Monday, July 27, 2015

A Home Buying Journey Part Two: The Necessity of Things

When we registered for our wedding, I barely put anything on our registry. I believe there were about 30-40 items total, meaning that each pillowcase for our duvet cover were listed as one item. I didn't want to be greedy, and to be honest, I wanted to make sure we were only getting what we needed and not overcrowding our tiny one bedroom apartment we were renting at the time. Maybe it was living in a developing nation for three months shortly before getting married that caused this minimalism. For the most part, other than a few quirky gifts, we received a lot of gift cards, which helped us not only buy things we felt we really needed, but some even helped us with simple necessities like buying groceries.

For some, not all, there is a stigma around gift cards and buying off of registries. I used to be in that category. Giving "personal" gifts seemed so much more creative. Finally, a talk with a soon-to-be married friend gave me some perspective. She told me that her and her almost-husband already had been living lives outside of their parents homes and had most of what a newly married couple would need. They had decided to register for camping equipment as they were going backpacking in Europe for their honeymoon. 

When we found out we were pregnant and it was coming time to start the registry process, a friend gave me some of the best advice I received (however I have heard it is very different from some of my "boy mom" friend's experience). She said don't bother registering for blankets or clothes. People will get them for you. To be honest, we got very little of what we actually needed in actual gifts but a lot of gift cards, which helped. In the end, while Olive stayed in preemie and newborn clothes for quite some time, she grew out of anything 0-9 months very quickly. So many outfits I dreamed of putting her in from before she could wear clothes are packed away, never worn. I have stored a lot of her clothes on the off chance she has a little sister, but a part of me feels completely guilty that someone possibly wasted money on those items otherwise. 

Because of this, when it came time for Olive's birthday, we kindly suggested making donations to various charities in her name or making a deposit to her future fund. Being able to begin saving for her future as early as her first year of life has been the most rewarding gift to give. 

It all made me realize is, how much "stuff" do we really need? 

I am the worst when it comes to thinking I need something new. We need a new TV, we need a new duvet cover, we need new curtains. I have a long running, seemingly never ending list of items I think we "need." On the other hand,  I am the kind of person who feels that I need to hide all of my crazy when people come over, very similar to Monica Gellar and her "secret closet". 
Recently I woke up and decided I needed to get rid of my "secret closet" and began my journey of purging everything. So far we have donated 5 or more bags of clothing, a bag of shoes, sold some DVDs and are working on other parts of our house. It is surprisingly easier than I anticipated and very freeing! 

As we move towards buying a new home and keeping in mind that we could be moving to a space the size of our current apartment including one more bedroom, deciding what we really need versus what we just "think" we need has become increasingly important. I want to teach Olive to value and care for the things she has, but also not to put so much importance on "things". 

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