Saturday, July 21, 2012

Stuff Is Just Stuff...

Cluttered shed
photo credit
A little over a week ago my family and I lived in a decent sized house. We had three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a very large family room, a den, a large dining room, a kitchen, a garage and a finished basement. We had room for stuff so we filled our home with stuff.

Then we had an unexpected move and downsized to an 1100 square foot townhouse. Downsizing meant that a lot of the stuff we had accumulated wouldn't fit so we purged. We went through every corner of the house- nothing was safe from being sold, given away to friends or being donated. If it wasn't going to fit in the townhouse then it was gone- no matter if we just bought it or really liked it. No fit, no keep.

We got rid of so many things that if not put in this situation I would have said no way, no how am I getting rid of it. I was attached to objects just because I thought we needed them or because I spent money on them and thought it would be wasteful to get rid of them. Well, a lot of stuff is gone now and guess what? I obviously didn't need them because I am still alive without them. I've also realized that spending money on something is not a good reason to keep it if it is cluttering your life.

I feel free without tons of stuff just hanging around my home. Everything we have now is intentional- everything we kept was looked at and we made an intentional decision to keep it, not a mindless decision to just throw it in the back of a closet or in the basement to collect dust because we may use it someday. My outlook on what I bring into my home has changed- whatever I buy now I look at and ask myself if we really need it and if I have space for it. If the answers are no then back on the shelf it goes, no matter how cheap it is. Spending a penny on something that I don't need is a penny too much and even if something is free I would be spending the precious resource of space which isn't worth it to me.

It really is quite humbling getting rid of so much stuff but what a lesson we learned from this experience! Stuff is just stuff. It doesn't make you who you are or make people like you any better. We purged half of everything we owned and you know what? We are better people for it.

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