We’ve been in our new house exactly one week today. Moving into a fully furnished house has its benefits. Until the moving truck showed up with all our stuff, we felt like we were on vacation. Then the moving truck arrived and everything changed.
We purged quite a bit before we moved, but we still ended up with too much stuff. Even though we got rid of most of the furniture items, we had a few things we wanted to keep. Unfortunately, our couch wouldn’t fit through the door and we had nowhere to put a favorite armchair, a very nice table, and a cool cabinet that opens up into a bar. We just don’t have the room we had in our old house.
This house is literally HALF the size of our Atlanta house, and has a completely different feel. It’s a beach house through and through. I tried over and over to explain to my husband that we needed to purge more, but he’s one of those people that’s very emotionally attached to his things. Some people are sentimental like that. I’m not saying it’s negative; it’s just one of those things. I’m the opposite. I hate stuff. I feel like stuff weighs you down, and the less stuff you have, the happier you are. Give it all away for all I care.
We would have been much better off to sell all of our big items in Atlanta, where we could have gotten some decent money for them. As it is now, they’re sitting under my house and I’m giving them away just to get them gone!
We also don’t have a garage at this house. Houses here are built up on pilings because of the flooding during hurricanes. We have quite a bit of space under the house, but it’s open air, not enclosed like a garage. We have all kinds of things that we need but have nowhere to put inside the house, things like tool boxes, tackle boxes, fishing rods, kayaks, bikes, rakes, drills, garden planters, etc… The house was designed for people to stay a week, not forever. We’re going to have to come up with some creative storage solutions pretty quick, and eventually we would like to build a small shed up on pilings as well. Things rust really quickly here because of the salt air. It’s better to have tools and metal things like bikes in an enclosed space.
As for the kids, their rooms in the new house are much smaller than their old rooms. They are 10 and 12, and past the point where they play with toys. They’re into computer games, skateboards, and playing outside. Other than a few special things, we got rid of all their toys, and it’s a good thing because we would have nowhere to put them!
In general I think Americans have too much stuff. Our entire culture is built on consumption. “They” convince you that having new stuff will make you happy; if you just had this one product, then you could be happy. It’s all built on making you feel insecure. You’re assaulted with advertising that shows other happier, more attractive people living carefree lives full of friends and success. Beautiful things for beautiful people!
It’s all a lie. What you own does not bring happiness. In fact, it’s often the opposite. People think, “If I just had a bigger house, a better car, better clothes, cooler things, then everything would go well for me. Then I would feel successful.” I gave up that game long ago. When I moved to Hatteras, I knew I wanted to live close to nature, with the ocean and the island to explore, to raise my kids surrounded by incredible beauty and a tight-knit community. I came for those things, not to have a magazine-worthy house. I plan on getting sand and salt water on everything anyway, so who cares!?!
Lucky for me, someone did a very nice job of decorating this home and I get to benefit from that, because I suck at decorating. I find it incredibly freeing to get rid of my old stuff and walk into a new life. I love this house. I love how it’s decorated and how it’s laid out, I love that it’s a 2 minute walk to the beach, and I love that I have a beautiful sunset view every evening. This is where I want to live, and I’m happy as a clam! The stuff can go! Just give me the beach and the sunset!