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Is your “stuff” keeping you from enjoying a fuller life?

Recently I saw some men emptying a home by throwing the contents of the home in a large dumpster.  The home owner and occupant had passed away a few weeks prior.  I don’t know if these men were of some relation to the deceased one but I got a strong sense that they probably didn’t understand how much value was in the items that were being discarded. I began to wonder how the former occupant might have felt if alive to see all of their hard earned worldly possessions being dumped. Why didn’t family members hold a yard sale?

Then I thought about my recent move and the dozens of 30 gallon trash bags I filled and had carted away to the trash. My rationale? I don’t need this stuff and I’d hate for anyone to have to sort through all this unnecessary stuff in the event of the untimely death.  Mind you, I still have a lot of “stuff” – and I’m still not done with the throwing out spree, but in the meantime, I’m not bringing anymore unnecessary “stuff” into my life either – and this past Christmas I specifically told my family I wanted no gifts.

I once heard someone say that when we go to the grave the U-haul truck doesn’t follow behind our caskets.  It is true.  All the “stuff” we have which is of great value to us does not have the same value to anyone else- if any value at all.  We spend a lot of time gathering “stuff”, collecting and holding on to “stuff”, and getting upset when our “stuff” is lost, stolen, or destroyed.  And in the meantime we’ve lost out on the real purpose of us being on earth: to live!  “Stuff” can hold us back and keep us living a fuller life.

Today I encourage you to take your focus off your “stuff” – your personal belongings, your money and all the things you’re holding on to “just in case,” and take time to truly enjoy life! Enjoy the outdoors. Take a walk.  Sit off with a friend. Take a drive. Go to a movie.  Laugh with somebody. Watch a movie. Your “stuff” will be there when  you need it – but will become someone else’s responsibility after you have left this earth.  Enjoy life!

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Totally agree with this message. I personally don’t like to keep stuff or use the just in case mentality, if I have need, a use and a place for it… Then I keep it. I’m far from a minimalist, but stuff drives me up the wall.

  2. There’s nothing like relocating to make one get down to the nitty gritty of ‘stuff’. When the only way my stuff will come with me is if I pay to have it shipped, because it won’t fit in my luggage, I really have to get very clear about what is important and what is notional. Your illustration of what would happen if I died, is very much on point. I will keep that thought in the forefront as i continue to sort through the detritus of the last 10 years.Syl

    1. We don’t really think about these things do we, Sylvia? But I agree in that when you’re relocating those are decisions that have to be made. Can you imagine paying for junk to be delivered……to sit in boxes somewhere?

  3. True….Now that I am retired, that is what I have been doing ….giving stuff away, yard sales and I still have more to get rid of.
    I went to town this morning with 4 men’s coats looking for a particular gentleman that I had seen a few weeks ago and I had asked him if he needed winter coats but I couldn’t find him…going to try again tomorrow.
    It’s really unbelievable the amount of stuff that we accumulate.

  4. Once again, you hit the nail on the head. Allowing your readers to reflect and put things into perspective.
    I have a great appreciation for this piece, making time for the things and people who are important.
    Stuff………does not make us valuable.

  5. This is so true Shawnette. I have boxes of ‘evidence’ that I need to let go of………..I am motivated to start, which will ultimately leave more ‘space’ for the real stuff, my life moments.

    1. Get started, Beverly! It’s great that you recognize it. For some people, parting is a real emotional hassle.

  6. Good morning Shawnette,
    I needed this message. As I get older I begin to realize I don’t need all this stuff. I have several drawers full of stuff from relationships I no long wish to be in, so why do I have a pressed rose from that person😊😊.
    I am going to fill my life with wonderful stuff and from people I love.
    Have a bless day.

    1. I learned a long time ago that hanging on to THINGS that people we no longer need to want to be associated with keeps us connected to them. So yup! Let it go!

  7. I volunteer at ‘Salvos’ which is a chain of Salvation Army Op Shops here in Australia. We get on a daily basis three crate fulls (crate size 4 feet wide X 4 feet tall) of donated stuff. A lot of it comes from deceased estates. It still amazes me just how much stuff comes through our doors. During holidays it triples. So I know first hand just what your message means. I am becoming a minimalist and do stop and smell the roses, feel the rain on my face, appreciate the simple things in life and treasure my family and friends. Thank you for passing on your thoughts.

    1. Oh wow! I am “stuck” on 3 crates full per day! That’s just amazing and it speaks to the “stuff” we are all holding on to. Wow!

  8. I have been in a downsizing mode for quite some time now and enjoying every minute of it. I do like to make a bit of change here and there, so the secret to me is bit by bit. I feel more free with each item I get rid of and happy knowing that someone may have a use for it. I really do not like throwing things away unless they are truly for the trash.

    1. I like the bit of giving away to someone who may have use for it. That’s always the good part – when you are okay with letting go.

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