Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Absence of Stuff

We are moving at the end of January.

This came about rather suddenly due mostly to a local mini real estate boom in November. We are moving from a 1200 sq ft 2-bedroom condominium in the city to a 2400 sq ft 4-bedroom townhouse in the 'burbs. There is nothing really wrong with our current place other than size..it is in a fantastically convenient location for shopping and schools, it is two levels with bedrooms upstairs, there is a wood-burning fireplace, it has a nice little garden patio leading out into the common area fenced courtyard, it is all owners - no renters. It was the best we could afford at the time, being first-time buyers and all.

But...it has been progressively driving me crazy. Besides being just too small for 2 adults, 2 children, a cat, and a dog, the building is run by a rather scary dictorial council of older people who are constantly on the look out for any infractions of their rather restriction bylaws. They also seem to get their jollies from watching everyone's comings and goings and gossiping avidly about other residents' lives. I know this because I used to be on the council before I became thoroughly sick of the politics and back-biting. There is no privacy in this building. There is also no quiet. There is constant ambient noise from various ventilation fans around the building, noise from other units, people talking in the hallways, traffic noise from the nearby busy intersection, etc. Big deal, right? That can all be easily ignored if it weren't for the neighbor bordering our bedroom that likes to make alot of noise every night between 11pm and 5am. Why not complain, you might be thinking. Well, unfortunately, this neighbor is the head of the current council and a complete jerk to boot. I have no doubt that any complaints by us would directly result in a rapid influx of "bylaw infraction" letters from council. We already had one run-in with him that put us on their "radar" and led to a bunch of notes about things we were doing wrong (along with many others in the building, most notibly council members).

So, after much thought, I determined that we needed to move. Because we are owners, moving is more than finding a new place and giving notice. Once the decision was made, mountains were moved to catch the afore-mentioned real estate boom. In the space of one week, we painted, had the carpet cleaned, did minor repairs, cleaned everything from top to bottom, rented a truck and storage space and shifted probably half the stuff out. We have lived here for 6 years and have alot of stuff. Most of it is mine, I must admit. I like yarn and crafty stuff in general. Alot. So I have been slowly accumulating stuff to support my hobbies until it was to the point where every hiding place in this apartment was crammed full. And I had a storage locker full of yarn, fabric and craft supplies. I probably have more yarn than most small yarn stores. I know that it is excessive and most of it was purchased as a way to alleviate my boredom and depression and to get that rush of finding the perfect "deals" on the internet. I have tried over the years to prune it back to a reasonable level without much success. My stash provides me with creative stimulation and lots of happiness. It also provides me with alot of guilt. Mostly because of how much money I've spent on stuff that is not getting used. Constantly being surrounded by bags and bins of yarn has often given me a sense of urgency to use it all up and stop being so darned materialistic. And often this leads to horrible feelings of inadequacy because there is no way I can use it all in this lifetime.

But, for now, the stuff is all gone into storage. Besides 90% of my stash - all my books and patterns, my main computer, all the dvds, most of the kids toys, lots of kitchen stuff, and several pieces of furniture also went. The place feels practically spartan. There is an echo. You can open any closet and look under any bed without seeing a jumble of dust and crap. It is incredibly freeing. It feels good to not be constantly weighed down by stuff. Cleaning is so much easier without having to shift mountains of crap from one place to another. It is very relaxing. The real payoff is that we were able to get our place looking really good for the first open house and we got two offers for our asking price almost immediately. The downside is that I am cut off from one of my main sources of happiness. But it is just temporary because, once we move, there will be ample space for all..and my own craft room! In the meantime, I have been consoling myself with a few "pretties" here and there. Little luxuries in the form of one or two skeins only.

There is some Merisoft Handpainted (teals/purples), Handmaiden 2nds (brown/rose), Punta Mericash (cashmerino in oranges), Yarn Candy (silk cashmere in plum), and DIC Starry. There is also some Malabrigo lace in the top picture with Furry Bones.

Just enough to fondle and dream about until the great stash and I are reunited in a month or so.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE that cat! Congratulations on selling your place so quickly - where I live in the U.S. we have a VERY slow market and values are very much down. I bet it is freeing to see all your extra "stuff" gone, but it will be good to have it back, too - once there is more room. My stash is huge, too - and creates the same exact feelings - guilt, inadequacy, materialism (how much money have I spent on this?) I tried to go "cold sheep" this past year (not buy yarn) and through it I discovered that I buy yarn impulsively when it's on sale (such a great deal) and when I'm feeling down about something. Which then would lead to guilt because of the ever mounting stash! I've not just done it with yarn, I have huge stashes of books, notebooks, stationary/cards, craft stuff, beads, and tote bags. Stress City! An embarrassing amount of money spent on this stuff. I'm trying to change my consumerism. :)