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The Right Stuff Vs. The Wrong Stuff

July 14, 2015

box stuffFrom the get-go we accumulate Baby Stuff. Diapers, bottles, onesies. Next comes Adolescent Stuff like Lincoln Logs, Barbies, board games, baseball gloves and elementary school artwork too “special” to toss that will fill space under the bed. By the time we head off to college, however, that stuff is left behind without so much as a backwards glance.

Then there’s College Stuff. Textbooks, sweatshirts and shot glasses. (Oh my!) Those four years of further accumulation fly by faster than you can say, “Yard Sale” and before you know it, that stuff is brought home and piled atop your Childhood Stuff.

But now you’re on the verge of adulthood and it’s time to say, “buh bye” to Past Stuff so you can make room for Future Stuff. Don’t promise your folks you’ll be back to get your stuff once you’re settled. Get rid of it now, especially if you’re meshing your stuff with your Partner’s Stuff, because I’ll tell you right now, adulthood is all about acquiring More Stuff.

boxes stuffWedding gifts, baby clothes and weekly trips to Home Goods will quickly engulf your home. It’s only years later do you wake up overwhelmed thinking, “Where did all this stuff come from?!” That’s when you grab that Hefty Cinch sack and start tossing. But beware, you will suffer through the realization of how you could have used the money that went into buying all That Stuff towards your mortgage or that dream vacation.

It’s a fact most of the people in your home will eventually move out and soon that art studio you always wanted becomes possible, but not yet. Somehow there’s still Extra Stuff to purge. But then one day (one day!) you will reach your goal where you’re down to only the Right Stuff, the things you really love, and life is suddenly leisurely. At least for a while.

You see, with age comes Senior Stuff and that, my friends, is a whole ‘nother story. Soon your dream art studio may need to make room for a walker or a stand-up chair. And it’s in that chair where you might spend most of your time looking around at whatever stuff you still have and think, “If only I had spent more time collecting memories.”

Don’t let Things Stuff get in the way of the Right Stuff.


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  1. I developed the mindset that “books want to be read”, “clothes want to be worn”, etc. which helped me get rid of a lot of things that I wasn’t using anymore (3 bookshelves full of books, many lawn and garden bags of old clothes to charity, and a lot of items my son sold at the community garage sale.)

  2. Tom Olverson permalink

    Stuff is so weird! I think we delude ourselves into believing that the great moments in life will linger if we just keep some stuff to remind us of them. As usual, thoughtful insight, Felice. Thank you!

  3. Marilyn Solomon permalink

    This is so true! 🌹😍

  4. Tracey permalink

    Hi Felice, Thanks for the interesting post! I parted with a lot of Stuff prior to moving across country. Now I am looking at 2 large closets of Stuff that is just packed or “there. I still have many things I won’t part with–particularly jeans and designer dresses I have that haven’t fit me for years. I still feel hopeful… Meanwhile, I do agree that it seems to be human nature to get caught up accumulating Stuff. As far as old things, there are some things I can’t let go of and, little by little, some things I realize I have to. I guess purging things, a little at a time, helps. Well, you have given me something to think about now…

    • Yes, Tracey, little by little is better than not for sure. Good for you. I’ve worked with lots of people and often saving those clothes to “fit one day” , while hopeful, when they do fit again are often out of style. Promising yourself a kick ass new outfit works wonders for motivation too! Keep up the great work! Congrats on the move

  5. Deborah permalink

    Took me a while to read this one…but ain’t it the truth.

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