Oliver has been helping me get things cleaned off/organized for his baby brother. He likes that he gets to help me. I like that I can send him running up and down the stairs for me. He gets to tell me how much bigger and better he is than his younger brother. His younger brother doesn't seem to give a rip about anything. Everybody wins.
In going through all of Oliver's old stuff, I realized that I probably have only 50% of the volume of stuff I had when Oliver was born. I thought I needed everything from the Babies R Us catalog in order to take care of him. I thought that if everybody else bought these things, they must be useful... right? Not so much. The baby bathtub, the 6 piece matching outfits, the bottle warmer, the giant stroller - All useless. I won't miss them.
I want a lot of things, sure. Mostly things to make the house look nice. Mostly things for me to play with that I can get by without. But stuff for the baby? There just isn't much I need. Somebody I knew had a fridge magnet that quoted, "Not wanting something is as good as possessing it." That's pretty true.
I don't want that junk, I don't miss it, I have more space because I don't have it. It is nice.
One of my secret fears is that I'll become a hoarder. I feel a little bit of guilt when donating gifts from family or throwing out things that I've had forever, but... Really, I know that I'll forget all about it in 2 weeks' time and never think of that stuff again. I always tell myself, "Well, self, if you need a paint stained tshirt/pasta serving size guide/shoe horn you can always buy yourself another one when the time comes." And very rarely do I need to do that. I almost never regret the decision to throw away/donate items. If anything, it liberates me.
I would have been a terrible homemaker in the Depression, but c'est la vie.
All of the baby's stuff fits in his room, and we're barely missing anything. Basically, all he needs are clothes. (Correction: He only needs clothes that are the right season. We have some fine fleece sleepers for him to wear in June.) We're also missing the little things that are meant to be single use or semi-disposable anyway - pacifiers, bottle pieces, pump parts. But we can always pick those things up at Target, no big deal.
And you know what? With the help of my sister, I have gone through and unpacked every single box/bag of junk I had in the house. No more mystery boxes. No more closets piled high with mystery content. It's all gone.
I wish I could say that that means that I know where everything is. I don't. Some things have gone AWOL. I never found my precious collection of spices. I never found my fancy new oven mitts. Gone forever are a lamp, the baby's changing organizer, the lids to 3 of my pots, and some attachments to my blender. But at least now I know they're not lurking in any of the unpacked corners of my house.
Now that is a good feeling.