From dorm room to dangerously overloaded

The comment from Michelle (my college roomate) made me think…how did I get from dorm room contents to what I have now? I admit, it did take two cars to move me in to my dorm room at Wake Forest every year. And because my family lived pretty close, I would usually accumulate quite a bit more during the year. When I first met Carter, he claimed that he never wanted to own more than he could fit into his 1970-something Mazda GLC hatchback. I was never clear if this was due to his desire for minimalism, or to the exhaust smell that filled the car and tended to stick with you or whatever was with you for several days. But boy did I change that man and his ways.

We moved to Lexington, KY right before we married, filling a huge box truck with our belongings — mainly clothes, some hand-me-down furniture, and far too many wedding presents. These were the early days of the Pottery Barn catalog and I so wanted our home to look like something from it’s pages. So we bought, and bought. We didn’t have children then so two incomes would go incredibly far. We also purchased clothes like crazy people and spent a small fortune eating out and traveling.

By the time we moved back to NC, we required a portion of an 18-wheeler to move us. Our first home was 1300 square feet with 3 bedrooms. We expanded to fill that space, then had to downsize when we moved to Northern CA and had to fit our necessary belongings, as well as baby equipment and a home office, into a meager 900 square feet. Yet we filled an 18-wheeler again on that move! We decided to store some of our “beloved” belongings in a storage unit in NC, assuming we would return eventually. But once we did, almost two years later, we realized we had paid over $1000 to store a bunch of crap we never missed–and we turned around and sold it all at a yard sale (pocketing a whopping $200–some really great financial management).

Our first Chapel Hill house was more than twice the size of our CA house, and once again, we bought enough to fill it. And of course, once our daughter was up and moving about, she had to have a playroom (in addition to her own room). That room, along with our full-sized attic and garage were filled with current kid stuff, or outgrown kid stuff we planned to use again.

Our new house (well, old house, but new to us) that we purchased so that we could get into the coveted Chapel Hill school system, has no attic and no garage. So what you see is what you get in this house. If we aren’t currently using it, it has to go. However, this house is the largest house we’ve ever owned (2400 sq. feet–probably considered small to most by todays standards!) and every room is filled. And naturally, I’ve cast aside my Pottery Barn ways for more modern design, so I set my sites on replacing a lot of our stuff with clean-lined furniture and mid-century modern classics. Time to stop moving and start replacing!

So Michelle, thanks for bringing back the Davis dorm memories. I did have some damn fine Halloween decorations in the day. We’re hardly suffering so far with our purchase-free living, but check in with me in October and it may be a different story!

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