Stuff, stuff and more stuff. You know what I mean…all those things you hold onto…just in case.
Now, there are 2 different types of people. Those who save and those who don’t.
My sister does not save. If she hasn’t used it in 6 months out it goes…even if it’s something that is valuable. Even if she has the storage space. She hates clutter and things hanging around.
My daughter is the sameish. She is willing to store things that are valuable for that ‘just in case’ scenario. For example – I recently gave her garlands that can be used at Christmas. These garlands are thick and amazing and can’t even be purchased today…so she is saving them for when she needs them…in her attic. But other things…no way! If she doesn't like it or want to store it, she will say ‘no thanks’.
– Are you saving the baking pans you bought 20 years ago to make that special cake and have never made again…just in case.
– Or the cute note and post-it pads that were given to you and you hardly ever use…just in case.
– Or those candles that you receive every year for Christmas (you must have 20 in a drawer somewhere) but you hate to throw them away because they were a gift…just in case.
– What about the books? Books you have already read….books you will never read again. Are you hanging onto those books just in case?
– How about the furniture. You loved that table in your last house and just can’t seem to part with it…even though it does not fit in your new house. But, you hold onto it…just in case.
Just in case you decide to make that cake, use those notepads, read that book, burn that candle?
Recently I met 2 couples.
One couple was in their 80’s and the other in their 50’s. And, for some unknown reason, the subject of moving came up and of course our stuff. Probably because stuff is on my mind.
The 50ish year old husband’s mom is moving and downsizing. Every time she goes to visit her son she
brings things for him to keep. Things she wants to save but doesn’t have the room for. Things he does not want.
The couple in their 80’s have a 7 bedroom house…and 3 grown sons. They have so much stuff and no one wants it. No one. The kids have what they want and what they need and don’t want to add to their own already overflowing homes.
I am in the process of purging and am struggling with my stuff. My kids don’t want it. My friends will take some of it. Even my cleaning lady is tired of taking home ‘my stuff’…she has become more discerning in what she puts in her car.
And some of our stuff is not worthy of keeping.
And then I started thinking about the ‘old days’. Those ‘Little House on the Prairie’ days. Did they have stuff? Nope. What they owned they kept forever. In fact, most things had multiple uses and got passed down through generations who wanted, and needed those items.
I have a drawer – A WHOLE DRAWER – of measuring cups and measuring spoons. In all different shapes and sizes. When my mother-in-law passed away, and I looked in her drawers, she had one set of each. Because that is all that she needed.
So, why do I have a whole drawer? How did that happen? And do I need to keep ALL of them?
You know…those big letters that get sewn onto a sweater or jacket when someone participates in sports. There must have been 20 letters in that bag.
My mother-in-law saved them when my husband was in high school (58 years ago). When she downsized and moved she gave them to us. We put them in our attic about 10 years ago. In fact, we even moved them to a new attic because we didn’t know what to do with them and felt weird throwing them away. They are memories that need to be kept, right?
There are 2 different kinds of stuff. There are the tangible ones. That baking pan, table, placemats, notepads and candles. The ones that you save ‘just in case’.
And then there is the stuff that comes under the heading of memories.
All of those things that you save because someone gave them to you, your kids made it when they were 5, your mom gave it to you before she died, or you could just not part with it.
You see, those sports letters are my husband's memories. They hold NO special place in the hearts of me or our family. And yes, I am sure that each letter has a story attached to it…but no one wants to hear those stories either.
That box of baby things that I saved for each of my children…those are my memories. Not theirs. Those are things that I should have been looking at for me…not saving for them. (I saved my son's pacifiers and newborn hat in a box. Does he want it? No.)
Those photo albums are mine…for me. My memories. Those elementary school gifts are my memories..and mean nothing to them.
So, in the process of purging and sorting and giving or throwing away, I have come to realize that I need to look at my stuff through the lens of MY memories and not someone else’s. I really kept those things because they are important to me and no one else.
And I need to let go and not get upset when my family members say, ‘thanks but no thanks mom’. Because it is my memory…and not theirs.
In closing…I would like to encourage you to take out those ‘memories’ that you have been saving and look at them. Touch them. And remember. Maybe even tell the stories about those memories to the ones that you love. Knowing that those are memories that you keep close to your heart…because they belong to you.
Joyful Living is ALL about not letting let the circumstances of YOUR life determine who you really are. You learn to choose YOU instead! Not sure how to do that? Let me help!
To begin, go ahead and read:
Tools to help you live a joyful and more fulfilled life