Stuff, Stuff and more Stuff

My parents have been moving home: we call it 'flitting' - do you guys across the Pond call it that? This 'flitting' has meant that for the past days I've been all boxed in. 

Putting stuff into boxes. Taking stuff out of boxes. Organising boxes: To Go. To Stay. For Charity. For Dump. Arguing over boxes: This ought to go, Mum. You haven't worn this in over a year, Mum. Why keep this, Mum?

If you have moved house, these are all gonna sound familiar. Stuff. Stuff. Stuff.

My Mum, being the sentimental type, has stuff going back decades. She has, in a frame, the last shock of corn my Grandpa harvested before he passed away. She can't throw it out. I certainly can't throw it out, even though I know it's absolutely ridiculous. And so it remains. 

She also had a dog lead. It belonged to the dog we used to have. That all sounds reasonable enough, until you realise that the dog died over 20 years ago. 

The lead went.

Wedding invitations ... from weddings that took place a decade - or two - ago. 

"Chuck 'em, Mum. The wedding has been. The couple can hardly even remember their wedding day. They've had kids." Wedding days blur into a haze once we have kids, right? 

The cards have stayed. Mum thinks they're safe. But today is another day, and I'm on the case.

All this stuff has made me realise how important it is in practical terms to have a real clear-out every few years. We've been in our house now for six years, and I can see it's time for a major de-clutter. This flitting has inspired me and if, after it is all done, I have any energy left, I am going to attack our own house with a passion.


All this stuff also makes me realise how much of this world's things we buy and keep. Stuff, stuff, stuff.

'All is vanity', it makes me think. This is not a criticism of my mum, by the way. How can it be, when I have a houseful of stuff too. But the truth is that I probably don't need half of what I have here. We say we don't want to live worldly lives, but the truth is that we live exactly like the richest 5% of people in the world. If an 'outsider' were to visit Earth, he'd never know that my treasure was elsewhere. He wouldn't know, by looking at all my stuff, that I believe the things of this world to be transient; that my heart claims to love the things of Christ, which cannot be seen nor bought; and that my heart longs for that better country, whose Builder and Maker is God.

And so, whilst de-cluttering my home may be useful, de-cluttering my heart is essential.

"Seek those things which are above... Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:1,2)

(last night's sky as I was heading to bed)


  1. We don't call it "flitting", but now that I've heard the term I wish we did; it's perfect and sweetly poetic! If you're a military family, like us, it's just cryptic (We "PCS" to a new home). Most Americans don't call it moving house, either, just moving. You'd think such a generic term would get confusing but it never seems to. It's pretty obvious that "we're moving next month" doesn't indicate a plan to wave one's arms :).

    Best of luck with the work and decluttering. It's such a refreshing feeling settling into a freshly thinned and simplified home.

  2. Going through things and keeping/throwing out is always a tough job! Best of luck to you!

  3. We have lived in our house for 14 years. I need a MAJOR throwing away day!!!! I don't really think I am a "keeper" of things . . . until I look around and see all the stuff I have and never use. I'm inspired! Blessings to you!

  4. I know exactly how you feel. With two moves within a few short months, you realize how little you actually really need. Why do we hang on to the past, and not press on more fervently toward out future, letting go of the stuff that weighs us down and takes up too much of our time? A good question for myself. You are making me want to go through AGAIN, and purge out more stuff that I know I do not need. Blessings to you dear Anne!

  5. I know, too. Cleaning out my grandmother's attic - they were married during the Depression, so...a box of zippers removed from old dresses waiting for new homes in new dresses, bags of bags, fabric, baskets, etc, etc. I've been told I'm like me grandmother. Uh oh.

  6. Why, oh why is it that (it never fails) as soon as I chuck that 'thing' I've been hanging on to and not used in years, within 2 weeks I have need of it!

    I need to do a LOT more purging of the unnessessary things in my home and heart, but I still feel there is room for sentiment. Are your Mum's things organized? Perhaps making a scrapbook or memory box will help control the clutter and still allow for her memories.....

  7. I'm with Laurie and Deb W and their reasons. Never heard "flitting", might just be a new term that will get me into getting it done at my house. I'm grateful to find out I am not alone. Scrapbooking and Memory boxes sound like a grand idea!


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