Monday, August 31, 2015

Where Has All This “Stuff” Come From?

Did you ever take a step back and look at the things that fill your homes?  I am afraid to do this.  Honestly.  I feel that if I took stock of the “stuff” in my house (and, I guess, my life), the posted picture of me at the Cliffs of Moher would have the rocks replaced by “stuff” (yes, you can substitute any word there that might be more appropriate).  My basement had a flood two years ago…I still have the piles of “stuff” with no homes and for some reason, even though I avoid that part of the room, the mounds have continued to grow.  In my case, as far as I know, there is no tectonic plate movement in my basement. I feel like Pigpen from Peanuts…every level in my house, the garage, the attic, and the kids rooms (their “stuff”); “stuff” seems to follow me wherever I go.

For the three weeks in Dublin, I lived out of a hotel room.  Yes, that would be a lifestyle I can get used to.  Walk downstairs in the morning and enjoy a breakfast buffet.  Someone straightens my room for me.  Fresh, clean towels provided daily.  Laundry folded and delivered to the room, whether I am there or not.  All of this, and I survived with just the needed amount of clothes, mobile devices and a laptop.  From a materialistic point of view, all I missed was my piano.  If I wanted something that enhanced what I had or was hungry, just walk outside and go to the supermarket nearby or to one of the stores, which were plentiful.  Life was great.  So why, when I am at home, do I need all of this “stuff”?

Some “stuff” is from different parts of my life, like:
  • Cassette tapes (long gone are the 8 tracks), mostly Grateful Dead shows, which I can easily listen to online 
  • VHS tapes, mostly Disney and other movies we wanted to share with our girls when they were young, which I can easily watch on demand, on my computer or TV
  • Books, both from school and for pleasure, mostly to fill a library room one-day (like I need a whole room for more “stuff”), which I can easily read electronically and take up no space
  • Paper / bills / documents sitting in piles to be filed, mostly as a record for tax purposes, which I can easily scan and store electronically and catalog more efficiently
  • “Heirlooms” from my parent’s house to pass on to Gab and Bec, which we neither use nor display and my kids probably won’t want.   
Maybe I was a pirate in a past life, because I know there has to be a treasure hidden under some of our “stuff”.  The truth is, I probably do not need all of this “stuff”.  The solution?   Once the girls are off to school, Debbie and I will start the process of thinning out our “stuff”. 

How do you handle your “stuff”?

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