I am running out of space to put things. I wish my house was bigger, or that we had just one more room so that we could spread out a bit. My husband and I have lived alone in a four bedroom house since our children moved out. Apart from our bedroom, one other bedroom is kept free for visitors, another has been converted into an extended walk-in wardrobe, and the other room is my craft and sewing room. Our garage is so small that my husband can’t even fit the car into it anymore, and I’m sick of our pokey little kitchen with not enough cupboard or bench space. We don’t even have a proper dining room because that is where my husband does his IT work, and the dining table is always full of bits and pieces of computer parts.
Every time I go shopping now, I have to be creative about finding new places to store my purchases, and I sometimes even have to buy new things when I need them, just because I can’t find the ones I already have.
My husband won’t listen to me when I tell him that we need to add another room to our house. He just grumbles and tells me that I have too many things! My children threaten to “help” me to clean up whenever they come to visit, but they have no idea. They are always trying to throw away or use my good things that I have been keeping safe for years. They have no respect for my possessions and I feel very threatened when they come to visit because they move things, and often things go missing. I am even afraid to go away to visit my daughter who lives interstate because I worry about what my family will do with my things when I’m not there.
If I had just one more room, I could put all my valuables into it and lock the door. At least then I would be able to leave the house without fear of my best things being thrown away, taken or broken. What can I do to convince my husband to understand how difficult he is making my life for me?
How many of these “things” are actually being used or are ever likely to be used? It sounds to me that you do a lot of “storing” or “hoarding”, and that a large percentage of your possessions are kept away in safe hiding places. Is there any specific reason for you to be doing this? Like, for example, are you stocking up on provisions in preparation for the apocalypse, or do you intend to donate these goods to disadvantaged families, or open a second-hand shop to sell your wares? If not, then why on Earth would you burden yourself and your husband with so much stuff? It sounds as if your possessions have taken over your house and you and your husband are forced to live around them, caring for them, and in your case, protecting them from thieves and looters. Is this what you intended? Do you miss your children? Do you feel that you need things to look after and fuss over? Would you feel unsafe without the security of a bounty of potentially essential items that will “come in handy” one day? Would you feel unprepared to face life without a full stock of everything you might possibly ever need?
There are all sorts of organizational tips for uncluttering and stream-lining your living areas. There are even special “coaches” who assist people to lose material weight from their homes, in the same way as you humans have personal trainers to lose weight from your bodies. These solutions may work to immediately shed a few hundred kilos of clutter, but unless you can fully understand your needs/motives/compulsions to accumulate so many things in the first place, you are just likely to go and take great delight in filling all that new space in your home with more “things”.
I suggest you take some time to really think about what non-material, long-lasting, and fulfilling sustenance is missing from your life. Do you love and appreciate yourself and your talents? Do you lack a sense of satisfaction and achievement from your sewing and craft projects? Have you invested enough effort and care into yourself and your own artistic development? How are your relationships with your husband and children? Do you feel connected to them emotionally? How well do you understand and acknowledge their needs, desires and passions? How well do they understand and acknowledge your own?
Before you reach compulsively for the most automatic and familiar forms of self acknowledgement that you know (buying and storing material goods), think about how good you would feel, if rather than adding to your external inventory, you were to add to your internal inventory. What is missing inside of you? Create some more of that for yourself, by doing, being, and appreciating all the things you like best about yourself. You don’t need to extend yourself through material possessions to become more of a worthy human being. The best things you have to offer are the things that you create for yourself.