The Hoarding Stage of Life

I have determined that we are intentional hoarders. We prefer to call it “being frugal” though. Seriously, we have so. much. stuff. We have mountains of clothes for girls ages birth through five (and even a few hand-me-downs for older girls in a “to grow into” pile). We have all the gazillion things one “needs” for a baby: swing, bouncer, crib and mattress, crib sheets, eight thousand baby blankets, baby bathtub, swaddlers, pack & play, an enormous tub full of cloth diapers, an astonishing variety of bottles (which so far have received zero use between two kids), breast pump, etc etc etc. You get the idea. At one point, we had not one but four different versions of a bassinet/crib/moses basket/place for an infant to sleep. On top of all this, we have the usual clutter of toys and stuffed animals that come with having small children. Oh, and all the toys and stuffed animals that my parents saved from my childhood. This all mixed in with the usual furniture and necessities, my overflowing baskets of sewing and crafting goods, a large collection of coloring books and art supplies for the kids, nine billion pairs of shoes, boots, slippers, mittens, hats, coats…I’m beginning to fear that one day we’re going to wake up buried under a pile of “stuff” and not be able to escape.

I think there are a couple of factors making me aware of how overloaded we are in the material possessions department right now: the upcoming holiday season which promises more stuff in the form of gifts and some beginning pregnancy nesting urges that are inspiring me to “organize all the stuff.”

What I really want to do is sell and donate huge chunks of stuff, but it really isn’t practical right now. For starters, all the baby stuff is going to get used again quite soon. And then we’ll pack it away and store it once more until we decide if we will be having more children in the future. Similarly, even if this baby turns out to be a boy, we’ll probably still hang on to those mountains of girl clothes until we determine there is no possibility of a fourth child for us who could someday need them. Even as Zoey and Eleanor outgrow the baby and toddler toys, we’ll be introducing at least one more baby to them. So those stick around as well, until we’re sure of there being no more babies in the house.

I guess what I’m saying is, being in the “having children” stage of life essentially requires you to be a hoarder. Unless, of course, you are filthy stinking rich and can afford to buy all new stuff each time around. I don’t think I even know anyone with that much money, do you?

3 thoughts on “The Hoarding Stage of Life

  1. I know exactly what you mean! With babies 17 mos apart it seems our house for the past few years has just been overflowing with baby and toddler things. And we also kept many baby things for the possibility of a third child. We agreed it made sense to hold on to most of the big stuff, but whats worked out for us is that so many of our friends are also having babies right now, so we’ve “loaned out” our cribs, diaper tables, swings,bassinets, etc to friends we trust that we know will return them in good condition should we need them again. Its freed up so much space for us and they didn’t have to buy brand new things so its a win-win for everyone!
    I was also holding on to the mountains of clothes but eventually I just had to let them go. Our town has excellent consignment sales a few times a year where you can buy like-new kids clothes for pennies on the dollar. We shop there twice a year and get everything they need for fall/winter or spring/summer and it never disappoints. Its where I ended up selling all the baby clothes that we had so I made some money too! It was much harder to let go of the cute baby outfits as I realized I had become so sentimentally attached to many of them, remembering how cute they looked in them and I just didn’t want to let them go. But eventually I just did it and actually felt much better about it afterwards. It was a lot easier to do it knowing that when/if the need arises again, I’ll just outfit the new baby from the same resales (and get attached to a whole new cute wardrobe all over again, lol)

    1. What great solutions! We definitely buy or receive ALL of our girls’ clothes second hand. At this age, they just grow way too fast to buy new. We buy new shoes, but boots are also used. One of my favorite things about having two girls is knowing just about everything will go through at least two people so we are getting a lot of use out of it!

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