Re-Thinking "Stuff"

Yesterday I walked by this literal and tangible pile of stuff by the side of the road and I wondered about it.  Whose was it?  Did they get rid or it?  Was it a clear out to head off to school?  An old boyfriend who never came back?  Someones kid that is on to new interests?  Was it an active, and happy, decision to throw it away?   Or a grudging truth?

I've been thinking about stuff recently.  As it, our tangible items.  The books on my shelves, the films in their cases, the clothes in my drawers.  Cutlery. CDs.  Figurines.  Things old an new.  Things that have always been mine and things that showed up one day.  Things that were borrowed and things that never returned.  Items that are cherished, and others that remain a mystery.  Chipped ceramics and stunning crystal.  Things that have been carefully cared for and others that weathered through many storms.

I've pared down a lot over the years and have often felt like I need to or should do that more.  In fact it feels inevitable and continuous, this paring down.  With every seasonal or Sunday clean it's feels like I should "get it together" and pare down more. But I don't know if I feel that way anymore.  At some point, my stuff is *my stuff*.  Often messy, but also often loved. 

Who would have thought that one option would be a way to keep it instead?  It's not necessarily what I'll do, but I never realized I could choose to keep it. It might be too much, impractical and a pain in the butt.  But it is an option.  Who knows, there could be a way to make it all work.  I never considered that.  But now I am.

Amazing how your perspective can change at any time.


Suzie Ridler said…
Awesome post Shannon! And I agree, sometimes you need to stop giving stuff away and realize it's yours. Finding space is definitely the hard part but it can be doable. I felt so relieved when I realized we could rent a storage locker for when we show the house, that my "giving away" could be temporary because I want to keep my stuff. I know that might not be an option for you but maybe it is? Regardless, I agree, there is nothing wrong with holding on to things you love.
What a great post and a fascinating topic. I love considering when "stuff" becomes "my stuff". So much to think about!

I wonder where this wondering will lead you!
Janet Miles said…
So true, Shannon. We had a storage area for extra "stuff" but when the cost went higher and higher we realized we had to make room for our stuff in our house or get rid of some of it. We are in the process of clearing out the garage to reorganize and make room. Some "junk" is getting tossed but we are finding some real gems that we had forgotten about! (My husband came across some letters I wrote him when we were first dating over 30 years ago!) Thanks for sharing this!
Shannon said…
I'm so glad you found an alternative for storing your stuff for a bit Suzie, it's amazing how we sometimes forget there are actual options out there to get us through certain periods!
Shannon said…
Thanks so much Jamie! And it's true...when does stuff become 'my stuff'. I wonder where this all will lead as well!
Shannon said…
Sounds like going through your stuff brought back some awesome memories Janet! Sometimes time is what makes the difference. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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