Friday, January 13, 2012

Clutterless in Arizona

Mr. Jenny doesn't understand how disturbing I find it to have almost all my treasures packed away in boxes.

In the process of getting ready to move, I've emptied almost all flat surfaces in our house of their ... ummm... charming collection of eclectic ... ummm... stuff.

And it's getting to me.

Sure, I've left the pictures on the wall and most of the stuff is still INSIDE the cupboards, but my library and kitchen shelves are bare. The old school desk and dry sink in my entry way are bare. Everywhere I look all I see are flat surfaces unpunctuated by cool and pseudo-clutterlike things.

Okay. Mostly cool things.

Okay. Some cool things.

And so last night when we met my parents for a birthday dinner for my Mom (homemade chicken and dumplings for me, thank you very much) and I noticed a sign for a Thursday night consignment auction I INSISTED that Mr. Jenny give me a few minutes to check it out.




Lots and lots of stuff.

The item being auctioned when I went in the store was a really neat Roseville vase. It was brown. And I wanted it.

Mr. Jenny must have noticed the look on my face because he said, "Wait! Don't bid on that! I think you have one like it!"

Silly man.

Of course, I knew I had one like it. Of course, I wasn't going to bid. Of course, I wasn't thinking how neat it would be to have a pair of them!

Silly man.

Doesn't he know you have to register before you can bid?

I looked around the room to see where you could register and noticed lots of depression glass, a cool punch bowl, a big pile of dusty old books, some old records...

Mr. Jenny didn't seem very comfortable with me looking around, because I quickly found myself being pulled toward the door by a very determined husband.

"Don't even think about it," he said, "Seriously, I think you packed all that exact same stuff away."

"Think about what?" I replied innocently. "But I miss it. Miss my stuff. I feel like a monk. I need some stuff."

No, I'm pretty sure I don't have an addictive type personality. Why do you ask?

"Look at the boxes," he muttered, "Why do you feel like a monk? You have some stuff. It's just in the boxes. Maybe you could draw some pictures on the outside of the boxes of some of your stuff and that would make you feel better."

"It would be dumb to draw stuff on the boxes...hmmm...but maybe that would be cool...but I don't have time to draw stuff on the boxes...and a monk, you know? In an austere ... ummm... place where Monk's live...with no stuff... you know???...bare? Geez, keep up here buddy!"

Mr. Jenny sighed.

And gave me 'the look'.

So I meekly followed him to the car. Because I am extremely docile like that.



When we got in the car, Mr. Jenny tried to talk me down. "Look how much you've gotten packed. If you got something else you'd just have to pack it right? And just think, maybe after we move you can get rid of some of your ... ummm... stuff ... and get new stuff ... and blah, blah, blah..."

I patted his hand.

And agreed with him.

Silly man.

As if I didn't know all that.

As if I would buy more stuff while in the process of moving.

As if I would even WANT to bid on those two jadeite coffee mugs at the auction house.


Jadeite coffee mugs.


Jadeite coffee mugs.

Those are small.

And don't take up much room.

And, technically, they're not really 'stuff' because you can use them.


I may have to sneak out next Thursday and go to the auction. They might have more coffee mugs then.

Or some cool bowls with polka dots on them.


Well gosh. The possibilites are just endless.

Just don't tell Mr. Jenny we had this little conversation, please!




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Theresa said...

Moving certainly makes you realize what ALL you have! We have been living here for 10 years and when we packed up the OLD house there was a storage building FULL of extra stuff:) I need to just pretend like I am moving to weed out some of what I have packed away that I will never use! Happy packing! Hope this is a HAPPY move! HUGS!

Cheryl said...

I love his solution re: drawing pictures on the boxes. The grandlittles would have so much fun helping you.

(I've been away for awhile ~ what's going on? Where are you moving? Why didn't you send me a note to invite me to help? You know I would have hopped on a plane in a heartbeat or 6. Sooooooooo, what gives?)

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Am I going to see you on Hoarders?

Slamdunk said...

Funny exchange Jenny. With all of the in-person and online auctions out there, it is a wonder that we all do not have duplicates of everything neat.

Vicki/Jake said...

It's not just *stuff*, it's memories to hand down to the grandlittles. Then they can shake their heads, pack them up and take them to the auction house. Doesn't Mr Jenny know that? mwahaha, shop on darlin, life's too short:)

Terra said...

Oh Stuff....As much I love stuff I certainly hate it too...I am kind of glad you didn't buy more stuff have plenty of time after you move and see what you NEED...because we all know if we don't really, we do NEED stuff!!!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Jadeite coffee mugs? So...exactly where is this auction???

Pondside said...

You meek?
You docile?
It's making me disbelieve the rest of the story - I'll be you came home with something!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Moving is not for the faint of heart that is for sure. Packing up our stuff and having to live stuffless for days and weeks well it's just not right! I might, might I say have to visit that auction...but don't tell Mr Jenny! hugs, Linda

Linda @ A La Carte said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda @ A La Carte said...

I hate it when my comment posts twice...they aren't that great! lol

Lady In Read said...

loved this post! made me smile.. and reminded me of when we moved the last time nearly 6 years ago now.. and i sometimes wonder, did i pack up and unpack everything right when i remember some long-lost treasure(for me at least) and cannot find it around...

Jennifer said...

The last time I moved it was a pain, and I was only moving my bedroom. Good luck to you, lol. And keep your hands off your wallet, missy! ;P

Nonna Beach said...

LOL ! I have come to the conclusion I can do without a lot of my stuff as long as I have:

1. Running water, shower, toilet.
2. Electricity.
3. Heat and / or A/C.
4. Civilization within a short drive.
5. A good bed to sleep in and my cell phone and computer.

I want to have all the junk we've collected on the walls and every flat surface in the house. Then I think about our kids having to get rid of it all when we're gone so now I am getting rid of stuff I haven't used in a long time.

It is like a weight being lifted off my shoulders already, even though I am at the beginning of the process !

You probably have enough stuff too, it's just fun to drive Mr. Jenny crazy !!!

Willoughby said...

If you do sneak back to the auction house, can I come with you? Roseville vases and jadeite mugs??? I'm practically drooling. Next time Mr. Jenny has a cup of coffee, I think you should remind him how much more he might enjoy it in one of the jadeite mugs he encouraged you not to buy. That'll show him!

Kitchenware (of any kind) is my weakness. When I was Christmas shopping, I saw a gorgeous footed dish in an antique shop. It was hand painted and I fell in love with it, but I resisted buying it because I wasn't shopping for myself that day. It has haunted me ever since. Why didn't I buy it??

As for missing your "stuff", I know how you feel. We moved in with my parents when were renovating our house and my "stuff" was boxed up for months. I missed cooking with my own pots and pans and just looking at my favorite treasures. It made it that much more sweet when I finally got them back out. Hang in there, you'll see your stuff again soon!!

Lorrie said...

We're in the midst of a move, too. Most of my stuff is in boxes far away and I feel like I'm camping in our temporary digs. I miss my stuff. How materialistic is that? Just saying it makes me feel shallow. I'm trying really really hard to not collect MORE stuff while I wait for my OLD stuff to arrive.

Just a few more weeks, I tell myself.

Maybe we could sneak off to the auction together on Thursday night?

Leovi said...

I wish you a happy move. Greetings.

My Grama's Soul said...

Hi're moving.....good for you! Big space or small space....we all need our STUFF!



Ames said...

You're addicted.I have the same problem as you. If I pass by it the first time , it's all I think about until I go back and see if it's still there.

Surely you could find room for two more Jadite cups. ~Ames :)

anitamombanita said...

awwww, I feel your pain... and then again... my hubs is probably more like you and I'm probably more like Mr. Jenny...or something like that... you get my drift... oh well, next Thursday is only 6 short days away... ;)

Memoirs of Me & Mine said...

I had no idea how much stuff I had until we moved. I think pictures on the boxes is a cute idea.

Naperville Now said...

Jenny -- One of the most liberating things I have ever read is Martha Beck's article on "Just in case/just in need." I based my basement purge (and now my life, at least most of it) on this principle. Here's the link:
Let me know what you think.

Sue said...

Oh boy, can I ever relate!

I have a feeling Mr. Jenny and Mr. Anderson would have a lot to talk about...


Andy said...

Hello Jenny.
I love reading your posts. You're quite the character!
I'm afraid I'm one for hoarding "stuff". I hate to throw anything away. My wife is always telling me I need to have a purge. I tend to buy now & ask questions later whereas my wife is the smart one who insists on buying only if it's a necessity & not a flimsy want. She's usually the voice of reason & gets her way, MOST of the time...noticed how I said MOST & not ALL (smile)!

Anyway, I digress...wishing you all the best with the move & your future "stuff". Who knows, like Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said, we might see you on a future episode of Hoarders!

Have a great weekend!

Ms. A said...

I'm afraid it would take something drastic, like a move, to get a handle on all the "stuff" around here. Plus, we have a ginormous storage building... full. That's why I don't bother looking at anything anymore, there's no place left to put it!

Brenda said...

Moving? When and where? I've been out of touch. I need to read back. We moved just a few years ago. I had lived in the same house for 28 years. I expect I have mentioned that before. There were a lot of boxes, a whole lot of boxes.

jen said...

Hmmmm. Did this sign happen to be on Main Street, east of Val Vista, on the south side of the road in a dumpy little strip mall?

Yes, you say?

Hmmm. Never heard of it.

Cough cough.

Wanda..... said...

I completely understand...I have a thing for pretty cups and small bowls too!

You could feel a book with your writings, Jenny...and I would buy it for sure!

Jo said...

oh yes, you are meek and docile like that!!! NOT!!! fess up, what did you buy???

Busy Bee Suz said...

You are living like a monk. I don't know how long you can last. I really think you need some of those jadeite coffee mugs. Like really bad Jenny.

Judie said...

I was forced to clean my studio 6 months ago because Rod was tired of looking at my "junk," even though the door was always closed. I threw away tons of "stuff" and stored the rest in two storage units in the garage. Of course, now I can't find anything, and some of that stuff that I tossed ended up being needed by Rod for an outdoor repair project he and a friend were doing. "Sorry!" I told him. "I did have some of that but I THREW IT AWAY WHEN I CLEANED!"

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

My husband would be perfectly content with absolutely nothing on flat surfaces or walls.

Right now I kind of agree with Mr. Jenny though. You'd just have to pack anything new and then it might get broken in the move.

Anna said...

Dear Jenny and Mr. Jenny,

My heart bleeds for you! Moving is no fun! I moved in July and I still have lots and lots of boxes to unpack and stuff to find a place for.

It's a b-t-h moving from a big town house to a small apartment.

I love my treasures too. But wait to buy more until after you move to the new place. Don't go to any more auctions.

I went online and found twelve wonderful books that I would like to give myself as a belated Christmas and birthday present. But then I looked at the bookshelves that I promised myself to build and all of the boxes of books that need a to find a shelf of their own... I cancelled the order to the internet bookstore. I will order them when I deserve them!

Take it easy. Don't be in a hurry.

Hugs from

By the way, I have quoted you or misquoted you here:
Anna's RRW - Challenge No 29 - 'Anita's New Year's Resolution'