By appointment, Monday-Thursday
It’s All Just Stuff

Last week we wrote about moving my daughter and son-in-law into a new home and how much I, “Packer Man” enjoy moving and organizing things. It caused me to think about how much stuff we all accumulate and why we think it’s important. Seems we move into a new house and enjoy extra drawers and empty shelves in closets, but before long, we fill it. It is a habit few people successfully resist.

And now I’m here to admit, there is a dark side to my Packer Man self, “Saver Man.” I justify the habit by how well the stuff is organized–mostly. It’s the I might need that someday, I know where everything is syndrome. Which leads to jars of nuts and bolts, stacks of car magazines, assorted lumber, an old front door, and a broken leaf blower.  Even a “donor vehicle.” How many hammers and spare parts can I use in a lifetime? Really, how many garages and sheds does one man need? Many of us display a few symptoms of hoarding. Some of us, more than others.

I do not wish to oversimplify the topic, but the truth is that most of what we really need is within. But because we undervalue ourselves, we grasp for what we “need” externally.  We constantly compare what we have to the treasures of others, believing it will bring soul satisfaction. The fear and anxiety we feel about not having what we need for the future  leads to worry, and ultimately, storage problems. Too much stuff to sort and store.  Our valuable time and energy is consumed maintaining, repairing, organizing, and comparing our possessions rather than just being.

When we return to the balanced life concept, we allow ourselves to let go of things that are unimportant or require more of our time, energy, and money than the joy we receive from ownership thereof. We experience freedom from letting things go, rather than panic. We give ourselves the gift of fewer things to maintain. We take the time to clear out, give things away or re-purpose. And we feel the lift of fewer possessions that weigh us down. Relief.

Most of us know that we could live with much less than we own. I’m not ready to sell all of my Earthly possessions, but I would like to clear out some junk that’s in my way, allowing more time for being. And I always strive to keep in mind what is most valuable to me–and it’s not any of my stuff! I close with a thought from a woman who could be considered the ultimate example of a person who understood the value of our possessions:

“Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you, and in this materialistic age a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.” Peace Pilgrim

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