Gaining StuffPosted: November 28, 2012
The goal of every seminary family is to move as little of their possessions as possible. This is often done in several different ways. Sometimes they store some of their things at their parents’ houses (this is more common for younger couples). Sometimes they find another seminary family to hold onto a piece of furniture that is difficult to move. Most commonly, there is a perpetual season of purging. We hold off on buying big furniture items (Do we really need a guest bed and a piano?), we don’t buy as many trinkets and decorations (Yeah, having a giant Christmas display in our front yard would be festive but then we would have to move those decorations), and we give away or sell anything unnecessary (Goodbye clothes I hardly wear, goodbye specific kitchen items that I might use someday, goodbye books I bought and only read once).
However, sometimes the lives around us don’t follow our spartan seminary furnishing plan, making it difficult (perhaps impossible) not to accumulate stuff. This month serves as a fine example of our best intentions gone awry. My grandmother moved to assisted living last March and her house was just rented out. Consequently, most of her possessions needed to be given away and she desperately wanted family members to have her things. Consequently, my husband and I now own two end tables* and a foyer table–all are items that we want but dislike having to move.
Likewise, my father-in-law is working on emptying out his house. We are now receiving several framed pictures and a spoon collection. These things obviously have sentimental value and are things that we can’t wait until after seminary to keep, so I keep telling myself that it is reasonable to gather such items. However, you can be sure that come July I will still be in a state of dismay and asking myself, “Why do we have so much stuff?!”
*In a funny, only-at-the-seminary turn of events, my dad managed to leave the end tables at the farmhouse that we rented last year and will return to next year. I was 650 miles away and my dad had never met the current tenants. Good thing the current tenants are our friends and weren’t too put off by my random phone call starting with, “So, really weird request. . .”