyone if they would rather have a room full of stuff or a loved one sitting next to them and they will pick the person every single time, I’m sure.  But often we live our lives the other way.  We get people stuff and then don’t spend time with them, but thank goodness we remembered that gift…

Giving can be fun, believe me.  Getting someone a present that you know they are going to love can be thrilling sometimes.  Really, there is nothing wrong with stuff.  The problem is our association with it, our obsession with it, our comfort with it.

While it makes people nervous that we are selling most of what we own over the next few months, for us, it makes us happy.  It makes us feel free.  It reminds us that what we are doing this year is 100% right.  We will never regret taking an entire year to spend time with one another.  I also won’t regret not having 23 kinds of tea…




P.S.  I want to hear from you!

How do you feel about the amount of stuff you own?

What do you do to keep the excess down?



One thought on “This Totally Caught Me Off Guard

  • Grace

    I’m very organized, everyone once and a while I go through all my stuff and get rid of thing. but about three years ago a move across the US and took only a few garbage bags of stuff my my two bedroom apartment….and I don’t miss any of the stuff I left behind. My problem now is that I live with a pack rat…or maybe he’s even considered a horder. But I’m slowly rubbing off on him and he’s starting to clean 🙂 I’m kind of proud of myself!!


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