We out-grew our house several years ago. Back in 2003, it seemed like a good fit for us – four bedrooms (one more than we had before), two and half bathrooms (one-half more than we had before) in a great neighborhood with great schools. Sure, it didn’t have a game room or enough closet space, but it was more than we had when the kids were itty-bitty babies. Since 2003, the kids have grown taller, their circle of friends got larger and space seemed to get smaller. When friends come over, hubs and I get kicked out of the family room so they can entertain their guests. It became clear to us that we needed just a bit more room for our family. And maybe a few more closets. And a big kitchen….with an island. And a pool. Yes, a pool. We
NEED want a pool.
We’ve been looking for almost a year now. Because we don’t have to move, we’ve taken our time. We want it to be just the right house, in just the right area, with all the things we need. In our 18 years together, we’ve owned two homes and both of those homes we’ve remodeled. And by remodeled, I don’t mean we painted a few rooms. I mean we completely refurbished a 1978 in-ground swimming pool, replaced two air conditioning systems (both of which died in the middle of the hottest part of the south Texas summer), replaced windows, replaced floors, replaced lighting, remodeled a kitchen and a couple of bathrooms…..remodeled from practically the ground up. This time was going to be different. We want just short of perfection.
But first we have to sell our home.
And along came Patti (not to be confused with the Ben Stiller movie “Along Came Polly”). Patti is a local real estate agent. She is a 5 foot blonde bottle of energy. She is known around these parts as “Three Day Patti”, as in she has sold houses in three days. HIRED! In addition to being a real estate savant, Three Day also owns a home staging company and offers her services to all her clients. Uh, yes please! Little did we know what Three Day had in store for us – not a remodel, but a complete gut job of our home.
In the last two weeks, we have packed up the majority of our home. Ten years of life in our current home whittled down to nothing more than bare necessities – just the basics of life for the next month or so. And I will admit, I was cursing Three Day the whole time. How can I possibly pack my life up and/or part with all these things that mean so much to me? How can she expect us to pack everything but our necessities?
As I sat cleaning out bathroom cabinets, I thought about the word necessities. It’s defined as the condition or quality of being necessary. Pretty deep, huh? As I sat on the floor, diving into our bathroom cabinets, pondering my need of a 1990’s hair crimper, I thought a lot about the stuff in our lives. As I’ve learned over the last two weeks, my home is filled with stuff – from hair crimpers, to old knee braces, sheets for a twin bed we don’t have any more and prescriptions from 2009. Why do I still have these things? We obviously don’t need them since we haven’t touched them in years.
I watch as Hubs unloads the contents of our attic into a storage pod. Oh, look, there’s the comforter we had on our bed when we were newlyweds….in 1995……why is that still in the attic?
It’s hard for me to part with the things in my life. I tuck things away, swearing I can turn it into something or use it somewhere else. Things make me feel good. I have good intentions, really, I do. But as we spent all Easter weekend clearing out our house, I realized they are just things. These things do not make our house a home. These things are not necessities of life. They take up space that could be used for other things or to store things that do matter. I realized that I actually need very little to survive day-to-day. And I shouldn’t store those size 8 jeans – let’s be honest, it’s not actually going to happen.
Three Day blew through our home like a tiny hurricane and managed to get us to de-clutter our home and our lives. She placed a few nice decorative items about and guess what? It looks nice. Its clean. Its streamlined. And it feels good….really good. There is room in my cabinets and closets and I still have all I need – my Hubs, my kids, and my Chi flat iron. Hey, it’s a necessity!
Have you de-cluttered your life?