Stuff

Yesterday my niece Lauren and her husband Seth packed up their car and moved to California.  With only a few months notice they were able to sell their house, sell a car and sell/give away 90% of their belongings.  The craziest thing about it is that they don’t even have a home to move into when they get there.  They are staying in a campground and living out of the car until they can find a place to live.

This got me thinking about stuff!  I’ve got a LOT of stuff!  Between my husband and I (and our cat and turtle) our stuff practically takes up every single inch of our two bedroom apartment.  Our cars are even full of stuff, and we’ve got a storage space too.  I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself a hoarder, but I keep things… I collect things…  I take things when people give them away (thanks L&S).  My stuff is mostly organized and in good repair, it’s not like I’m holding on to junk.  But, do I really need all this stuff?

I’m realizing that stuff can hold you back, can keep you from doing or focusing on the important things.  How much do I value my possessions, and how much of it is really necessary for my survival?  I think I’d have a lot more freedom if I had less stuff.  There would be less to clean, less to organize, less to sort through when I’m looking for something, less clothes to flip through while agonizing over what to wear in the morning.

My stuff doesn’t make me happy… well, maybe my MacBook and my Palm Pre… but honestly, I’m not a happier person because I have a closet full of clothes, or 5 bookshelves loaded with books (seriously) or hundreds of dvd’s.  They don’t satisfy me, I am still always left wanting more.

For the last several months my hubby and I have been contemplating buying a house.  The market is great for buyers right now, we know so many people who have found amazing deals on houses.  It makes sense… but then isn’t that just one more thing to tie us down?  What if we bought a house, and then God called us to be somewhere else?  What if an amazing opportunity arose SOMEWHERE ELSE… and we’re stuck here with a house… full of stuff!

I went to Meijer last night (the grocery store for you non-midwesterners) to pick up some groceries and as I wandered around the store I saw a lot of cute stuff, bedding, lamps, furniture that I’d LOVE to have.  But then I thought to myself, do I really need it?  How would I feel if I suddenly had to sell it at a garage sale (for 10% of what I paid for it) or even just give it away?  Then it all just seemed silly, why on earth would I need more stuff?

So, hopefully this mindset will stick the next time I go to the store and I won’t buy a bunch of unnecessary items (hopefully my husband will catch on to this idea too).  And hopefully, I’ll remember this as I begin weeding through my belongings deciding what to keep and what to toss.  After all, it’s just stuff!  (I already have two bins full of clothes to take to Goodwill)

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