An often overlooked potential stressor when preparing to build or remodel is the purging of your stuff. A 1987 Webster’s Dictionary defines the word purge as “to purify; to cleanse; to clear out; to clear from guilt”. I (Sandy) define it as the dreaded necessary evil of parting with your stuff by the acts of editing, dumping, giving away, repurposing and selling some of your space-hogging stuff.
Many years ago, my Dad “had” to build a detached garage for himself so my Mom could keep turning their attached garage into a huge closet for all her stuff. Her value system included a need for collecting fashionable clothes, jewelry, purses and shoes and lots from each category. I likened it to a craft room or hobby room that a lot of people enjoy. But, boy, did my mom and dad go round and round as he was forced to leave the car in the driveway. Talk about stress listening to them fight over the garage. Winter fights were even worse as he brushed off the snow from his car! The new detached garage had a room added to the back of it for more of mom’s stuff. It strikes me as funny now, but it was not one bit fun back then, especially when my siblings and I were the ones who had to finally deal with her stuff. It was sad and painful.
When you look at the blueprints of your new home, where are you going to put all the stuff you’ve accumulated over the past 25 years? Is that one of the “whys” for your building project. So you have more room to stuff your stuff? Take a close look at the storage space and the wall space on your blueprint.
I helped Bill and April review their blueprint only to discover they had a dining room wall that was 3” too short to place an old china cabinet that April inherited from a favorite aunt. Bill said they were not adding 3” to the wall and he hated that piece of furniture anyway. She admitted that it wasn’t her favorite either, but it had belonged to her aunt and she couldn’t disrespect her by not using it. He strongly suggested they did not need a china cabinet of any sort. And so it goes.
There are books to read about the fascinating topic of clutter and how to get rid of space-hogging stuff. I have learned this all has to do with emotional attachments that are not serving you well. I recommend a book called Take the U out of Clutter by Carmen Berry and Mark Brunetz for solutions to having too much stuff.