I tried to walk into my middle and youngest daughter’s room recently, and there was no place for me to put my feet. I couldn’t take one step into the room, because there were toys and clothes and papers and stuff everywhere. Now, I know this is not an isolated event. I know kids and adults with hoarding problems all over the country have similar bedrooms, but it got me to thinking, why the need for stuff?
Why do we need to surround ourselves with stuff, and why do we take it to the extreme? Why do we go so far as to run out of room at our home necessitating the use of a storage unit facility somewhere nearby? And oh my! Do you know how many of those there are now? According to Union Realtime there were at least 45,000 facilities in the U.S in December of 2019! And that’s facilities. Think of how many units there are at each facility! So why the need for so much stuff? I think part of the reason is that we are trained to feel that we need it. It’s celebratory. As a kid, I got gifts at Christmas and birthday and Easter and an allowance and I got these gifts from multiple sources, so eventually I was surrounded by stuff. And it all had some kind of connection with a happy moment, so you can’t just get rid of the thing from your happy moment can you? You’ve got to store it somewhere in case you want to be reminded of the happy moment.
And what about investment stuff? I’ve collected sports cards most of my life and some went up drastically in value, but it was never clear exactly which ones would, so as a collector you needed to get as much of a variety as possible and play the wait and see game. I think most people play the wait and see game with all sorts of collectibles, and therein lies the need for more and more stuff and space for stuff. But when you factor in all the time and money you put into organization and storage, even if one of your “wait and sees” does well, are you really going to make that much out of it? Is it going to change your life? Ironically, the answer is sometimes “yes,” but not for the vast majority of people. So, it’s Spring and I say let’s do some spring cleaning and get rid of our stuff. I mean, the clues are all around us that we should. What do we say when we’ve eaten TOO MUCH food? “I’m stuffed.” So let’s do it! I don’t want to stuff this down your throat, but it’s time to cut the funny stuff, and say “hold on” to Ms. Hot Stuff… no need for any rough stuff, but we really need to get going on this stuff. Just remember, when you start, you’ve got to start somewhere, so don’t sweat the small stuff. Thank you for reading my 106th blog.