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We all have stuff; stuff that’s useful, stuff that’s pretty, stuff that’s sentimental, etc.  There are lots of different kinds of stuff
and it goes by many different names, but no matter what you call it, it’s still just stuff.

Let’s say that this little purple guy represents “stuff”.  At some point in time you decided that Stuff was worth enough to purchase it and bring it home.  What most of us don’t consider as we stand in the check out line at the store is that Stuff not only costs us the initial price we’re paying for it, but it’s going to cost us a lot more once we get it home.  It’s going to costs us our space, time, and sometimes even our mental and emotional energy.  What’s more is when Stuff is purchased using a credit card it’s costing even more money due to interest accrual.  Some Stuff even gets more expensive when storage units are rented just to hang onto it and make room for more Stuff!   What we need to consider before we even walk into a store is how much we are really willing to pay for Stuff.

What if Stuff came to knock on your door and said “I’d like to rent some space from you.  I have no money but I’m willing to work for my keep.”

There is definitely some Stuff that earns its keep.  For instance our silverware earns its keep day in and day out.  I don’t mind it taking up our space because it’s very useful.  However there is other Stuff, like sweaters in my closet, which take up space, that collect dust and every time I see them I feel guilty for not wearing them more often.  As of this morning they no longer are tenants in my closet, they’ve just been evicted.  🙂

Most people don’t find it very difficult to get rid of the Stuff that is broken, stained or no longer useful.

It’s the “I might use it someday” Stuff.  The “I kind of like it but I’m just not sure where to put it” Stuff.  The “My loved one gave it to me and I wear it once a year” Stuff.  Now this Stuff is not only taking up your valuable space, it’s now taking up your time and mental sanity.  You’re spending time pondering whether or not to keep it, you’re spending mental energy thinking about it and you’re spending even more time organizing it and keeping it organized.  Not to mention if you spend even more money on organizers to try and keep it organized.  Truly organizing Stuff should be reserved only for the Stuff that has earned the royal treatment in your home.

Why would we spend more money on Stuff that isn’t even earning its keep!  If you keep Stuff that’s not used weekly or monthly, for whatever reason, then only give it the cheapest rental space available, like the attic or basement.  Leave the expensive rental spaces, like kitchen cabinets, bathroom drawers and counter tops, for the Stuff that really deserves it because it’s doing the most work to earn it.

My challenge to you is this: Go through your Stuff and consider if it’s really earning its keep.  Are you really willing to pay its rent?  Then when you shop for your family, loved ones (and yourself) this Christmas season, think about the “real” price it’s going to cost you, and them.  Ask yourself: is it worth it?  Try thinking outside the mall.  Go for things like tickets to the water park, movies or museum.  Make a gift certificate for a family trip to the beach, mountain or camp ground.  Invest in life long memories and not just more Stuff.

About the author


Sue is a former Professional Organizer who left the field to pursue being The Mom. She is currently employed by her four children, Tyler (8), Bradley (6), Katelyn (4) and Breanna (2.5). As The Mom, Sue's days are filled with dirty diapers, loud kids, lots of messes and tons of fun adventures. She's paid daily in Hugs and Kisses and occasionally receives bonuses paid out in Thank Yous. Sue is the luckiest woman alive since she is married to the ever so handsome, Super Man (a.k.a. Corey). In her spare time Sue likes to sleep, eat doughnuts and sleep some more. Check out more posts from Sue at Tried and True Mommy


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