Do you ever feel like you’ve got too much stuff? Stuff. Our lives are inundated with stuff! At least in middle class America it is. I realized we could talk about the economic side of this, and how we are blessed when we have a home and things to fill it (and we are!). But today I want to focus on the view that if we’re not careful, the stuff we own, could soon own us.
Do you ever go looking for something, but because you have so much stuff, you just can’t find it, so you go out and buy another one? And if you don’t take time to organize your things, you feel guilty. If you get rid of something that you didn’t wear out, you feel guilty. If you throw away the macaroni glued on construction paper to make a flower given to you by your now twenty-something child when they were in kindergarten, you feel guilty! If you throw out the Christmas cards you got in 1997, you feel guilty! Society gives us so much stuff, but gives us no instructions for what to do with it after we receive it. I’ve tried (making people mad) to refuse to take a slip of paper (example: while sitting watching a parade and people walk by and give you’re their flier) but I eventually complied, to only throw it away. Ugh! It’s like we are bucking society to not jump on the “STUFF” bandwagon.
I remember realizing when my boys were small…everywhere they went, they brought home stuff. If we picked up fast food, there was a toy to bring home. If they went to Bible School, they brought home crafts, toys, stickers and papers. When they started school there was more and more stuff. Everyone wants to give you stuff anymore. Have you noticed? It’s not just the kids, but adults too. I gave blood weeks ago and they gave me a t-shirt and the host facility gave us a bag that had a magnet and some hand sanitizer in it along with a brochure. At my house, these things pile up on the counter, and then find their way into a basket. I have to get in that “get rid of things” mode to go through things, or they just keep piling up. Been there?
This week I’m having a garage sale at Mom’s (the ideal location). It’s been many years since any of the family has had a garage sale at Mom’s. We used to have toys and children’s clothes, but now they kids are out of the house, and it’s all our stuff. We lost three of our parents in an 18 month period. Along with the grief, what did we have to deal with? You guessed it. Their stuff. There is sentiment connected to stuff. There are practical reasons to keep stuff. And then there’s that “what if I might need it later” running in the back of your head when you look at all of this stuff.
That sentimental part is something I’m rethinking any more too. Although I want things to remind me of the love I have for people, especially those people I’ve lost, when I start thinking I need to keep it to pass down through the family for these reasons too, I’m now stopping myself and asking if they ones I expect to pass them to have any sentiment for them. If not, what am I doing? So I’m starting to take that crystal candy dish out of my china cupboard and using it…not saving it for…well what was I saving it for? Beyond me, who will appreciate the Opal Ganger gave it to me because she was friends with Grandma Johnson and knew we had Grandma’s china cupboard to put it in.
So as I look towards cupboards and closets, I no longer ask, “How am I going to organize this?” I ask, “Do I need to own this?” Hence the garage sale.
So do you have an influx of “stuff” in your life? Purge with me. Organization feels good. You deserve the simplicity that life can have if you are organized and can find what you need, and only own what you need.
But for those of you that actually NEED more stuff…I know of a really good garage sale Thursday!