What Happens When a Frugal Dutch Girl Starts Tossing Junk

At the very start of the relocation process we proclaimed that we would not move anything that, upon unpacking, we’d scratch our heads, wondering why we actually put it in a box and onto a moving truck.  Well, my husband proclaimed, I reluctantly agreed. As such began the purge. 

A little back story, I’m Dutch. The Dutch are notoriously frugal. 

Frugal:  sparing or economical with regard to money or food.

The trendy term is minimalist, but I was minimalist before it was cool, pretty much from the womb, in fact. I don’t buy much, but once I own it, I keep it, determined to put it to as much use as humanly possible. I’m pretty sure that in the Dutch language waste is a four letter word. Not only do we not buy much, we keep what we buy. 

Thus, this whole purging thing felt pretty much like blasphemy to me. 

Reluctance is the name of my game. Every item picked up gets careful consideration and a second opinion from my husband, whose universal answer is “toss it” (Shoot). I’ve always been good at the donations.  Armed with a pen and notebook I take careful inventory for tax deductions then take pleasure in dropping off the items at our local nonprofit which sells our items to provide support local families. Having volunteered for the organization I’m fully bought in and have zero qualms about sending them anything useful. 

It’s the throw away pile that kills me. 

Like the name meaning photo that was all the rage in the 90’s when we got married.  It’s been quietly hanging above our beds declaring our gifts to the world for almost 16 years in this house and 22 years total. I’ve never actually liked it. But tossing it?  Certainly there’s some value left in the warped page…

And our Christmas tree. Purchased from Target for $69.99 eleven years ago, just to get us through a couple of seasons. It started out pathetic and grew to be just hideous. I’ve taken pride in leaving it as wonky as possible and considering it my “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree”. But in our new house, a log house with cathedral ceilings and a stone fireplace, it simply won’t do. A majestic real tree will take it’s place this year, but not without a moment of silence for our beloved junker that will probably be found in an archeological excavation in the year 5872 by foljs wondering what the heck we did with such things. 

Once I got going this throwing away thing has it’s perks. It feels like freedom!  Like shedding skin! It is spring after all and suddenly the momentum is building and I’m hauling garbage bags from one room to the next, cackling as I go and skipping as I drag the overflowing dumpster to the curb, weighted down with 16 years worth of accumulated crap. 

Not that I’m getting carried away or anything. 

My husband who started the whole purging process in the first place can now be seen rushing to pack boxes as quickly as possible, attempting to save the last vestiges of our 22 years worth of accumulated household belongings.  It’s a hysterical race to see who gets the most stuff in their pile. He’s winning, but I still stand a chance. 

Nope, I’m not getting carried away at all. 


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