Friday, May 13, 2011

How Much is Enough?

Spring cleaning... Which ones do I keep?
In the twelve years my husband and I have owned our home, we’ve toyed with the idea of moving into a bigger house quite a bit. While it would be nice to have a little more space, we’re confident a bigger home would not translate into less clutter. Staying in our current home has required constant examination of what we need versus what we have.

We try to teach our kids that more isn’t better by suggesting they donate the things they are no longer interested in.  For the most part it has worked (with the exception of the brothel of Barbies bursting out of the toy bin across the room from me). At five, our youngest doesn’t quite get it yet. But our oldest (who will turn nine next week) seems to understand. She actually agreed to a nice gift from Mom and Dad instead of having presents at her party.

Accumulate less. Donate more.

Over the years I’ve gotten better at eliminating excess, too. I finally got rid of my wedding shoes and I no longer hold on to every piece of artwork my kids create. I’ve recovered from my need to keep every cotton race finisher’s shirt; a problem solved by creating a quilt (who knew I could be crafty?).

I’ve learned to live leaner, except when it comes to my running shirts. There are too many to reasonable wear in any one season. I'll admit to some odd emotional attachment. There's the shirt I wore running the Grand Canyon, the one from the first marathon my parents came to see, my very first long sleeved wicking shirt. I’m not sure why I keep them all; I still pick my favorites when I hit the gym or lace up for a run.

I know someone who makes sure her kids have only enough seasonally appropriate clothes to get them through a week. Kept her laundry to a minimum and the clutter down. Not sure I can go that far, but I’m looking for an ideal number. Enough to cover a weeks worth of runs and workouts? Only my favorites? What do you do?

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