Over the weekend, my wife and I spent several hours de-cluttering. Because our home has ample storage space, it is easy to put things in a closet, a bin, and forget they exist. I am amazed at the amount of stuff we’ve acquired over the last few years since moving to South Jordan. Add that number to the things we’ve hung onto for 20+ years of being married  and we have an embarrassing amount of possessions.

Going through the linen closet, we discovered washcloths, hand and bath towels that were wedding presents. Faded and worn out, they had not been used in more than a decade. There were medicines which had expired years ago, first aid kits with dried out antiseptic wipes. We made quite a pile of things that must go from these items.

But it wasn’t only old and worn out things that were taking up space. Our storage areas and closets were full of nearly new items we weren’t using which could benefit others in our extended family (and beyond). We collected shirts, pants, and shoes, jackets, books, and put them into sacks with the intention of offering them to someone else.


Somewhere along the road. I’ve lost interest in the concept of more. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s, it felt like I could never have enough stuff, and when I had the opportunity, I lobbied my wife to purchase these things. Often, I got the things I wanted.

I finally understand that there is only a fleeting pleasure in pursuing the bigger and better, and even less happiness in in the acquisition of things. And while I type, I see the arrogance of even writing about this, the privileged position of having a choice at all.

Even after going through and removing objects from my environment, I still have more than enough, more than I need, and certainly more than I deserve.

Luckily, none of us ever get what we really deserve.

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About Ryan Carty

There are some who call me, Tim?

8 responses to “Clutter”

  1. Liesbet says :

    De-cluttering is so liberating. I love, love, love getting rid of things and always think I have way too much stuff. And, I do. I just unpacked our three bags with clothes, after living out of one “suitcase” for the last month (which was not an issue at all), because we are on a longer house sit now. While I like to have a few sets of clothes to pick from, as I unfolded pants and skirts, I couldn’t help noticing that most of my clothes are rarely, if ever used. Still, I hold on to them for now, because I might like to wear them one day (and at least, I can see them now), if they still fit! Happy getting rid of stuff!!!

  2. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor says :

    I’m with Liesbet – decluttering is incredibly liberating. Even after getting rid of most of my stuff, I still have stuff I don’t need. Living in a small space really makes you realize what you truly need and what you don’t. I’ll probably have to do another round of decluttering soon.

  3. jmh says :

    I love decluttering too. When I first decided to plan a move to Thailand (still in the works), I began selling my stuff. It’s really scary when you first take a look at how much you have that you don’t need or use. I had over 175 pairs of shoes, and I’m still trying to get rid of a few.

    There’s something extremely liberating about getting rid of stuff.

    • fenster says :

      I was never at 175, but I did top 100 pairs of shoes at one point. Add to that the 30 pairs of jeans and another 15 of slacks, I was well on my way to clothes whoredom. I’m well below those numbers now, but could stand to toss out a bit more.

  4. Liesbet says :

    175 pairs of shoes? Holy cow, Holli. Is this a female thing or are you special? Well, I know the answer to that already. 🙂 I saw you listing some on Facebook, but I had no idea about the job involved with so many pairs. I used to get by with my pair of hiking shoes and a pair of flip flops, but I have to add that I now also have an old pair of Crocs, a new pair of Keen sandals (B-day gift). oh and the one pair of normal shoes that are 15 years old with me. Lots of room in our car. 🙂

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