Stuff, Stuff & More Schtuff
In industrialized cultures, stuff starts to accumulate the minute a baby arrives. Most of it is practical. It is intended to solve a logistical problem, like keeping the baby’s head warm or safeguarding them in a car.
Even the most practical item can edge into the realm of luxurious, depending on embellishments. Expensive fabrics and other enhanced materials drive up the items' price, making them more costly without adding to their functional value.
Cheese sandwiches are tasty, whether grilled in a pan made of aluminum, cast iron, steel, copper, ceramic, pottery, and yes, even gold.
What happens when you no longer need or use something? Babies grow out of clothing and car seats. Chefs tire of old cookware and want to try newer pans.
The more expensive something was to buy, the harder it is to let it go. The ‘extra’ enhancements that made the practical items we purchased especially pleasing contribute to why we feel we must save them.
“I can’t let that go! Do you know what I paid for that? It was expensive!”
The purchase price or original practical value is not the only reason we hold on to things.
We become emotionally attached, and the list of reasons to keep things lengthens. It’s hard not to be defensive when someone else is irritated by our attachment to things.
Letting go of our bonds to people, situations, and things can be challenging.
If it were easy, it wouldn’t even be an issue.
But spaces are limited, and relationships are more valuable than stuff. Releasing our hold on what no longer serves us well can be more comfortable and attainable when we figure out the underlying reasons for our loyalty.
Here are common reasons I've heard people depend on to keep their stuff, coupled with a bit of reality to think about.
"I can use this someday. This will come in handy for [insert creative idea]."
Maybe. Maybe not.
Do you have enough room to store it without it infringing on your daily space and life?
Does it require repair that you just can’t seem to get to?
"I remember when Aunty Em used this in her kitchen before she died. I miss her."
This is a difficult one. It can feel like an endless grieving for someone we miss.
What would Aunty Em say?