The past couple of days have been purging days, at least for me. I have been trying to go through things here that have not been used in ages or that we don't need anymore. Believe me, it's easier said than done! Since I have been away for quite awhile, I do not have the attachments to things around here anymore like my sisters do. It is easy for me to say, "Oh, you don't need that anymore." They do not find that amusing after they hear me say that to more than half of their stuff.
Actually, they have been pretty good about getting rid of things. In fact, each of them had more bags to give to Goodwill than I thought I could get out of them. So, today we loaded all of the stuff for Goodwill into my van (which was packed to the max!), and my sister dropped it off on her way to the school. It was a beautiful, sunny day today for us to be outside accomplishing a good thing. There is now a small corner of the garage that we can move around in as we go through the rest of the garage and purge some more!
When I get on a purging kick, I sometimes carry that over into rearranging. My excuse is that I need to move furniture around to be sure that I am not missing something that could be thrown away or given away. In all honesty, I just like moving furniture. So that is what I did, as well. The new layout has proven to be a success. My family has commented on how much they like it. We are hopefully soon going to get a new couch since ours is very old and falling apart. Then I get to rearrange again! Yay!!
Now how does all of my ramblings about purging and rearranging furniture relate to the 19th century? Well, given that houses were a lot smaller than most of ours today, families during that time did not have much space to just store things they did not use regularly. As children outgrew things, they were either passed down to the next child or remade into something that could be used. If that wasn't the case, then once something couldn't be used anymore, it was gotten rid of. Another good point to make here is that children did not have all of the toys and things that children of today have. They had much fewer belongings. Again, the space issue and not a lot of money for "extra" things.
The mentality was also different during that era. Material things were not as important. The family had what it needed and maybe a little extra, but it was not consumed with stuff. As the mother of the house, she was constantly trying to keep things in their place or get rid of them so they had room to eat, sleep, learn, and spend time together. There probably wasn't much rearranging of furniture, given that they didn't have a lot of pieces nor a lot of space in their small houses. However, I bet women sometimes got an urge to just change things up a bit for variety's sake like I do. It might be in our nature. Well... at least I think so!
You know what they say - "variety is the spice of life!"